NGO Reports: International Law

Nepal – INSEC Situation of Human Rights in 2012: Overall assessment

During the six year long journey of the peace process, the year 2012 has become a darker one from a human rights perspective. Compared to previous years, more incidents of violence against women were recorded in INSEC documentation this year, with a total of 52 women victimized in the name of practising witchcraft. To read more click here

Nepal – A study on violence due to witchcraft allegation and sexual violence

Violence against women is a serious problem which often recieves less attention. Nepali women are no exception to this with 60-70% threatened by violence. The Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) have presented their overall description and details of incidents of rape, sexual violence and accusations of the practice of witchcraft practices in their 2012 report. To read full report click here

Protect or Prosecute? Conjuring up Solutions to Witchcraft Accusations

Article written by the Human Rights Advocacy Centre. See here.

Witchcraft accusations: A protection concern for UNHCR and the Wider Humanitarian Community?

The following paper takes a broad look at the belief in witchcraft around the world, identifies key groups that are at risk of witchcraft accusations, outlines where witchcraft accusations may be most likely to occur, analyses the factors that lead to these becoming a protection concern and finally makes a number of recommendations for policy makers and practitioners working on this issue. See here

Tanzania: Children with Albinism & the Right to Health

Children with albinism (“CWA” – commonly referred to as “albinos”) are a particularly endangered group due to the difficult circumstances in the sub Saharan Africa region. A good number are killed at birth, others abandoned in early childhood, still others are killed by exposure to sunlight and skin cancer.
More recently, scores with albinism including children have been killed due to the witchcraft-related belief that their body parts can be used to create wealth and good luck when used in witchcraft potions. To date there have been 71  documented killings of Persons With Albinism (PWA), 30 Survivors and 17 grave robberies. A majority (over half) of these victims are under the age of 18. The following brief carried out by Under the Same Sun discusses the issues faced by ‘CWA’. Read more here.

 

Burkina Faso: Discrimination against older women in Burkina Faso (HelpAge)

The following report, sets out the context in which poor older women live and highlights the discrimination that they experience. It then focuses on Articles 5 (Measures to combat social and cultural behaviour conducive to discrimination against women) and 11 (Social security and employment), providing recommendations for Government action for each of these articles. Full report here.

 

The Practice of Ritual Killings and Human Sacrifice in Africa

Article published by the Human Rights Brief on the practice of ritual killings and human sacrifice in Africa.  See more here.

Nepal: A Study on Violence due to Witchcraft Allegation and Sexual Violence

Nepal, as a member state of the United Nation, has ratified various International human rights treaties and convention related to the
rights of women which explicitly shows Nepal’s commitment towards protecting and promoting the rights of women. However, the situation of women doesn’t seem satisfactory. More than 50 per cent of Nepal’s population is women but their status is still very poor. They have a lower status than men in each aspect of the Human Development Index. Illiteracy, patriarchal society and the economic dependency of women on man create grounds for male domination over woman. Accusations of the so-called practice of witchcraft, rape and incidents of sexual violence are some of the examples of violence against women which occur in Nepalese society.

The following article explores the widespread violence that occurs against women as a result of witchcraft allegation in the context of domestic and international legislation. Full article here. 

Help Age International: Using the law to tackle accusations of witchcraft

HelpAge International and its partners have considerable experience of tackling
and reducing accusations of witchcraft and related violence against older women
and men though community based interventions. We do not, however, have the
same level of experience or expertise in the use of legislation in this area.
To address this gap, we requested, through the organisation Advocates for
International Development, pro bono guidance from lawyers on the use of
legislation to address accusations of witchcraft and related violence. Three law
firms offered to review relevant legislation in a total of nine countries: Burkina
Faso, Cameroon, India, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, South Africa and
Tanzania. We also asked the law firms to provide general guiding principles to
help inform our position on the use of the legislation in this area.
This report presents the main findings of the review and our position in relation to
the issues raised. It also presents a summary of key issues from the review in
each of the nine countries. See the full report here

UN: Violating children’s rights: harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion or superstition – International NGO Council on Violence against Children

Each year, thousands of children die worldwide and the childhoods and development of millions more are scarred by harmful practices perpetrated by parents, relatives, religious and community leaders and other adults.

The report illustrates a devastating failure of international and regional human rights mechanisms to provoke the necessary challenge to these practices and their effective prohibition and elimination in all regions. It marks a failure of political and community leadership to move parents, families and societies on from harmful practices
to cultures fully respectful of children’s rights. It marks a failure of religious leaders to insist that no form of violence against children can be justified in the name of religion and to highlight, as the Convention on the Rights of the Child does, children’s own right to freedom of religion.
This report builds on the key recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s Study. It identifies a range
of international, regional and national bodies that need to work urgently and more visibly to end adults’ inexcusable justification of inhumanity to children.

Please click here to see report