Children accused of witchcraft and juvenile crimes against the monarchy
According to a 2022 report by the African Child Policy Forum, hundreds of thousands of children across the continent are accused of witchcraft each year, and then almost always rejected by the community, forced out of their homes, physically attacked, and sometimes murdered. Some go to the centres such as “Eka Bana”, financed by Caritas, in the city of Bukavu, Congo. Around 60 children accused of witchcraft have found shelter there. Before that, they are seized by the police, and their cases are taken to juvenile court.
According to Amnesty International, nearly 300 criminal cases have been opened in Thailand against defendants who were children when they were arrested. The minors were taken into custody during the 2020-2021 protests when Thais called for reform to the monarchy and the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Of the children charged, 17 were charged with lese majeste under Article 112, which carries a penalty of 3 to 15 years in prison.
Seelampur, on the outskirts of New Delhi, is home to India’s largest electronic waste dismantling market, where nearly 50,000 people earn a living by extracting metals. Many of them are children who dismantle and recycle electro-waste. To extract precious metals like gold and copper, children burn toxic substances – including mercury, lead and arsenic – and use chemical solutions without wearing protective clothing. As a result, minors suffer from serious skin diseases and chronic lung infections.