World Without Witch-Hunts

Our vision is a world without witch-hunts. This is the campaign to raise awareness of witchcraft accusations and their devastating effects.

As cited in UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/47/8, Harmful Practices Related to Witchcraft Accusations and Ritual Attacks are a significant source of violence in many nations around the world. These attacks claim lives almost daily in dozens of countries, on all populated continents.

In many nations, literal witch hunts continue to plague society with banishments, violence, torture, and death directed at innocent people accused of an impossible crime. These accusations and extrajudicial punishments are often directed at vulnerable people, notably elderly women, children, the disabled, those with albinism, and indigenous persons.

Each year, thousands of people are targeted. They live in nations around the world on every populated continent. If they are lucky enough to survive, they face an uncertain future. From roaming village to village to being placed in prison or so-called witch camps for their own safety, their lives are never their own.

Solving this global crisis will require the collaborative effort of people, governments, human rights mechanisms, and NGOs in many nations. Simply passing laws will not create the change required to move beyond witchcraft accusations and violence.

Witchcraft accusations grow out of fear and are provoked by human misfortune.

End Witch Hunts

In addition to teaching people about past witch-hunts and how to apply critical thinking when faced with loss, reliable institutions need to be put in place to address the loss and remove the need for a scapegoat.

Among the factors that lead to witchcraft accusations are the lack of trust in government to provide remedies for the many incidents which can harm an individual, their family, or their opportunity to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Institutions such as healthcare networks, police, fire departments, social workers, and emergency aid services can mitigate harm caused by disasters, both natural and human-caused. A social safety net protects from catastrophic loss of income and provides people with the means to cover the costs of living. Reliable healthcare treats and prevents illness. Safety measures prevent sudden injury and death. Police, fire, and emergency services provide emergency assistance. Faithful governments inspire trust. Emergency aid agencies provide food, shelter, clothing, and other items needed to get by when disaster strikes.

The lack of sound institutions leaves a vacuum, which is filled by social pressure to conform. In societies where witchcraft belief is prevalent, these beliefs inspire individuals to conform out of fear of being bewitched or being accused of witchcraft. This stifles creativity and builds a climate of mistrust, in which neighbor does not help neighbor.

End Witch Hunts recommends that all governments improve instruction on witch-hunting behaviors and critical thinking. We further recommend that the United Nations and Member States support the development and implementation of sound institutional safety nets throughout all countries.