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Child Sacrifice in Uganda on the Rise

By June 17, 2015Uganda
Ugandan children are abducted and castrated by
witch doctors every year (photo from
Child sacrifice continues to be on the rise in Uganda.  A recent news article identified that “these ‘gruesome crimes against children’ are ‘expected to rise’ with the 2016 Ugandan elections fast approaching.”

Protecting children is one of the four areas of focus of the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.

The Center’s efforts to protect children (beyond its efforts to combat human trafficking in children) currently focus on combatting child sacrifice in Uganda. 

The lack of the rule of law is one of the primary reasons for the rise of child sacrifice. Despite the fact that child sacrifice is explicitly illegal under Uganda’s Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2009, this law is not thoroughly enforced. Lack of enforcement results from corruption, lack of knowledge about the legal system, and fear among law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges that prosecuting and sentencing a witch doctor could be a threat to their own lives.

Heather Pate learned this exact thing when she interned in Uganda in 2013. In the summer of 2013, the Center sent rising 3L Heather Pate as the first legal intern to work with Kyampisi Child Care Ministries (KCM), a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Ugandan children. Heather provided KCM much needed legal guidance. Through her research and investigative work, Heather discovered that there were various gaps in Uganda’s laws relating to child sacrifice. She also discovered that over 60 cases of child sacrifice had been inexplicably dismissed from the Ugandan court system.  Read more about Heather’s experiences at KCM here.

The Center supports KCM with ongoing legal research and memoranda.  In the fall of 2014, for example, the Center Student Staff wrote a legal memorandum that was used by KCM to advocate before the government to take a strong stance against child sacrifice. The Center also drafted court petitions for KCM and provided other legal research.

Please pray for the end of child sacrifice in Uganda and for courageous police officers, prosecutors, and judges who will enforce the law despite the threats from witch doctors.  If you would like to make a donation toward the Center’s work to protect children, click here.