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Africa's Witch Children

An increasing number of children in the Niger Delta are being forced to the streets and trafficked as a result of a deeply held belief in child ‘witches’ and also due to persistent violent conflicts, poverty, abuse, torture, rape, or being orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

The deeply held belief in and fear of child witchcraft cuts across all tiers of society. This fear stems from the belief that a spiritual spell can be given to a person through food and drink. The soul of the person who eats this spell will then leave the body to be initiated in a gathering of ‘witches’ and ‘wizards’. The initiated person will then have the power to wreak havoc, such as causing diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, cancer. All problems in life are seen to be the handiwork of these ‘witches’. In recent times, it is thought children have become the target for initiation by the elderly 'witches' as it is believed that they are more susceptible to their spells and are quicker in action.

For more information about these children, please visit Stepping Stones Nigeria

Watch all 5 parts

TAGGED: CHILDREN, HARM, HUMAN RIGHTS, RELIGION


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