Posts by whrin_admin

DRC: The Invention of Child Witches in the Democratic Republic of Congo – Save the Children

This report summarises Save the Children’s knowledge on the issue of children accused of witchcraft  in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The information and analyses presented are all drawn from various research studies as well as from the experience their programme has gained through the reunification and reintegration of almost 2,000 children in the  cities of Kinshasa and Mbuyi-Mayi.
The greatest source of information, however, was  Save the Children’s direct work with pastors from the revivalist churches, communities and parents who have accused their children of witchcraft. Please click here for the full report.



South Africa: Police to Establish Task Teams to Investigate Occult Crimes

EASTERN Cape police have appointed three detectives to specialise in occult-related crime as part of a national drive by the SAPS to crack down on muti murders and other crimes that may occur during the practising of satanism, witchcraft and even vampirism. See here for more information.

UK: Possession, Jinn and Britain’s backstreet exorcists

UK health and social workers and those in the criminal justice system are increasingly having to understand belief in spiritual possession among ethnic minorities, with new research highlighting a particular issue with some sections of the British Asian community blaming mental health problems on the supernatural. See BBC report here

Help Age International: Using the law to tackle accusations of witchcraft

HelpAge International and its partners have considerable experience of tackling
and reducing accusations of witchcraft and related violence against older women
and men though community based interventions. We do not, however, have the
same level of experience or expertise in the use of legislation in this area.
To address this gap, we requested, through the organisation Advocates for
International Development, pro bono guidance from lawyers on the use of
legislation to address accusations of witchcraft and related violence. Three law
firms offered to review relevant legislation in a total of nine countries: Burkina
Faso, Cameroon, India, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa and
Tanzania. We also asked the law firms to provide general guiding principles to
help inform our position on the use of the legislation in this area.
This report presents the main findings of the review and our position in relation to
the issues raised. It also presents a summary of key issues from the review in
each of the nine countries. See the full report here

Nepal: Government Proposes Bill to Criminalise Witchcraft Accusations

The proposed bill against witchcraft accusations would provide legal recourse for women who have experienced physical or mental harm as a consequence of witchcraft accusations and related cultural and superstitious practices by proposing jail terms of up to seven years and fines up to Nepali Rupees 70,000 (US$780). If a death occurs because of such an offence, then homicide-related laws stipulated in Nepal’s existing criminal code would be invoked. The bill also contains provisions that ensure interim relief and protection measures to the victims while legal proceedings take their course. The bill has a clear focus on victim protection mechanisms and guarantees state protection for the victim. Other features of the bill include third-party complaint mechanisms and an ordinance for ranking police officers to investigate complaints. Click here for more details.

AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse

AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (UK) is an organisation concerned about cruelty against the African child. With their Head Office in London and a Centre for African Children and Families in Manchester, they are the premier charity promoting the welfare of African children in the UK. They also work in partnership with other organisations in Africa and across Europe. See here for more details.

International Conference on “Justice, Witchcraft and Violence” (Africa – Central Africa) – 27th – 30th November – Bangui, Central African Republic

This international symposium focuses on the judicial treatment of witchcraft in Africa since independence as an object of social science research. It is, moreover, under the auspices of human rights, to inform the political authorities of African countries and especially the Central African Republic, where it is organized, advanced knowledge of anthropological, sociological, legal confronted with experiences judges on the forms of social violence in the affairs of witchcraft. Instructions and procedures are still under the influence of beliefs and local customs. This symposium aims to compare the expert analysis of this issue from research conducted in several areas and countries of sub-Saharan Africa. For more details please click here

Tanzania: Witchcraft and the law in Tanzania – Simeon Mesaki

Witchcraft is a topical subject and an intriguing phenomenon in Africa. Thriving on belief systems it baffles and confronts ruling elites with dilemmas on how to deal with it. Tanzania experiences grim consequences by the entrenchment of witchcraft in the country including social exclusion, expulsion and even murder of alleged witches. The legal system copes inadequately with the challenges of witchcraft because it does not accept the reality of witchcraft and the colonial inherited law is a blunt instrument in dealing with the problem. This article charts the history of the law on witchcraft in Tanzania and concludes that witchcraft beliefs are too strong to be driven out by legal methods and instead advocates for the removal of ignorance by introducing a scientific view of the world through
[mass] education.

Please click here to see the paper.

Burundi: African albinos killed for body organs (2009)

Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndge meets albinos who live in hiding in fear of being murdered because of their condition. See film here

WHRIN Official (re) Launch to Come Soon

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