Women In The Camps21

The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sign the Anti-Witchcraft Bill into law. The Bill was passed by Parliament nine months ago and the Commission believes that it is urgent for the President to sign it. The Commission states that the Bill, once it becomes law, will provide a significant solution to address witchcraft allegations and attacks in the country.

Mr Joseph Whittal, Commissioner for CHRAJ, said this on the sidelines of a National Policy Dialogue on Access to Justice for Women Accused as Witches in Ghana, organised by CHRAJ and Crossroads International. He said witchcraft allegations and attacks were still ongoing in some parts of the country because there was no concrete law to proscribe punishments for persons involved. “The practice is still ongoing on the ground and the main instrument to cease or force the practice to come to an end is the deterrence of the Bill,” he stressed.

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Mr Whittal said customs and traditions that infringed on the constitutional rights of individuals should be abolished. He said the Commission had been engaging traditional leaders to ensure that people, especially the vulnerable, were not discriminated against and their rights trampled upon in the name of tradition. He added that they had also been engaging persons accused of being witches. Mr Whittal urged District Assemblies in localities where the witches’ camps were located to take full responsibility of the welfare and wellbeing of the inmates.

Ghana’s Parliament on July 28, 2023, passed the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The object of the Bill is to amend the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Acts 29), to prohibit the practice by any person as a witch doctor or a witchfinder; to proscribe the declaration, accusation, naming or labelling of another person as a witch; and for related matters. The Private Member’s Bill was sponsored by Mr Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina.

Other sponsors are Hajia Laadi Ayii Ayamba, NDC MP for Pusiga; Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw, NDC MP for Wa East, Madam Helen Adjoa Ntoso, NDC MP for Krachi West and Madam Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah, NDC MP for Afram Plains North. Witch camps are settlements were women accused of being witches are kept for safety. Such women have been accused of witchcraft for reasons, including mental health problems.

Source: GNA

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