Advisory Board

WHRIN’s advisory board is made up of a number of well- respected and experienced international practitioners from the fields of academia, activism, law, child protection and social work. In addition to providing regular advice to support the management and strategy of WHRIN, members of WHRIN’s advisory board also commit to providing informal and free advice to any members of the WHRIN network.

Prof. Jean La Fontaine trained in Cambridge and taught at the LSE where she is Professor Emeritus. She has conducted research in Africa and the UK and has written extensively on ritual (especially initiation rituals), gender and kinship, witchcraft and satanism, child abuse and incest. Jean’s most recent book is “The Devil’s Children – From Spirit Possession to Witchcraft: New Allegations that affect Children”. An interesting interview with her can be found here.

Leo Igwe is a human rights activist, academic and prolific writer. He was the Western and Southern African representative to the International Humanist and Ethical Union and has bravely worked to end a variety of human rights violations, including anti-gay hate, sorcery, witchcraft, ritual killing, human sacrifice, caste discrimination, child witch superstition, and anti-blasphemy laws. He is presently enrolled in a three year PHD research programme at the University of Bayreuth, in Germany, where he is researching witchcraft accusations against elderly women in Ghana.  See some of Leo’s articles here.

James Ibor is a Nigerian barrister and fearless human rights defender . Through the work of the NGO he founded – Basic Rights Counsel – James has been instrumental in the fight against witchcraft accusations and those who profit from perpetuating such beliefs. He has been widely consulted on the issue by government, UN agencies and international development agencies and is recognised as a leading legal expert on the issue in Africa.

Madeleine Bridgett is a UK trained barrister and a social worker specialising in the fields of child protection, human rights and mental health. She recently returned from working in the Niger Delta for a year on a child rights project for the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales. Supporting three NGO’s and working closely with children and families facing witchcraft accusations, she was part of the legal team in Nigeria who successfully prosecuted child abuse cases, bringing to the attention of the police, judiciary and government officials the need to protect children at risk of faith related abuses.