UN Anti-Witch-Hunting Workshop Scheduled for September

“Witch-hunting is like an infectious disease and is slowly spreading to newer areas. Solutions will have to be found to eradicate this evil practice” – Neeva Konwar, National Commission for Women, India.

Founded to oppose human rights abuses due to beliefs in witchcraft and spirit possession, the Witchcraft and Human Rights Network (WHRIN) provides an online information network, consultation services, and collaboration with similar organizations around the world.   As part of their outreach effort, WHRIN has scheduled a Witchcraft and Human Rights Experts Workshop at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 28 and 29.   

The two-day event will highlight various witchcraft beliefs and practices around the world and how accusations, stigma, and ritual killings are undermining human rights in countries around the world.   Organized by WHRIN and Lancaster University in the U.K., the workshop is being conducted for UN personnel, academics, legal representatives, and concerned citizens.  Invited speakers include Ikponwosa Ero, the UN Independent Expert on human rights by persons with albinism, and Birubala Rabha who is a prominent activitist in the fight against witch-hunting practices in India.  

In discussing her invitation to speak at the workshop, Rabha describes it as "obviously a great opportunity for us to raise the issue at the global platform. I desperately hope it does help in bringing a change."   Having worked for decades in an often lonely war against witch hunting, She is currently engaged in pressuring India's Union government to approve the tough new act protecting accused witches which was passed in 2015.   

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