UN: Children with albinism are segregated in Tanzania, often cut off from families

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GENEVA — The U.N.'s human rights office says the Tanzanian government's system of rounding up children with albinism in state-run education centers isn't adequately protecting them from widespread superstitious beliefs that human albino body parts will bring wealth and success or cure disease.

Human rights officer Alicia Londono says the United Nations is examining whether the 23 known education centers in Tanzania amount to improper segregation by forcibly removing from their homes hundreds of children with albinism who are at risk of being killed, mutilated or sexually abused.

Londono told a news conference Monday in Geneva that Tanzania's policy cuts children off from all contact with their families and allows the centers run by Tanzania's education ministry to be used as a "dumping ground" for unwanted children where sexual abuse also occurs.

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