UN Reports: Witch-hunts

Central African Republic: Compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Human Rights Council. Session 17. 2013

The report is a compilation of the information contained in the reports of
treaty bodies and special procedures, including observations and comments by the State
concerned, and of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR), and in other relevant official United Nations documents. Read full report here.


See full report here

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.

……

See full report here

Summary report of the consultation on the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons: Human Rights Council 24th session, 1 July 2013

The present report contains a summary of the discussions of the public consultation on the human rights of older persons held by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in compliance with Human Rights Council resolution 21/23. The consultation focused on the main challenges to the enjoyment of the human rights of older persons and on good practices in the protection and promotion of their human rights, and included a one-day meeting, which was held in Geneva on 15 April 2013, as well as written contributions from Member States and observers, national human rights institutions, regional organizations, civil society organizations and academic institutions. The issues discussed included examples of specific protection against age discrimination and ageism, bodies with a mandate to protect the rights of older persons and to combat age discrimination, and challenges and good practices in the areas of the economic and social rights of older persons – including the rights to health, work and social protection – and of the protection of older persons against violence, neglect and abuse.

See full report here

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief – the Republic of Sierra Leone: Human Rights Council 25th session, 23 December 2013

The present report contains the findings and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief on his visit to the Republic of Sierra Leone, which took place from 30 June to 5 July 2013.
The Special Rapporteur appreciates the admirable culture of inter- and intrareligious open-heartedness cherished in families, neighbourhoods, schools and public life in
Sierra Leone. People from the country’s two main religions — Islam and Christianity — live together in peace and harmony and this tolerant attitude generally extends to adherents of traditional African spirituality. The same amicable spirit guides the relationships between different branches within Islam — Sunnis, Shias, Ahmadis — as well as the different denominations within Christianity — Anglicans, Catholics, Evangelicals and others. Interreligious marriages and conversions in various directions are widespread and generally receive approval from families and communities. The Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone has played a pivotal role in the ongoing process of rebuilding the nation after a civil war in which atrocities beyond human imagination were committed.

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

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

Angola – Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economics, social and cultural rights – Human Rights Council 7th session, 6 March 2008

The historical and political context of the current assessment is the 27-year civil war in Angola following independence in 1975 and an earlier lengthy struggle against colonialism. A peace agreement signed in 2002 between the Government of the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) put an end to the conflict but could not reverse the devastating effect it had had on the country and its infrastructure, which reportedly left at least 500,000 people dead and, at the time, millions of internally displaced persons. An armed struggle has persisted in the enclave of Cabinda led by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, albeit at a much lower level, despite the signing of a memorandum of understanding for peace and reconciliation on 1 August 2006.
In Angola today, many are able to practice their religion or belief freely; there is, in this regard, a measure of tolerance within Angolan society. The Special Rapporteur, however, notes a number of concerns.

See full report here

Crimes, conflicts and courts: the administration of justice in a Zambian refugee settlement, November 2010

During a visit to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya in March 1996, a researcher came across three minors and a mentally ill woman, detained in two cells in the middle of the camp and guarded by a young man with a long whip. When the researcher raised the human rights implications of this situation with UNHCR staff, his concerns were “dismissed with the observation that ‘this is their culture.’” Yet the Sudanese Bench Courts in Kakuma, of which the detention cells were part, were originally funded by the Lutheran World Federation, an international NGO responsible for the management of the camp.

See full report here

Seeking meaning: an anthropological and community-based approach to witchcraft accusations and their prevention in refugee situations

An excellent overview by Schnoebelen has shown that accusations of witchcraft have occurred in many situations of concern to UNHCR, for example amongst internally displaced in Northern Uganda and in refugee camps and settlements from South Africa through to Chad (2009). Accusations against children in refugee and IDP communities have also been a focus of particular attention in a recent report (Bussein et.al 2011). However detailed anthropological accounts of such accusations are still rare in the refugee studies literature, exceptions being the discussion by Harrell-Bond of ‘poisoning’ amongst Ugandan refugees in Sudan (1986) and a paper by Golooba-Mutebi (2004) on accusations amongst Mozambican refugees and their South African hosts.
See full report here

Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, on her mission to Papua New Guinea (18–26 March 2012)

The present report contains the findings of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, following her visit to Papua New Guinea. The
Special Rapporteur examines the situation of violence against women in the country, including violence that is perpetrated within the family and the community; violence
occurring in institutional settings; and violence related to the development of the country‟s extractive industries. She discusses the State‟s legislative and institutional responses to such violence, and provides recommendations. Read the full report  here