An Intersectional Approach to Access to Justice for Persons with Albinism: A Discussion Article




albinism, stigma, discrimination, intersectionality, human rights, access to justice


The quest for access to justice for persons with albinism is a chimera. Adopting a social justice and human rights perspective, in this article, I draw attention to the multiple and complex intersectional forms of discrimination which hinder that quest. In this article, I first define albinism and then highlight a range of issues that may be of interest to researchers, policymakers and practitioners. I explain the ways in which a longstanding tradition of myths and beliefs aggravates the plight of persons with albinism (women, young girls and children in particular) in sub-Saharan Africa. In the belief that a multidisciplinary approach is vital to understanding and responding to the complexities of the issues raised, I provide a detailed and lengthy review of literature drawn from social work, sociology, criminology, victimology, community development and human rights law. In the methodological review, I recommend three complementary approaches that researchers investigating a similar topic may find useful. The discussion concludes with the observation that there is no adequate access to justice for persons with albinism if there is no enforceable legislation. In the article, I identify gaps in the scholarly literature and recommend areas for future research. Finally, I call for the urgent implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the reform of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will provide greater clarity on the disability status of persons with albinism in both the private and public sector.


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How to Cite

Hargovan, Hema. 2023. “An Intersectional Approach to Access to Justice for Persons With Albinism: A Discussion Article”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 35 (1):19 pages.



Received 2021-07-22
Accepted 2022-12-07
Published 2023-05-09