Africa: UN, Africa, Work to Stamp Out Ritualistic Killings


Atrocities linked to witchcraft that often led to ritualistic killings have proved to be a menace in Africa. Now the United Nations has come up with a historic resolution to stamp out the practice.

A team, that will include the Lancaster University, has taken the first crucial steps to stamp out the worldwide vices meted on hundreds of people in the name of witchcraft, including ritual killings, with the formal expression by the UN being through the United Nations Resolution.

Passed without a vote, the resolution was tabled last month at the UN Human Rights Council by Kenya, with the support of the Africa group, composed of 54 member states from Africa.

The resolution calls for the elimination of these harmful practices, in recognition of the Right to Life precept that underpins human rights.

Witchcraft-related beliefs and practices have resulted in serious human rights violations including beatings, banishment, cutting of body parts, and amputation of limbs, torture, being set on fire and murder.

Particularly vulnerable are people with albinism, a genetic disorder that impairs the ability to create pigment in the body. But children, women, the elderly, and people with disabilities are targets too.

Motivation

Researchers said there have been more than 700 attacks on people with albinism reported in 28 countries, mostly in Africa, in the last decade alone. This, driven by the trade in body parts of people with albinism in certain African countries with a ‘going rate’ of $75,000 for a full set of body parts.