Asia

‘Witch-hunting’ in India: Do We Need Special Laws?

Partners for Law in Development in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh invetigate laws that need to be put in place to combat witchcraft accusations. The scholarly article shows the barriers in dealing with witch-hunting and related forms of violence. Mehra claims that there needs to be a focus on accountability and reform of the agencies that activate the criminal justice system.

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Contemporary Practices of Witch Hunting: A Report on Social trends and the interface with law

Many states such as Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa, have had concerns expressed about the targeting of women as ‘witches’, or what is widely called ‘witch hunting’. This report addresses social trends, norms, and acceptance of making women targets for such accusation and persecution. It discusses the consequences of “witch-hunting” and laws that have been put into place to combat it.

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Women as Easy Scapegoats : Witchcraft Accusations and Women as Targets in Tea Plantations of India, Nov 7 2012

This article revisits a much-debated question: Why are women popular targets during witch hunts? By using in-depth interviews this article provides an answer.Women are easy targets or scapegoats for two reasons. First, it is widely believed in the community that was studied that witches do, in fact, exist, and the images of witches are always female. Second, tribal women hold lower positions than men in all social, political, and ritual matters, and this contributes to their vulnerability during the hunt for scapegoats. This article also highlights the roles that rumors play during manipulation of witchcraft accusations to gather support for witch hunts.

See full article here

2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – Burkina Faso, 8 April 2011

Burkina Faso is a parliamentary republic with a population of approximately 15.7 million. Human rights problems in Burkina Faso included security force use of excessive force against civilians, criminal suspects, and detainees; arbitrary arrest and detention; abuse of prisoners and harsh prison conditions; official impunity; judicial inefficiency and lack of independence; occasional restrictions on freedom of assembly; official corruption; societal violence and discrimination against women and children, including female genital mutilation; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities; and child labor.

See full report here

Report of the Special Rapporteur on her freedom of religion or belief, Asthma Jahangir, on her mission to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 12 JANUARY 2009

Following invitations by the Government of Israel and by the Palestinian Authority, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief carried out a mission to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory from 20 to 27 January 2008.

The present report first outlines international legal standards and then gives an overview of the domestic legal framework on freedom of religion or belief. In the third part, the Special Rapporteur refers to the religious demography and highlights selected aspects of the status of freedom of religion or belief in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In the last part, the Special Rapporteur presents her conclusions and recommendations.

See full report here

 

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

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

India: Odisha passes anti-witch hunting Bill

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to protect women from being branded witch through the prevailing hunting and other similar practices, the Assembly today unanimously passed the Odisha Prevention of Witch-Hunting Bill, 2013 with provisions of imprisonment up to seven years and penalty for offenders. Read more here 

India: HC notice to Assam govt to check witch-hunting

GUWAHATI: Gauhati high court on Friday issued a notice on the Assam government to submit its action taken report on stopping the rampant cases of witch-hunting in the state.

The HC asked the social welfare department, Assam State Women’s Commission and several other departments, besides Assam Police, to file their reply by January 24 next year. Read more here