We are delighted to announce that the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed the first ever resolution on Harmful Practices: Accusations of Witchcraft and Ritual Attacks. The resolution, passed unanimously on 13th July, calls on UN member states to condemn harmful practices related to accusations of witchcraft and ritual killings that result in human rights violations. Member states are also urged to ensure these practices are eliminated within their own borders.
This is a hugely significant step as it adds international weight to national legislation against witchcraft accusations. It emphasises that witchcraft-related abuse is not acceptable - a vital message in nations where this kind of behaviour is currently normalised - and holds governments accountable for taking action against it.
The resolution marks the culmination of four years of work on the part of SCWA and numerous other organisations and individuals, since the issue of witchcraft-related abuse was first raised with the UN at a workshop in September 2017. We are now looking forward to seeing meaningful change in nations where witchcraft-related abuse has, until now, been commonplace.
SCWA Chair Carolyn Gent comments: 'This new resolution is a breakthrough. It will bring hope and encouragement to people working on the ground to address witchcraft accusations against children, like our partners in DR Congo. Lives will change because of this. Children and adults who would have been at risk of being accused of witchcraft and harmed as a result will now be protected.'