Saturday, July 17, 2010

An increasing number of children are being accused of witchcraft in Africa, the UN children's agency says

A new Unicef report warns that children accused of being witches - some as young as eight - have been been burned, beaten and even killed as punishment. The agency said there was little it could do about the belief in witchcraft itself, and that it was not trying to eradicate the practice. But it said violence against children was wrong, and that it would do everything it could to stop it. Most of those accused of witchcraft are boys aged between eight to 14 - who often end up being attacked, tortured and sometimes killed. Also, children have had gasoline poured into their eyes or ears as a way of trying to exorcise "evil spirits" that healers believe have possessed them. Unicef's Regional Child Protection officer for West and Central Africa has said that more than 20,000 street children had been accused of witchcraft in the DR Congo capital Kinshasa.

No comments: