UN Human Rights Council Event – Witchcraft and Human Rights Expert Workshop


On September 21st and 22nd 2017, WHRIN, together with the UN Independent Expert on Albinism and Lancaster University, organised the first ever UN Expert Workshop on Witchcraft and Human Rights at the UN Human Rights Council. Co-organizers for the event were the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The workshop was ground-breaking and the first of its kind at the UN or international level. It brought together UN Experts, academics and members of civil society to discuss the violence associated with such beliefs and practices and groups that are particularly vulnerable. The event highlighted the various manifestations of witchcraft beliefs and practice, including accusations, stigma, and ritual killings, before identifying good practice in combating such practices. The event marked an important step towards mainstreaming the issue into the UN Human Rights system, whilst providing impetus and practical guidance to the numerous international and regional mechanisms, academics and civil society actors that have been working to raise awareness and understanding of these challenging issues.

Whilst the workshop marked an important step in the fight to prevent more human rights abuses taking places due to beliefs in witchcraft, it is important that we use it as a springboard to TAKE MORE ACTION and keep the momentum up behind the movement that our network is creating. Please click HERE to see how WHRIN intends to support this happening.

More details about the UN Workshop on Witchcraft and Human Rights can be found below:

TV Coverage – You can view the entire workshop online via UN Web TV via the following links:

Preliminary Findings – A presentation of the preliminary findings from the workshop can be found here. A full report on the findings from the workshop will be compiled and submitted to the UN Human Rights Council by early 2018. WHRIN will look to update the network on progress here.

Final Report – The final report, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in February 2018, is available to download here

Photos – A slideshow of the photos of the event can be found here. With sincere thanks to Don Sawatsky from Under the Same Sun.

Press Coverage – The workshop was widely covered in the International Media. Please see links below:

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Publicity Video of the Workshop 

Remarks by Kate Gilmore, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN Special Representative to the Secretary General on Violence Against Children welcomes commitment to tackle impunity for witchcraft related human rights violations and to children’s protection from violence

Experts Propose Steps to End Practices Related to Witchcraft

UN moves against witchcraft, abuse of human rights, others

The Trade in Body Parts of People with Albinism is Driven by Myth and International Inaction


BBC Radio 5 Live Investigation into Witchcraft Accusations in the UK

Listen to the full story, including comment from WHRIN Executive Director – Gary Foxcroft – here 

UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 59 : Witchcraft Accusations Panel

UN Commission on the Status of Women Session 59


 March 11, 2015

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Salvation Army Center – Auditorium

221 E. 52nd St. – Between 2nd & 3rd Avenues – NYC

See full event details here

Read WHRIN’s statement for the panel here


White Shadow Première – London 20th March

WHRIN, in Partnership with Aya Distribution and Under the Same Sun, Warmly Invite you to UK Première of “White Shadow”.

Please see event details here 

UN Human Rights Council Side Event – Children with Albinism: “Violence and Displacement”

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
1:00pm – 3:00pm, Palais des Nations, Room XXV

The Permanent Mission of Canada and the Permanent Mission of Somalia to the United Nations,
the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNICEF, and Under The Same Sun
invite you to a panel discussion. See details here 

UN Human Rights Council Side Event on Witchcraft Accusations

UN Human Rights Council Session 25 – Panel
March 10, 2014
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Palais des Nations – Room XXVII
Geneva, Switzerland

Three members of the WHRIN team will be presenting at this event. For full details please see here 


Spirit Possession and Mental Health Conference

20th SEPTEMBER 2013 | London Conference.

This one day Ethnic Health Initiative event will consider the critical themes and debates on spirit possession from an anthropological, social, psychological, medical and religious perspective using a range of illustrative case study, clinical practice and research.

This conference will be relevant to all professionals in the field of Mental Health and Social Care, including those from Local Authorities and NHS trusts across the UK, Social Workers, Approved Mental Health Professionals, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Early Intervention Teams, CPN’s, OT’s, Chaplains, Community Faith Leaders & Healers, Equality Leads, Community Development Workers, Service User Representatives, Charities, Third Sector, Educational Establishments, Academics and Policy makers.

See the conference brochure here.

5th-7th June 2013 – Sorcery and Witchcraft-Related Killings in Melanesia: Culture, Law and Human Rights Perspectives Conference

Conference taking place at the Australian National University, Canberra. See call for papers here

23rd Feb 2013: Jinn, Black Magic and Exorcism – What Is The Reality?





By Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Oxford University)

Full details here

(UK) Tackling child abuse linked to faith or belief – 7 February 2013 – Nottingham

The National Working Group on Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief recently published its National action plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief, which is based on three key elements: awareness raising and better understanding among professionals, development of practitioner skills, and supporting prevention measures in communities affected.  Abuse linked to faith or belief is an issue for all services with safeguarding responsibilities for children and young people. Local Safeguarding Children Boards need to develop a strategy to address this type of abuse, and frontline services need information and training to give them the confidence to identify and follow up children at risk. See details here 

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