Child Witchcraft Allegations and Human Rights

25-07-2013

Despite the recording of child witchcraft allegations all over the world as human rights violations, the issue has received relatively little attention within human rights discourse from international organizations, academia or civil society. Child witchcraft accusations are a relatively recent phenomenon that is not among the traditional practices of the countries affected. The reasons why children have become the specific focus of child witchcraft accusations remain partially unclear. A number of general common features can help explain its emergence, including profound societal transformations, religious changes, the collapse of traditional institutions and social problems suffered by both children and adults. To address the phenomenon’s complexity, it is necessary to carefully investigate each specific local context in which the allegations occur and to consider the consequences of the practice by the affected children.

Despite the recording of child witchcraft allegations all over the world as human rights violations, the issue has received relatively little attention within human rights discourse from international organizations, academia or civil society. Child witchcraft accusations are a relatively recent phenomenon that is not among the traditional practices of the countries affected. The reasons why children have become the specific focus of child witchcraft accusations remain partially unclear. A number of general common features can help explain its emergence, including profound societal transformations, religious changes, the collapse of traditional institutions and social problems suffered by both children and adults. To address the phenomenon’s complexity, it is necessary to carefully investigate each specific local context in which the allegations occur and to consider the consequences of the practice by the affected children.

Autor extern

Karl HANSON (University Institute Kurt Bösch - IUKB, Switzerland , Master of Advanced Studies in Children's Rights , Directive Committee of the European Network of Masters in Children’s Rights - ENMCR) and Roberta RUGGIERO (University Institute Kurt Bösch - IUKB, Switzerland)