Child abuse due to witchcraft

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-10-22
Session date: 
October 22, 2014
Reference: 
2014/3620
Question By: 
Andrew Boff
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Alarming news was released this week that suggested that there have been 27 allegations of child abuse for perceived witchcraft so far for this year, and 148 such allegations over the last decade. Can the Mayor let us know what he and MOPAC are doing to ensure that children are protected from such abuse, and does the Mayor believe that London must take the lead on tackling the cultural assumptions that underlie this type of crime?

Answer

Answer for Child abuse due to witchcraft

Answer for Child abuse due to witchcraft

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The abuse of children due to witchcraft is intolerable and I am determined for London to lead the way in clamping down on these appalling crimes.

I have established a Harmful Practices Taskforce which brings together partners from key London agencies including the MPS, NHS England, the London Safeguarding Children Board and the voluntary and community sector to combat abuse due to witchcraft and other harmful practices in London.

Through my Taskforce a lot of work is underway:

       MOPAC is working with five pilot boroughs to commission training and support services to improve the identification of, and response to children affected by faith-based abuse and other harmful practices. This will include the training of safeguarding, social care, health professionals and schools.

       MOPAC is also funding five pilot boroughs to undertake community engagement activity to empower victims/those at risk of these forms of abuse to seek support and importantly, to challenge the underlying attitudes and beliefs that support or condone these practices.

       These crimes are under-reported and often hidden, so I worked in partnership with the MPS to host a multi-agency conference at City Hall on 8 October to raise awareness of child abuse linked to faith or belief.

I also believe that robust enforcement is key to challenging the acceptability of these crimes and I will ensure that the MPS continues to maintain a strong focus on this issue.