World News in Brief: Ukraine attacks continue, education in Africa, Albinism update


Many innocent civilians were killed, including children, in a residential area of the densely populated city. It also struck education facilities and several apartment buildings. 

“Strikes on Ukrainian cities by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to bring devastating human loss,” said Ms. Brown.

Respect international law  

 “International humanitarian law must be respected,” she added.  

 Humanitarian workers are currently “on site, providing psychological support as well as materials for the quick repair of damaged homes,” according to Farhan Haq, UN Deputy Spokesperson.  

Ms. Brown is also calling for greater protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure in the region. 

African nations not spending enough on quality education for children

To Africa, where the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said that most governments are not spending enough money on quality education.

Fewer than one in five African countries have allocated 20 per cent of their national budget on education, in line with 2030 targets linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In an education report published ahead of Sunday’s Day of the African Child, UNICEF warned that despite “considerable progress” in boosting primary and lower secondary enrolment over the past decade, many African schools “are underfunded, classrooms overcrowded and there are insufficient teachers – many without adequate training”.

A lack of financing is to blame, the UN agency said, noting that it continues to leave millions of children unable to acquire the skills needed for them and their countries to thrive in the future. 

Around $183 billion is needed for children’s education in African countries every year to reach Sustainable Development Goals targets, but available resources stand at only $106 billion, UNICEF said.

Progress made but challenges remain for persons with albinism

“Remarkable headway” has been made on human rights for persons with albinism, but “ongoing prejudice and violence” persist, according to Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond, the UN independent expert on the condition.

Ms. Miti-Drummond was speaking on the 10th anniversary of International Albinism Awareness Day marked on Thursday. She hailed the significant progress in the inclusion of persons with albinism within the human rights discourse and the disability movement, while also highlighting the significant challenges still facing  those with albinism today. 

Killings continue

“I continue to receive cases of attacks and killings, often perpetuated against the most vulnerable in our societies – our children,” Ms. Miti-Drummond said.

Persons with the condition – which is caused by a lack of melanin pigmentation, affecting skin, hair and eye colour – continue to face an uphill battle to live in dignity and equality. 

In some communities, erroneous myths put the lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. There have been hundreds of cases of attacks and killings in 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade due to longstanding stigma, poverty, and harmful practices deriving from beliefs in witchcraft. 

Some reports also show that children with albinism face abandonment and rejection by their families in China and other Asian countries. 

With regard to health challenges, persons with albinism still struggle to access a simple bottle of life-saving sunscreen – an unaffordable luxury in some regions, according to the UN independent expert. 

In order to combat the discrimination and marginalization persons with albinism face around the world, Ms. Miti-Drummond is calling for renewed commitment to address these challenges, involving more awareness-raising, education, advocacy, legislative and policy reforms, and community engagements.

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