Academic Papers: Children

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

UK. Government Launches National Action Plan to Tackle Child Abuse Linked To Faith and Belief

The Department for Education released this national action plan to help raise awareness of the issue of child abuse linked to faith or belief and to encourage practical steps to be taken to prevent such abuse. It has been developed through partnership on the National Working Group between central government and local statutory partners, faith leaders, voluntary sector organisations and the Metropolitan Police. See full details here 

Report on Child Witchcraft Beliefs and Accusations in Southern Malawi

This report is based on research done on behalf of Stichting Afrika Zending and Across Outreach in Malawi in order to provide relevant information concerning child witchcraft accusations in the Southern African nation. The main aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of child witchcraft beliefs and accusations in Malawi and to contribute to more effective intervention on behalf of vulnerable children and other vulnerable groups in Malawi. For full report see here

Felix Riedel: Children in African Witch-Hunts – An introduction for Scientists and Social Workers.

Children are branded as witches on a mass-scale in Congo,Nigeria and Angola. Recent interpretational frameworks about these child witch-hunts employ a simplistic materialism centred on political and economic crises. Meanwhile, historic sources from distinct regions disprove the claim of a purely modern problem. While the concept of child-witchcraft is old and equally well-known from the European context, the recent crisis points indeed at a massive shift in propaganda and victimization strategies. In this text, two showcase film-analyses further question the importance of a crisis for the ideologemes. In the meantime, journalistic evidence and experiences of social workers spearhead the research as ethnographers seem to avoid the issue. Moral demands call for an implementation of advanced theory, psychological competence and social work with children accused of witchcraft.

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UK – Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of “Possession” and “Witchcraft”

This report concerns the frequency and severity of child abuse linked to accusations of “possession” and “witchcraft”. It identifies key features common to these cases, draws conclusions and makes recommendations.

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