The ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is today hosting a conference in Accra to address the issue of ‘witchcraft accusations’ and witches camps in Ghana.
The conference under the theme “Protecting the Vulnerable: Witchcraft Accusations and Human Rights Abuse in Ghana”, and organised in partnership with ActionAid Ghana is anticipated to seek to approach the problem through a gendered lens.
Through the collective efforts of the Ministry, ActionAid Ghana and its partners Songtaba, as well as the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, the government will shut down one of six notorious witches camps in the Northern region on December 15, 2014.
The Technical Advisor in charge of Gender at the Ministry, Dinah Adiko in an interview told Starr News the forthcoming exercise is to affirm the nation’s commitment to ending human rights abuses associated with witchcraft accusations.
According to her “in addition to fulfilling its promises to get rid of the camps, this disbandment will also witness the reintegration of over 50 alleged witches into communities of their own choice. So far 199 alleged witches have been freed within the past one year, so adding 50 more to the lot will only mean we are making some progress. It means we have 249 out of captivity.”
Meanwhile, the five remaining Witches’ Camps in Ghana are being prepared for closure as the Bonyase witch camp has become the first to be rid of its existence.
The camps, Kukuo, Gnani-Tindang, Kpatinga, Nabuli, and the Gambaga camps houses inmates, both male and female between the ages of 60 and 70 years, are under very deplorable conditions, according to Adiko.
“It is important that we get more support from the general public, human rights organisations and other government institutions to make this work. It is a national problem and we must all get involved,” she noted.
She said the conference being organised today is geared toward ensuring a good solution is found to the problem.
“To ensure people understand the magnitude of the problem we are dealing with, we want to bring everyone who can make it together at the conference. There we will highlight the activities of these camps and discuss the implications of their actions and why the communities should be more supportive.”