Call for Papers
Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession and Safeguarding African Children
A two day International Conference
Venue: London, UK
Date: 8-9 November 2011
Increasing numbers of African children are suffering the consequences of being branded as witches or as possessed by evil spirits. This is particularly so in many parts of Africa and is equally a reality here in the UK. Accusations of witchcraft within a community can lead to a litany of abuses: physical, emotional, and sexual and neglect resulting in maltreatment, torture and in some instances, death. In some African countries, it has led to children being rejected by their families, forcing children as young as 5 years onto the streets where they are further exposed to other forms of abuse and exploitation. These children resort to a range of survival mechanisms including drug abuse and theft. In the UK, there have been many recorded cases of children abused and harmed by their families in the belief that they are witches. At least two cases of children killed as a direct result of witchcraft branding are known to have occurred in the country.
The need to understand the context within which this form of abuse occurs, identify the drivers of witchcraft branding and examine strategies to increase protection for vulnerable children has become necessary in order to protect children from continuous harm.
This unique and timely conference will attract participants from across Europe, Asia and Africa to a two day Conference where the following themes will be explored through Papers, Workshops, Presentations and Posters.
- Witchcraft branding: theories, policy and practice at the national and/or international levels
- Witchcraft branding and the mental health of victims
- Witchcraft, religion and spirit possession
- Witchcraft, poverty and social exclusion?
- Witchcraft branding, culture and traditional beliefs
- Witchcraft branding and the legal framework in European and African countries
- Satanism and child abuse
You are invited to submit your 300 word abstract by Friday 5 August 2011. Abstracts should clearly indicate your preferred method of delivery and the theme/s your paper will address. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Wednesday 8 October 2011, along with a 100 word summary for the Programme Booklet. Abstracts received will be double blind peer reviewed where appropriate. Abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Committee and abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract.
E-mails should be titled: Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession and Safeguarding African Children.
Please use plain text (Arial 11) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We will acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive an acknowledgement from us within a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal and resend.
The Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession and Safeguarding African Children conference is holding as part of the activities to mark AFRUCA’s 10th year of existence. For further information about AFRUCA, visit our website at www.afruca.org.