UN Reports: International Law

Children with Albinism in Africa: Murder Mutilation and violence

This report was written for the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against children, Mme. Marta Santos Pais. The report presents a detailed and comprehensive overview of the situation in Tanzania concerning persons living with albinism (PWA), particularly children. See full report here: Comprehensive Report to Marta Santos – UN-SRSG and APPENDICES To Report to Marta Santos

UN: PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS, CIVIL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston

The present report details the main activities of the Special Rapporteur in 2008 and the first three months of 2009. It also examines four issues of particular importance: (a) responding to reprisals against individuals assisting the Special Rapporteur in his work; (b) upholding the prohibition against the execution of juvenile offenders; (c) the killing of witches; and (d) the use of lethal force in the process of policing public assemblies. Please click here for the full report

UN: Breaking the spell: responding to witchcraft accusations against children – UNHCR

Witchcraft allegations against children have become the focus of increased international attention in recent years. Recent reports by Phillip Alston, Gary Foxcroft, Jill  Schnoebelen and Alexandra Cimpric representing respectively, the United Nations,  Stepping Stones Nigeria, UNHCR and UNICEF have all highlighted increasing concerns regarding violence and abuse towards children accused of witchcraft. Accusations of witchcraft cause direct violations of children‟s rights. Children are isolated or even rejected from their family and community, end up living on the streets, become victims of different forms of trafficking, suffer from physical and mental health problems and trauma due to the abuses they have experienced (AFRUCA, 2009). Already vulnerable children become even more vulnerable as a result of witchcraft accusations. Cases of children being harmed, abused or killed due to accusations of being a witch or for the purpose of witchcraft have been documented in many countries around the world, though the vast majority of cases investigated to date have been  African. This paper focuses on African case studies. Please click here for full paper.

UN: Witchcraft allegations, refugee protection and human rights: a review of the evidence – UNHCR

Accused witches have been executed by hanging, drowning and burning at the stake throughout history. The persecution of accused witches continues today in communities around the globe.  Both men and women are at risk of accusation and over the past decade children are increasingly  falling victim to such allegations. Startling accounts of torture, starvation, abandonment and  death have been documented. Protection concerns can arise at home and in the context of forced  displacement or voluntary migration. Witchcraft accusations, the associated risk of persecution, the cycle of displacement, and what this means for those in the refugee field are the focus of this  UNHCR paper. Please click here for full paper.