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CHRAJ urges President Akufo-Addo to expedite signing of anti-witchcraft bill

April 10, 2024
CHRAJ urges President Akufo-Addo to expedite signing of anti-witchcraft bill

The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice () has made an urgent appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa to promptly sign the Anti-Witchcraft Bill that was passed by approximately nine months ago. The Commission emphasizes that the enactment of this legislation is crucial in addressing witchcraft allegations and attacks prevalent in certain areas of the country.

Mr. Joseph Whittal, Commissioner for CHRAJ, reiterated the pressing need for the Anti-Witchcraft Bill during a National Policy Dialogue on Access to Justice for Women Accused as Witches in Ghana, jointly organized by CHRAJ and Crossroads International. He highlighted that the absence of concrete legal measures has perpetuated witchcraft-related practices and the associated injustices.

According to Mr. Whittal, the persistence of witchcraft allegations and attacks underscores the urgency of implementing deterrent measures outlined in the Anti-Witchcraft Bill. He emphasized the importance of abolishing customs and traditions that infringe upon individuals' constitutional rights, advocating for the protection of the vulnerable from discrimination and abuse in the guise of tradition.

CHRAJ has been actively engaging with traditional leaders to promote human rights and prevent discrimination against vulnerable groups. Additionally, efforts have been made to engage individuals accused of witchcraft, aiming to address societal misconceptions and foster inclusivity.

Furthermore, Mr. Whittal urged District Assemblies in areas housing witches' camps to take responsibility for the welfare of inmates, underscoring the need for comprehensive support and care for affected individuals.

The Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which was passed by Ghana's Parliament on July 28, 2023, aims to prohibit practices such as witchcraft accusations and the role of witch doctors or witch finders. The bill, sponsored by various Members of Parliament including Mr. Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, seeks to address the root causes of witchcraft-related injustices and promote a more equitable society.

Witch camps, where women accused of witchcraft seek refuge, highlight the urgent need to address societal attitudes towards accusations of witchcraft. Many of these women face discrimination and persecution due to various factors, including issues, further emphasizing the importance of legislative action to protect their rights and dignity.

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