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Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Nigeria on child welfare in that country, with particular reference to the situation of children identified by other people as witches or wizards. (302951)

We remain deeply concerned about the problem of children being accused of witchcraft in Nigeria. Our high commissioner in Abuja has been in frequent contact with the Governor of Akwa Ibom State to raise our concerns, including in July this year in response to information that charities dealing with the issue in the State had suffered intimidation.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also funds part of the work Stepping Stones Nigeria and the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network are undertaking in Akwa Ibom State including a public enlightenment campaign, which we hope will help change attitudes towards so-called ‘child witchcraft’.