A modern day “Crucible” – Witchcraft accusations against women and children

Side event on the 23 September in Palais des Nations, room XXX

Witchcraft accusations often target marginalised groups, including
refugees and IDPs. Women, children and older persons are also
disproportionately affected – although accusations against adult males are not unknown.

Those accused of witchcraft are often subjected to ostracization and
violence,including sexual violence. Once stigmatized as a witch, victims
are often rejected by their relatives and community. This in turn makes
them even more vulnerable to other human rights abuses such as forced
prostitution and trafficking.

UNHCR, UNICEF and OHCHR have developed this session jointly with the NGOs
Stepping Stones Nigeria and the Consortium for Street Children to put this
serious human rights issue on the agenda of states, NGO’s and UN
agencies. The aim of the session will be to discuss possibilities for a
cross agency response to this human rights abuse. Kindly contact Maria Riiskjaer riiskjae@unhcr.org if you have any questions regarding this event.

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