Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


UN warns Britain over child voodoo, sex tourists

20 June 2014, 20:02

Geneva - Hundreds of children are believed to have been kidnapped in Africa and brought to Britain for brutal voodoo rituals, a UN watchdog said, urging London to do more to combat the scourge.

"We're concerned about reports that hundreds of children have been abducted from their families in Africa and trafficked to the UK, especially London, for religious rituals," said Kristen Sandberg, head of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

"They are used in so-called voodoo rituals, and are also raped and sexually abused. The number of convictions is extremely low," the former Norwegian supreme court judge said on Thursday.

British police are reported to have recorded scores of cases over the past decade of children who have faced torture and abuse as part of witchcraft rituals.

The case of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie - born in Ivory Coast - brought the issue into the public eye in 2000 when she was killed by relatives who said she was a witch.

They were jailed for life.

Thousands exploited

A year later, police found the dismembered corpse of a Nigerian boy in London's River Thames, believed to have been used in a ritual.

And in 2010, 15-year-old Kristy Bamu died after being tortured by his sister and her partner, both originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who claimed he was cursed.

They also received life sentences.

Sandberg said child trafficking for rituals was part of a wider problem, with thousands of minors brought into Britain every year for sexual exploitation and labour.

The CRC is made of up 18 independent experts who monitor the implementation of international children's rights treaties.

It held a hearing with British officials last month.

In its conclusions on that session, released on Thursday, it said Britain should "strengthen the capacity of law-enforcement authorities and judiciary to detect and prosecute trafficking of children for labour, sexual and other forms of exploitation, including for religious rituals".

British paedophiles abroad

The committee also sounded the alarm about British paedophiles who prey on children abroad.

"There are continued reports that United Kingdom citizens, including some convicted sex offenders, set up charities or travel abroad, where they sexually abuse children," said Sandberg.

She said South east Asia - notably Cambodia and Thailand - was a favoured destination and that orphanages were a source of victims.

The committee called for measures to strengthen identification, investigation and prosecution of British citizens involved in such crimes abroad, and for travel bans on convicted and alleged abusers.

The British government said newly-introduced orders could be applied to people convicted or cautioned for sex offences, and against those deemed to pose a risk of sexual harm even if they have never been convicted.

They can restrict an individual's Internet use, travel abroad, or time spent with minors.

Meanwhile a national group led by the Home Office interior ministry will look at how the police and other agencies can better identify and combat sexual offending.

"The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders and we are giving police even more tools to protect children at home and abroad," said crime prevention minister Norman Baker.

"Our two new civil prevention orders will make it easier to restrict the movement and activities of anyone who poses a risk of causing sexual harm to children and adults - not just those who have been convicted of sexual offences."

He said the National Crime Agency now had more resources to track child sex offenders and was working closely with police forces in Britain and abroad.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...