Monday, 18 July 2011 13:45

NIGERIA: 'Branding of Children As Witches to Be Criminalized'

 

A UK-based anti-child abuse charity organisation, AFRUCA, is working with UK groups to make branding of African children as witches a criminal offence in the United Kingdom.

AFRUCA Founder and Director, Debbie Ariyo, who disclosed this in London over the weekend at an event to mark the organization's 10th anniversary said children brought to the UK from Africa were often branded as witches and victimized by their guardians.

"We are working with UK's National Working Group to stop this practice and make branding of children as witches a criminal offence", she said, disclosing that most of its victims and victims of other child abuse practices were from Nigeria.

Debbie stated that the AFRUCA project in Nigeria, which would be launched in December this year, was established to "address issues of child abuse and exploitation at source", anticipating that the organization's operation in Nigeria would be "phenomenal".

She disclosed that the organisation had trained more than 4,000 parents on the best parenting practices that would stop their children from being taken to care homes, lamenting that a huge number of parents have lost the custody of their children to care services due to bad parenting.

In her remarks, Ekiti State first lady, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, lamented that appalling cases of child abuse and exploitation happen on a daily basis, and urged those who could make a difference to act to "stop the culture of impunity" by the perpetrators.

She said Ekiti State had taken the lead in the implementation of gender policy which outlaws discrimination against women and children, and promotes their rights and needs and enhances their chances in life.

Mrs Fayemi, a well-known activist for the less privileged in the UK, commended AFRUCA for its work against child abuse and child exploitation, saying that the organisation has helped many victims to heal and rebuild their lives.

Source: Daily Trust (Abuja, Nigeria)

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