Lancaster University, working with the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism (UN Independent Expert on albinism), Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond, is seeking expressions of interests for a short-term consultant to carry out research on the care and protection of children with albinism.
In several countries, mainly in Africa, persons with albinism are targeted, have their body parts cut off and are sometimes killed due to a myth that the body parts of persons with albinism can provide some form of wealth or fortune if used for ritual practices. Due to a misbelief that the bodies parts of children have more potency, children are disproportionately impacted by the attacks.
The threat to children with albinism in some countries, such as Madagascar, is such that parents and others have called for shelters for their protection. There is much to be learned from similar situations in other parts of the world. In Tanzania in the late 2000s, the government set forth measures designed to ensure the safety of children with albinism in the face of attacks and killings, including by establishing ‘temporary holding shelters’ - special boarding schools dedicated to their protection and education.
This strategy, according to observers such as Human Rights Watch, had a negative impact on the rights to family life, an adequate standard of living and inclusive education of children with albinism. It further appears to be in conflict with the principle of the Best Interest of the Child, which derives from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and requires state parties to prioritize the interests of the child in any action that may impact them. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have also both raised concern that the shelters violate the rights of the children ‘hosted’ in them.
The consultant will carry out, predominantly desk-based research to examine what options are available, what tried and tested means of protecting children are in place in different contexts, and what policy advice can be given. This researcher will also undertake online and in-person interviews with organizations that are already working to protect children with albinism and other disabilities elsewhere in the world, as well as children at risk of violence.
About the consultant
The consultant must have a great understanding and knowledge of child rights, disability rights and issues pertaining to alternative care of children. They should be able to work remotely with some supervision from the Independent Expert and Professor Charlotte Baker. Some travel of up to two weeks maybe required to two countries to be identified by the Independent Expert.
2 months ending before 31st July 2023.
The consultant will receive a maximum of £7000 inclusive of VAT for the research, fieldwork and subsequent presentation of the research.
How to apply
Please send a CV and covering letter outlining relevant knowledge and experience to Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond firstname.lastname@example.org and Charlotte Baker email@example.com by 30th April 2023.