Concern over Congolese kids accused of witchcraft

Congolese child cries for being called a witch

Congolese child cries for being called a witch

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) CHILDREN’S rights groups have urged the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to uphold the rights of thousands of children accused of witchcraft.

It is estimated most of the 13 000 minors are living off the streets having been disowned by their families on allegations of being witches or wizards. Most of the children are in the capital Kinshasa.

According to Congolese culture, bedwetting, restless sleep, bloated belly and disability are seen as proof the child is a wizard or witch.

Children accused of bringing misfortune to the family, such as death of a family member and the lack of success are also deposited in churches led by so-called prophets and pastors.

These churches use mostly torture in efforts to exorcise the children of the alleged witchcraft.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) raised concern at the hardships suffered by the children.

“Physical and sexual violence is everywhere,” said a spokesperson.

The organisation bemoaned that the children, some aged as young as six years old, were prostituting themselves.

The abuse of the minors is a contravention of the global Convention on the Rights of the Child.

UNICEF has urged dialogue between communities, local authorities, traditional healers and church leaders, with emphasis on the rights of the child.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Jan 6 2019. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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