Pattaya Daily News

19 July 2010 :: 10:07:41 am 31916

Number of Children Accused of Witchcraft on Rise

The number of children in parts of Africa being accused of witchcraft is on the increase, say the UN Children’s agency.
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West Central Africa, 19th July 2010: The latest reports from Unicef states that more and more children, some as young as eight years old are being accused of witchcraft before being beaten, burned and killed as punishment and the rise in the numbers of children suffering this abuse is linked to greater urbanization in the continent and disruption caused by war.

Two decades ago, it was women and the elderly who were accused of witchcraft, but today, it is the orphans, street children, disabled and the albinos who are at risk. The agency continued to say that there is little that can be done about the belief in witchcraft and they are not trying to eradicate the practice, but the violence used against children is wrong and they will do anything in their power to stop it.

The majority accused of witchcraft are young boys between the ages of eight and fourteen who end up dead after being attacked and tortured. The children are being forced to admit to being witches before telling their accusers who taught them witchcraft.

The children have also had petrol poured into their eyes and ears in order to exorcise the evil spirits that the healers believe they have possessed. Reports have also been made of evangelic preachers who have made the problems worse by charging more than $250 for each exorcism with one of them being arrested in Nigeria.

Unicef’s Regional Child Protection Officer for West Central Africa reported that in the DR Congo capital Kinshasa , more than 20,000 children had been accused of witchcraft though there has not been any comprehensive studies to show how widespread allegations of child witchcraft is. Trying to reintegrate the children is a major problem.

Reporter: Brent Wilbers

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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