Academic Papers: Asylum and Refugees

Voodoo, Witchcraft and Human Trafficking in Europe, Oct 2013

This paper focuses on human rights violations linked to African witchcraft which are occurring in Europe. It is organized in three sections. The first section examines threats toward alleged child-witches; the second examines the misuse of voodoo to enslave women for sexual purposes; and the third will look at the mistreatment and sexual abuse of children or women as part of witchcraft rituals.

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Witchcraft and Displacement

There is a longstanding and well-documented relationship between human displacement and witchcraft allegations. The Policy Development and Evaluation Service (PDES) has undertaken a very rapid assessment of the current state of knowledge about refugee protection and witchcraft allegations.

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BANISHED – A scholar examines how the persecution of alleged witches in Africa has evolved into a human rights issue on a global scale, August 1, 2013

In 2010, an African woman petitioned for political asylum in the U.S. on what seemed to be rather far-fetched grounds: She claimed her life was in jeopardy because she had been accused of being a witch. The woman, who was from Guinea, said villagers believed she was a witch because she had given birth to an intersex child. The woman contended that she needed asylum because when she was a girl she had witnessed another accused witch burned alive.

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Witch-hunts in South Africa – Advocacy against Human Rights Abuses Committed as a Result of Accusations of Witchcraft and Violent Witch-hunts, 2014

The vast majority of victims of accusation of witchcraft, both deceased and still living, in South Africa have been and are being denied their legal right to all of these constitutional rights. Accusations of witchcraft are not condoned under the constitutional rights to freedom of religion, belief and opinion, or expression, as incitement to propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or advocacy of hatred based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, that constitutes incitement to cause harm, is not protected under South African law. Accusations of witchcraft and resulting witch-hunts constitute a series of clearly identified crimes under both international and national law.

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2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – South Africa, February 25, 2009

South Africa is a multiparty parliamentary democracy in which constitutional power is shared between the president and the parliament. The country has a population of approximately 48.5 million. The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens. However, the government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local media reported the following serious human rights problems: police use of excessive force against suspects and detainees, which resulted in deaths and injuries; vigilante and mob violence; abuse of prisoners, including beatings and rape, and severe overcrowding of prisons; lengthy delays in trials and prolonged pretrial detention; forcible dispersal of demonstrations; pervasive violence against women and children and societal discrimination against women and persons with disabilities; trafficking in persons; violence resulting from racial and ethnic tensions and conflicts with foreigners; and child labor, including forced child labor and child prostitution.

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CORI Thematic Report Nigeria: Gender and Age, December 2012

The reports detailedly presents the issues of women, victims and persons at risk or trafficking, children, and LGBTI individuals in Nigeria, including the current conditions and promising practices. See full report here

Ghana – Operational guidance note, November 2013

This document provides Home Office caseworkers with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Ghana, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Caseworkers must refer to the relevant Asylum Instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.

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Angola – Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 24 March 2010

The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, established in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, held its seventh session from 8 February to 19 February 2010. The review of Angola was held at the 10th meeting, on 12 February 2010. The delegation of Angola was headed by the Secretary of State for Foreign Relations, Georges Chikoty. At its 14th meeting, held on 16 February 2010, the Working Group adopted the report on Angola.

A list of questions prepared in advance by Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Argentina, Belgium and the Netherlands was transmitted to Angola through the troika. Those questions are available on the extranet of the universal periodic review.

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CORI Thematic Report Nigeria: Gender and Age December 2012

Country of Origin Information (COI) is required within Refugee Status Determination (RSD) to provide objective evidence on conditions in refugee producing countries to support decision making. Quality information about human rights, legal provisions, politics, culture, society, religion and healthcare in countries of origin is essential in establishing whether or not a person’s fear of persecution is well founded.

CORI Country Reports are designed to aid decision making within RSD. They are not intended to be general reports on human rights conditions. They serve a specific purpose, collating legally relevant information on conditions in countries of origin, pertinent to the assessment of claims for asylum. Categories of COI included within this report are based on the most common issues arising from asylum applications made on the basis of gender and age by Nigerian nationals. This report covers events up to 10 December 2012.

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Central African Republic: Compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Human Rights Council. Session 17. 2013

The report is a compilation of the information contained in the reports of
treaty bodies and special procedures, including observations and comments by the State
concerned, and of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR), and in other relevant official United Nations documents. Read full report here.


See full report here