On 20 May 2017, students from the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme launched a campaign against children accused of being witches in Africa. The campaign ended on 7 June 2017. The campaign, also known as #ChildNotWitch, aims to create awareness around children in various African countries, accused of being witches and the abuse and even killings that are a result of these accusations.
The launch of the campaign included an art exhibition of images and artistic symbols representing the terrible abuse and discrimination these innocent children have to face.
Students of the HRDA class as well as other guests, including lawyers, judges and magistrates, from various countries around Africa attended the event.
Amongst the issues discussed was that even though some countries have laws against accusing children of witchcraft, the practice continues without the apprehension of the perpetrators or the protection of the children. While it is important to highlight these issues through the campaign, it also serves as a platform for the collection of information on the practice in different countries in order for responsible states to be held accountable before relevant regional Courts.
Follow the campaign hashtag #childnotwitch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Advocacy Clinic Student team:
- Winfred Apio: Psychologist and formerly a Reproductive health social worker in Uganda and currently a student of the 2017 LLM/MPhil Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa.
- Sainey Bah: Teaching Assistant at the University of The Gambia, Coordinator of Young Advocates for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(YARD) in Gambia and currently a student of the 2017 LLM/MPhil Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa.
- Clotilde Pauvert: Advocate from Re Union Islands and currently a student of the 2017 LLM/MPhil Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa.
- Professor Frans Viljoen, Director, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
- Norman Taku, Assistant Director, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
- Lathan Dooms: Intern (16 years old), Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
- Kreston Antwi: Presentation of poem (10 years old girl)
- Michael Gyan Nyarko, Alumnus of the 2014 LLM/MPhil HRDA, Coordinator of the Litigation Clinic and currently a LLD candidate at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria