Take Action

In order to keep the momentum that the WHRIN Network has generated following the UN Workshop on Witchcraft and Human Rights, we will look to use this page to clarify how WHRIN envisages what the key next stages of the development of the work on these issues could look like. Importantly, it will also seek to encourage and support further action being taken by WHRIN members on these issues.

Advocacy – We will continue to work closely with our UN partners, most especially the UN Expert on Albinism – Ms I.K. Ero – who has been an amazing supporter for our work. Together, the focus will be for the UN Human Rights Council to pass a special resolution in 2019 acknowledging the severity of human rights abuses that take place around the world due to beliefs in witchcraft, and the urgent need for action. As part of the UN Special Resolution we will be calling for the UN to develop guidelines for all UN bodies to follow when working on these issues. The aim will be to include the WHRIN network in this process and to have these guidelines completed by 2021. To help ensure progress with this, a small follow up event will be held in Geneva in 2018.

Research – In order to raise awareness of these issues, develop the understanding needed to drive the advocacy outlined above, and importantly, help to identify the solutions needed to put a stop to the widespread human rights abuses highlighted at the UN Workshop, WHRIN has established an Academic Action Group, which will be co-ordinated by Miranda Forsyth (right) from the Australian National University. Miranda has already kindly taken the lead in writing about the workshop and wider issues here. If you are interested in sharing your ideas and inspiration for  research to better understand and solve these challenges, please join the Academic Action Group email list HERE and share widely with anyone who you feel may be interested. WHRIN will work with our partners to organise a conference in late 2018 on these issues, with a view to incorporating key findings into the development of the UN special resolution and the wider development of operational guidelines for UN bodies.

On a day-to-day basis WHRIN will continue to support and encourage more research to take place and, as part of our commitment to this important theme of our work, will soon release our report on the findings of our 2016 study – Witchcraft Accusations and Persecution, Muti Murders and Human Sacrifice: Harmful Beliefs and Practices Behind a Global Crisis in Human Rights

Training – The importance of practitioners receiving training was raised throughout the UN Workshop, as was the need to work to demystify the beliefs around public health that are often considered as signs of witchcraft. With a view to this, WHRIN is now looking to collaborate with a number of international partners to adapt our course – Understanding Abuse Linked to Belief in Witchcraft, Juju and Spirit Possession – to different cultural, and professional, contexts. Please contact us if you think we may be able to work together in any way on this key part of the solution.

Faith Groups – If we are to find solutions to address the root causes of the abuses that WHRIN works on, we need faith groups and leaders to show leadership on these issues. Thankfully two new Christian groups were present at the UN Workshop – Stop Child Witch Accusations and Light: Christians Addressing Witchcraft and Witchcraft Accusations. These are small groups and they need our help if they are to expand their preventative work. Please contact them if you have any ideas how you may be able to help.

Information  – WHRIN aims to provide you with the most comprehensive information on the issues of human rights and beliefs in witchcraft. To do so, we need you to share your articles, papers and reports with us so that we can put the on the website. Please help us by taking a few minutes to share any useful documents that you feel can help people gain a deeper understanding of these issues.

Networking – Our network of activists, academics, policy makers, survivors and practitioners is growing by the day. But we really need your help to help it grow even more. Please join our facebook group and encourage people in your network to join WHRIN.