Academic Papers: Children

List of issues to be taken up in the absence of the initial report of Mozambique: Human Rights Committee 102nd session Geneva, 11-29 July 2011

Constitutional and legal framework within which the Covenant is implemented
1. What is the status of the Covenant under domestic law? Can provisions of the Covenant be directly invoked before domestic courts in Mozambique? If so, please provide
details on all cases in which this was done and the results thereof.
2. Please provide information on the availability of remedies for individuals claiming a violation of the rights contained in the Constitution and the Covenant. Please also provide information as to whether persons have applied to the Constitutional Court for redress, as provided for in article 58 of the Constitution.
3. At what stage is the process of establishing a national human rights commission pursuant to the bill approved by the Mozambique Parliament in May 2009? To what extent have the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris Principles), adopted by the General Assembly through its resolution 48/134, been taken into account and complied with in this process? Please indicate whether an ombudsman has been elected in accordance with the Constitution.

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See full report here

Malawi – Researched and compiled by the Refugee Documentation Centre of Ireland, 9 December 2013

Information on witchcraft including treatment of those who are perceived to be witches. Are children of perceived witches targeted? How do the police treat such cases?

See full report here

Hunting Witches – World Policy Journal Article by WHRIN

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

Hocus Pocus, Witchcraft, and Murder: The plight of Tanzanian Albinos

The following article exposes the massacre of albinos in Tanzania and the problems that Tanzanian albinos face in their daily lives. It also proposes certain recommendations as to how the Tanzanian government, Tanzanian civil society and the international community should address the albino killings and end the discrimination against albinos in Tanzania. See full article here.

Witchcraft accusations and human rights: case studies from Malawi

Taking a functionalist view of the role of witchcraft within contemporary African societies; this Article explores potential community-based interventions to assist victims of witchcraft accusations, based on forty-five case studies from an experimental mobile legal-aid clinic in Malawi, a country in south-eastern Africa where witchcraft accusations are widespread and often irreparably harm those accused. See the full article here

Witchcraft belief and accusations against children in Sub-Saharan Africa

Belief in witchcraft is widespread across the African continent. Recently, attention has been drawn to the relatively new phenomenon of witchcraft accusations against children, leading to punishment that severely violates their human rights. Analysing the recommendations made by NGOs and United Nations organs regarding this issue, the author argues that they neglect a normative conflict between cultural belief and human rights as well as lacks philosophical depth. The following article presents, clarifies and discusses the normative problem surrounding the phenomenon of witchcraft belief and accusations against children from a theoretical perspective, in order to facilitate an in-depth understanding of the issue in a wider context of moral values as well as improve the possibilities for successful prevention strategies. Universalism and cultural relativism is presented and discussed, as well as the indeterminacy of human rights. Ultimately, the conclusion states the choice between treating a child as an individual or as a part of the community an important normative consideration, however the main normative problem is found within universalism in the form of conflicting human rights. See the full article:  witchcraft belief and accusations against children in sub-saharan africa

Nigeria: Witchcraft stigmatization in Nigeria: Challenges and successes in the implementation of child rights

The following analysis considers witchcraft accusations against children and the consequent children’s rights abuse in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. See full article here: Witchcraft stigmatization in Nigeria