On Monday 7th June we held a special virtual event, telling the inside story of our five-year fight (seven years for Annie) to change the law in Uganda and put an end to the horrific practice of child sacrifice. All members of our panel have dedicated themselves to the fight for change and we heard from them about the many highs and lows, what inspired the campaign, and how it all started with a group of local community volunteers working to protect their own children.
Our Panel included:
We’ve put together a video of our highlights from the evening for you to watch...
In May 2021, Ugandan Parliament made the momentous decision to pass The Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill. The Bill was officially passed into law by the President on the 14th July 2021. Together with Annie Ikpa, Children on the Edge have been at the forefront of campaigning for this vital change since 2016.
The passing of the Human Sacrifice Bill is monumental; ending the horrifying practice of child sacrifice in Uganda, saving lives and making communities safer for children.
Gladys Akelo, Programme Coordinator at Children on the Edge Africa said:
"When the news came through about the Bill passing we were all in a team meeting. The whole of our office was jumping up and down, screaming and shouting. It is a huge load off our shoulders after over five years of campaigning. It is a milestone and the fact that the law not only covers direct perpetrators, but those who fund and fuel them from the shadows, this will make the difference”.
THE CAMPAIGN TO END CHILD SACRIFICE
Child sacrifice emerged as a horrifying form of child abuse in Uganda. In the past decade, the sacrifice of children in Uganda has been cited by the media, police and Government of Uganda as a major child protection concern. Police records continue to highlight numerous cases of child sacrifice in the country and the media in Uganda has been awash with stories covering the gruesome ritualised mutilation or murder of young children.
The Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice Bill Act 2021 addresses gaps in the existing legislation that did not adequately treat the appalling practice of child sacrifice as a specific crime. Communities now have the backing of the law to protect their children.
Watch the original campaign video made by campaigner, Annie Ikpa.
Rachel Bentley, CEO and Co founder of Children on the Edge says:
“Human sacrifice cases have a very unique nature, but have historically been prosecuted as murder under the Penal Code Act, or under Human Trafficking legislation, neither of which is sufficient to deal with the crime. Sadly, this has resulted in perpetrators committing crimes with relative impunity and the unchecked growth of the practice”.
A ‘Child Protection Team’ model was created by Children on the Edge at the height of a spate of child sacrifice killings in Jinja, Uganda in July 2012, effectively eradicating incidents in one slum community, Masese II. Since then we have been working with four further communities, to make them safer and eradicate the practice of child sacrifice, along with campaigning for a change in the law in Uganda to protect children from this awful crime at the national level.
HELP US SUPPORT THREE NEW SLUM COMMUNITIES
Our work with slum communities has been so transformative that we are now working towards expanding into three new communities in Uganda. We want to replicate this successful model in three new communities in Uganda (Busia, Karamoja and Namataala) to tackle child rights abuses and ensure vulnerable children are better protected and able to thrive.
£41 could cover the cost of one workshop to train these new Child Protection Team members.