Religion and Human Rights of Women and Children at the Gambaga Witch Camp in the Northern Region of Ghana.

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July, 2016.
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It is not an uncommon feature to see that women and children in different places of our world being subjected to all forms of abuses. Usually, their male counterparts do not face the same kind or level of abuses. One common area where such abuses are clearly seen is in the performance of cultural practices and customs. Apparently, belief in the existence and activities of witches is prevalent among Africans and this belief is usually accompanied with various accusations, physical abuses as well as emotional tortures. These abuses and maltreatments have human rights implications that is looked at critically. Many women who are unable to bear these accusations and abuses escape the punishment of community folks and flee to established witch camps that are meant to protect and sustain their lives. However, these camps are unable to ensure the protection of their human rights. For the most, it is religious groups and communities who successfully support them as they live at the camp. The study practically examines how various accusations, abuses as well as life at the witch camp have human rights implications, and attempt to suggest various ways through which the rights of these inmates may be protected. This study was conducted by employing methods of analysis such as questionnaire, interviews, photographs, on site seeing and note taking as well as literature from relevant sources. The study contributes to the pool of knowledge which reveals that religious institutions, rather than the government, have been instrumental in providing, promoting and preserving the rights of the accused witches at the Gambaga witch camp.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Religious Studies.