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.

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