Archive for November, 2009

Witchcraft and human trafficking seminar in London

November 30, 2009

On the 25th of November AFRUCA – Africans Unite Against Child Abuse hosted a witchcraft and trafficking seminar in central London. The purpose of the seminar was to bring people working on issues related to witchcraft together to discuss challenges and find solutions to the problem.

The seminar was very well attended by Child Rights Practitioners, Policy Makers, Immigration and Borders officials, The Police, NGOs and international Organizations.

The aim of the seminar was to discuss how practitioners can better understand the needs of trafficking victims who are under the spell of Juju and witchcraft and how to intervene successfully and provide support to the wictims that are subjected to witchcraft accusations:

The seminar focused on exploring :
• The role of juju in the growth of human trafficking
• The link between the trafficking of African Women and Children and the use of Juju rituals as a method of coercion and submission
• The role of juju rituals in hindering victim support and in the prosecution of suspected traffickers
• How to empower victims of trafficking to overcome their fears of juju.

Traditional belief in witchcraft and juju rituals is strong in Africa and traffickers are known to employ it to coerce and subjugate their victims. Many victims of human trafficking are made to take oaths of allegiance, secrecy and confidentiality to bind them to their traffickers, ensure compliance and guarantee the repayment of the huge sums of money claimed to be owed for transporting the victims to Europe and for their upkeep. Many victims, fearful of the repercussions of the oath taken are compelled to endure their suffering in silence without recourse to help and support. The fear of Juju makes it extremely difficult for agencies to support victims and for the authorities to investigate, prosecute and bring suspected traffickers to justice.

The speakers present at the seminar were:
• Mr. Andy Desmond, Detective Constable, New Scotland Yard Human Trafficking Team: Witchcraft and juju as barriers to effective prosecution of traffickers. Our experience at New Scotland Yard
• Ms. Debbie Ariyo, Founder and Director of AFRUCA: The Impact of Witchcraft Abuse on Victims of Trafficking in the UK
• Dr. Esohe Aghatise, UN Expert on Trafficking and Director of Associazione Iroko Onlus, Italy: Working with Victims of Trafficking in Italy: Addressing Juju as a hindrance to Safeguarding Victims
• Mr. Godwin E. Morka, Head of Lagos Zonal Office, NAPTIP Nigeria: Addressing Human Trafficking at Source: Countering the power of Juju on Victims – Our Experience at NAPTIP Nigeria

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Recourse Rare for Witch Hunt Victims in India

November 30, 2009

http://www.womensenews.org/story/the-world/070716/recourse-rare-witch-hunt-victims-in-india

Zimbabwe: Refer Cases to Specialists

November 26, 2009

http://allafrica.com/stories/200911230189.html

Channel 4 returns to Africa’s witch children

November 26, 2009

In 2008 a Bafta and Emmy Award-winning Dispatches told the story of how children in Africa’s Niger Delta were being denounced by Christian pastors as witches and wizards and then killed, tortured or abandoned by their own families.

The film, which prompted international outrage against a practice conducted in the name of Jesus, forced the Nigerian authorities and the UN to act.

Child rights legislation came into force making it illegal to brand children as witches and some pastors were arrested. Financial support also poured in to assist a small British charity (Stepping Stones Nigeria) providing the only safe refuge for hundreds of youngsters attacked after claims that they were possessed by the Devil.
In Return to Africa’s Witch Children, Dispatches reveals what happened to some of the children and church leaders who originally featured, and discovers that even now children as young as two are still being stigmatised as witches and treated as outcasts.

Gary Foxcroft of Lancaster-based charity Stepping Stones Nigeria also returns to Nigeria and discovers that since his last visit the rescue centre that houses many of these children was the target of an attack. He also learns that the number of children living there has in fact risen.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Ellin is one such child. She was found at the side of the road, her body having been severely burnt with boiling water. Nwanakwo Udo Edet, around eight years old, wasn’t so fortunate. He had acid poured over him after being labelled a wizard and later died.

Activist’s plea on albino body parts

November 26, 2009

http://thecitizen.co.tz/newe.php?id=15775

Saudi Arabia: Witchcraft and Sorcery Cases on the Rise

November 26, 2009

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/11/24/saudi-arabia-witchcraft-and-sorcery-cases-rise

Return to Africa’s Witch Children

November 26, 2009

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-43/episode-1

Children Targeted as Witches in the Congo

November 26, 2009

http://www.womensenews.org/print/7867

Witchcraft murderers leave East African albinos living in fear

November 26, 2009

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/295466,witchcraft-murderers-leave-east-african-albinos-living-in-fear.html

Greek police smash voodoo prostitution ring

November 26, 2009

http://www.eyewitnessnews.co.za/articleprog.aspx?id=26223