Academic Papers: Human Rights

List of issues in relation to the second periodic report of Nepal: Human Rights Committee, 21 August 2013

List of issues in relation to the second periodic report of Nepal:

1. Constitutional and legal framework within which the Covenant is implemented

2. Non-discrimination, equality between men and women, rights of minorities and indigenous peoples

3. Violence against women, including domestic violence

4. Right to life and prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

……

See full report here here

Training Sessions on Human and Women’s Rights to address Violence against Persons accused of Witchcraft in the Central African Republic, October 2012

Hundreds of people – mostly women – in the Central African Republic are accused every year of practicing witchcraft. “Witches” are often accused of causing a wide range of misfortunes such as infected toes, collapsed granary roofs, and even bad weather. Witchcraft is included as a crime in the country’s penal code (even punishable by execution), which is rarely contested given that the belief in witches as a source of several misfortunes is deeply embedded in the Central African Republic’s society.
Women, particularly old single women, and girls who are accused of witchcraft are often subject to SGBV. Due to cultural stigmas and lack of knowledge on basic rights, SGBV cases are often not reported, consequently leaving survivors/victims unassisted and perpetrators unpunished.

See full report here

Angola – Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economics, social and cultural rights – Human Rights Council 7th session, 6 March 2008

The historical and political context of the current assessment is the 27-year civil war in Angola following independence in 1975 and an earlier lengthy struggle against colonialism. A peace agreement signed in 2002 between the Government of the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) put an end to the conflict but could not reverse the devastating effect it had had on the country and its infrastructure, which reportedly left at least 500,000 people dead and, at the time, millions of internally displaced persons. An armed struggle has persisted in the enclave of Cabinda led by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, albeit at a much lower level, despite the signing of a memorandum of understanding for peace and reconciliation on 1 August 2006.
In Angola today, many are able to practice their religion or belief freely; there is, in this regard, a measure of tolerance within Angolan society. The Special Rapporteur, however, notes a number of concerns.

See full report here

Seeking meaning: an anthropological and community-based approach to witchcraft accusations and their prevention in refugee situations

An excellent overview by Schnoebelen has shown that accusations of witchcraft have occurred in many situations of concern to UNHCR, for example amongst internally displaced in Northern Uganda and in refugee camps and settlements from South Africa through to Chad (2009). Accusations against children in refugee and IDP communities have also been a focus of particular attention in a recent report (Bussein et.al 2011). However detailed anthropological accounts of such accusations are still rare in the refugee studies literature, exceptions being the discussion by Harrell-Bond of ‘poisoning’ amongst Ugandan refugees in Sudan (1986) and a paper by Golooba-Mutebi (2004) on accusations amongst Mozambican refugees and their South African hosts.
See full report here

Hunting Witches – World Policy Journal Article by WHRIN

Article by Gary Foxcroft, Executive Director, WHRIN. Read full article here 

WHRIN 2014 Country Report: Witchcraft Accusations and Persecution in Nepal

Joint report with Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and Forum for Protection of People’s Rights (PPR Nepal). Launched at National Women’s Commission in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2014. See full report here

Here Be Witches! – World Policy Journal

While witchcraft may seem like a curious relic of a less scientific era, for millions across the globe, the spirit realm continues to play a significant role in day-to-day life—and sometimes with fatal consequences.  See full report here 

Spirituality Within Assessments: Leethen Bartholomew

Assessments are carried out to aid in understanding the clients’ situation and may be used to identify resources, weaknesses and strengths. When working with families this is important to gain an understanding of the role spirituality plays in their decision making process and how their spirituality may act as either a source of stress or support in times of need.

This paper outlines how gaining an understanding of the client’s level of spirituality will help you understand what the individual’s beliefs are and what their past and current practices are. It also helps gives practitioners some of the tools that they may need to do so. To read the full paper please click here

DRC: Exorcising Spirits Instead of Exercising Rights? The Recent Phenomenon of Child Witch Accusation in the DRC

Undergraduate dissertation by Sancha Cadogan-Poole of the University of East London. Read full paper here

Congo: Child Witches and Witch Hunts – New Images of the Occult in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Study exploring why accusations of witchcraft have increased in DRC and have resulted in severer punitive measures taken against those accused. The thesis explores the key social and religious contributors to the child witch craze by examining historical and contemporary Congolese spirituality and life. Read more here.