Tanzanian Albino Victims: Demographic and Other Details

Contrary to claims by media outlets that there have been 72 killings of persons with albinism, I have only been able to identify 76 documented attacks. Below are summaries of the data in the list of 76 documented Tanzanian albino victims tabulated on this site using various media and secondary sources. 28 of the attacks resulted in the death of the victim, but only 13 of these victims have been named in reports. The remaining 15 are unnamed, although there may be enough detail available to identify some of them.

Attacks by Year

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Although there appeared to be more females than males in earlier years, male victims eventually slightly outnumbered female victims (females 33, males 36). The gender is unrecorded for 7 victims, so there is unlikely to be a strong bias towards either gender.

Attacks by Gender

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From quite early on, it was claimed that the location of the killings tended to be in Northern and Northwestern regions. Although there is some truth in this, and 37 out of 76 killings were said to have taken place in these regions, this only became a clear tendency later on. 17 attacks took place in regions that are not close to the North or Northwest; no location was recorded for a further 22 attacks.

Attacks by Location

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Claims about gender and age can relate to available donor funding. For example, some grants may be available for women or children, only. When funding is restricted in these ways, reports that are based on the testimony of NGO informants can concentrate on aspects that interest them most. This may affect what kinds of data are recorded and even whether data is recorded or not. 39 victims are said to have been 18 years or younger. 15 were 19 or older. But no age was recorded for a further 22. The median age in Tanzania is 17 or 18 (depending on which source you use), so this would need to be taken into account when examining trends. Some commentators have tried to explain the apparent high number of young victims by referring to occult practices that favor child victims. However the trend, if it is a trend, might just be due to the fact that it is easier to attack a child or infant.

Victims by Age

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The chart below lists the recorded details for unnamed victims. More than half of the victims who were killed are unnamed. Gender and attack type are often recorded for unnamed victims, but age and location are often not recorded.

Details for unnamed victims 1

Media reports of attacks tend to depend on a handful of sources. Secondary literature by international institutions and NGOs then uses those same sources, along with available media reports. Several of these NGO sources have claimed that there have been hundreds of killings and attacks that have not been reported. Unless they can provide some convincing evidence for these claims they should be viewed as mere speculation.

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