Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Child Witch Hunts in the Congo :: Informative Essays, human rights, Africa

All in the name of ‘God’ witch hunting has been a justification for many years of the harshest capital punishment of innocent men; children and women. Witch hunts have occurred for more than 200 years and it has been an on going issue of abuse of human rights. Witch hunting dates back to the 14th Century in Europe, the starting point of these witch hunts, and Britain. Thus reaching its peak in America during the 16th Century. The famous of all witch hunting cases was ‘The Salem Witch Trials’. Witch hunting has been a major human rights abuse in The Democratic Republic of Congo. The process of witch hunting and exorcism began during late 2001 and has continued to this current day. Present issues such as this have risen again in early 2009. The witch hunting crisis in Congo has circulated issues of these so called ‘exorcisms’ as being an abuse of human rights as well as child abuse. In order to prevent any further acts of human rights abuse the C ongolese Government has taken a considerate amount of legal and non-legal measures. As the death toll rises to 40,000 due to witchcraft exorcisms, more than 14,000 have been abandoned by their parents. The Congolese Government has used non-legal measures as a means of protecting children’s rights. The non-legal measures were forcefully used by the Congolese Government through rounding up homeless children that were disowned and accused of witchcraft by both their parents and pastors. Abandoned children have been taken into custody by the Congolese authorities, as a use of legal measures, and put into orphanages as a means of protection. Many Congolese authorities have taken use of this opportunity to start addressing the abuse committed against children via the use of non-legal measures. Through the effective use of non-legal measures Congolese authorities have used such measures to re-educate the people of Congo. Using religion as a strong non-legal measure to educate the parents and religious leaders that such abuse on children is unwarranted. In an alarming trend increasing number of children are being accused of witchcraft. This has prompted the government to launch a parliamentary commission of inquiry with a view to toughening the law. Such accusations are specifically prohibited by Congo’s new constitution, which distinctively prohibits accusing children of witchcraft. The Congolese Government has reviewed the constitution through parliament, as a legal measure to prevent child abuse.

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