Thursday, October 13, 2011
Over the last few years, at least 400 African children have been abducted and trafficked to Britain and rescued by British authorities
Whether it is through leaflets handed out in High Streets or small ads in local newspapers, witchdoctors and traditional African spiritual healers are becoming ever more prominent in Britain. The work many of them do is harmless enough, but there is evidence that some are involved in the abuse of children who have been abducted from their families in Africa, and trafficked to Britain. According to Christine Beddoe, director of the anti-trafficking charity Ecpat UK, a cultural belief in the power of human blood in so-called juju rituals is playing a part in the demand for African children. Figures compiled by Ecpat, combined with those of the Metropolitan Police and Ceop, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, show that at least 400 African children have been abducted and trafficked to Britain and rescued by the British authorities. Testimonies from many of these children have revealed that once they arrive in Britain, they are exposed to violent and degrading treatments, often involving the forced extraction of their blood to be used for clients demanding blood rituals. According to a US State Department report, Uganda has become one of the main source countries for children to be bought and smuggled to Britain. Some 9,000 children have gone missing in the country over the past several years.