In our ongoing efforts to eradicate harmful witchcraft accusations, it is essential to grasp the legal safeguards in place. The Cross River State Child Rights Law of 2023 stands as a pivotal shield against exploitation and abuse.

According to the provisions:

Section 41

  1. Any individual, group, corporate entity, or organization accusing a child of being a witch or wizard commits a criminal offense. Upon conviction, they face a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labor, a fine of N1,000,000 (One Million Naira), or both.
  2. If the offender is a corporate or unincorporated body, or any organization, those involved in promoting such accusations are jointly and severally liable to the penalties specified in subsection (1).

Section 42

  1. Any person or entity purportedly attempting to cure, purge, or exorcise a child of witchcraft, through torture, trial by ordeal, or any inhumane treatment, commits an offense. Upon conviction, they are subject to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira), or both.
  2. Similar to Section 41, corporate bodies and organizations face joint and several liability for such offenses.
  3. It is not a defense that the child confessed to being a witch or wizard.
  4. Additionally, the state may seal up premises for up to six months, with the possibility of forfeiture, as specified under subsection (1).

The law defines “torture” broadly to include physical, mental, and emotional trauma, emphasizing the severity with which these crimes are treated.

At Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, we are committed to ending the stigma and danger associated with witchcraft accusations. By promoting awareness of legal protections like those provided by the Cross River State Child Rights Law, we aim to safeguard vulnerable children and ensure their rights are respected.

Join us in our mission to end witchcraft accusation and create a safe environment where every child can thrive.


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