Overcoming sorcery related violence

5th May 2016

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Miranda Forsyth is an Associate Professor at RegNet and also a Fellow at SSGM in the College of Asia and Pacific at ANU. The broad focus of Miranda’s research is investigating the possibilities and challenges of the inter-operation of state and non-state justice and regulatory systems.

At present her focus is on examining these issues in the context of both the protection of traditional knowledge and introduction of western intellectual property regimes, and also the regulation of sorcery and witchcraft related violence in Melanesia. Her research has had a strong focus on Vanuatu to date, but in the last few years she has also researched other countries in the Pacific islands region, particularly PNG, Fiji and Samoa.

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In this Regarding Rights blog post, Miranda Forsyth from RegNet, ANU, argues that, despite the overwhelming demand for “law” to fix sorcery related problems, it is also clear that any way forward must be multi-sectoral and involve meaningful engagement with communities.

A holistic response currently being trialed in Papua New Guinea targets both the immediate goal of cutting the link between accusation and violence, and long term goals involving education about both human rights and alternative explanations for misfortune.

Read the entire blog post on the Regarding Rights blog.

About Regarding Rights:

Regarding Rights is an initiative of the Centre for International Governance and Justice (CIGJ). Under the auspices of Professor Hilary Charlesworth’s ARC Laureate Fellowship Project ‘Strengthening the international human rights system: rights, regulation and ritualism’, Regarding Rights provides a forum for voices from activism and academia to comment on important issues in human rights.

Interested contributors should contact the editor Emma Larking.

Tags: Human rights

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet