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FORCED-MIGRATION  July 2010

FORCED-MIGRATION July 2010

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Subject:

Event: Witchcraft allegations, refugee protection and human rights, 4-5 Sept 2010, Oxford

From:

Forced Migration List <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forced Migration List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 9 Jul 2010 10:11:52 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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*Invitation to attend*

Witchcraft allegations, refugee protection and human rights: A course 
for lawyers and legal advisers
4-5 September 2010
Co-Hosted by Fahamu Refugee Programme and UNHCR

The course aims to arm lawyers and legal advisers with the information, 
networks and resources they require to represent those accused of 
witchcraft.  Participants will learn how to best represent those whose 
claims to asylum are based upon accusations of witchcraft, an emerging 
area of refugee law in which there is a need for specialized knowledge 
and training Accusations of witchcraft are occurring today in 
communities around the globe. Startling accounts of torture, starvation, 
abandonment and death have been documented. Accused witches have been 
executed by hanging, burying alive, drowning and burning, with paraffin 
or petrol thrown at them to ignite the fire. Its victims are often from 
vulnerable groups; the elderly, the disabled and increasingly over the 
past two decades, children.

*Key details*

The details are as follows;

Where?
Mawby Room, Kellogg College
62 Banbury Road Oxford OX2 6PN United Kingdom
Map available at http://www.kellogg.ox.ac.uk/about/contacts.php


When?
Saturday 4th September (10:00 – 18:00) and Sunday 5th September 2010 
(09:00 – 18:00)
Registration deadline: 21 August 2010.

How much?
£150 registration fee to be paid to Fahamu Trust.  Please note that 
participants must meet all of their own expenses including travel, 
accommodation and meals,

*The program*

This course will introduce participants to ‘What is witchcraft?’ and 
‘What is not witchcraft?’. Participants will learn to distinguish those 
accused of witchcraft from other groups with whom they are often 
confused, involving black magic, sorcery and healing and those whose 
lives are threatened because body parts are believed to bring good luck 
or fortune.  Contemporary examples of persecution of those accused of 
witchcraft will be used. Secondly, the course will discuss the provision 
of legal representation in the refugee status determination process to 
those accused of witchcraft.  The third component will bring together 
legal and NGO practitioners, academic experts and staff from UNHCR and 
other international organizations to discuss practical strategies, 
issues and challenges in providing legal representation to those accused 
of witchcraft.

*The presenters*

Jean La Fontaine Professor Jean La Fontaine is an anthropologist whose 
research interests, kinship, witchcraft and Satanism, have led her to 
become involved in contemporary debates concerning witchcraft 
accusations as a ground of asylum claims in Europe. Born, raised and 
educated in Kenya, she completed a BA and PhD Cambridge, and taught at 
Birkbeck College and the London School of Economics, where she is now 
Professor Emeritus. She specialised in Africa, having done research in 
Uganda (1953-55) and the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire 
(1962-3). Since 1984 she has worked freelance on research and 
consultancy projects in the UK, and in the 1990s was funded by the 
Department of Health to investigate allegations of satanic ritual abuse.

In 1998 her book, Speak of the Devil: Tales of Satanic Abuse in 
Contemporary England, compared the modern hysteria surrounding the 
subject with that of the witchcraft accusations of the 16th and 17th 
centuries.  She has been an expert witness in a child protection case in 
UK and has advised in cases concerning asylum seekers in the USA Jean La 
Fontaine currently holds an Emeritus Fellowship from The Leverhulme 
Trust for research into allegations of witchcraft against children in 
London and is an Honorary Research Fellow of Inform, the charity that 
specialises in providing reliable information about new religious 
movements. She has been Chair of the Association of Social 
Anthropologists, President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and 
has been awarded honorary doctorates by Linkoping University (Sweden) 
the Open University, and Goldsmith’s College London.

Isak Niehaus is a lecturer in Anthropology at Brunel University in the 
United Kingdom. He previously held teaching positions at the 
Universities of the Witwatersrand and of Pretoria in South Africa, and 
has served as visiting professor at Yale University in the United 
States. Isak has done extensive ethnographic research in different South 
African rural areas, and has published widely on the topic of 
witchcraft. He is the author of the monographs Witchcraft, Power and 
Politics: Exploring the Occult in the South African Lowveld (Pluto, 
2001) and Father of Misfortune: The Life of a South African teacher, 
1964-2005(Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). His research has 
enabled him to serve as expert witness and as assessor in South African 
rape and murder trials, involving witchcraft as defence.

Kingsley Jesuorobo is a Barrister and Solicitor of Ontario, Canada and 
Nigerian Bars. He was born in Nigeria where he studied law at the 
University of Benin and Nigerian Law School. After migrating to Canada, 
he also studied law at the University of Toronto and completed the Bar 
Admission Programme of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He has been a 
relentless refugee law litigator and advocate at Canada’s Immigration 
and Refugee Board and Federal Court since February 1996. He has garnered 
extensive experience from successfully handling asylum cases of those
accused of witchcraft before Canadian tribunals and courts. Some of his 
cases have been cited in major scholarly works on treatment of asylum
claims based on witchcraft accusation.

Kylie McGrath BA, Political Science, BA International Law, is a 
solicitor with experience in dealing with asylum claims based on 
witchcraft accusations, which have been successful before 
decision-makers in Australia.  She has spent time within the Policy 
Development and Evaluation Service at UNHCR developing this course and 
researching its content.

*How to register*

If you are able to attend, please complete this registration form: 
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/489/WitchcraftBrochure24June.pdf and 
email it to [log in to unmask]  Please do so as soon as possible as 
places are limited.

UNHCR and Fahamu Refugee Programme look forward to engaging with you in 
relation to this significant, emerging issue in refugee law.

For alternative payment methods, please send your registration form to 
[log in to unmask] and we will provide bank details for transfers.

Deadline for registration is 21st August 2010

Please send any replies to: [log in to unmask]

Rebecca Williams
--
Programme Manager
Fahamu

-- 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Note: The material contained in this communication comes to you from the 
Forced Migration Discussion List which is moderated by Forced Migration 
Online, Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), Oxford Department of International 
Development, University of Oxford. It does not necessarily reflect the 
views of the RSC or the University. If you re-print, copy, archive or 
re-post this message please retain this disclaimer. Quotations or 
extracts should include attribution to the original sources.

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