HUMAN RIGHTS ‘The law is the way it is.

Female genital mutilation and initiation into ... traditions. All over the world, diverse groups use arguments based on anti-rights interpretations of religion, culture and tradition to justify violence and discrimination.

Senior United Nations officials have called on Liberia to take strong action against deadly human rights violations masquerading as cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation, forced initiation into secret societies, witchcraft accusations, trials by ordeal and ritualistic killings. It is based on secondary data collected through review of studies, reports, policy documents and surveys from various data sets from national, regional and international organisations. This article reviews harmful traditional and cultural practices which lead to violation of women’s rights in SADC region and measures taken by the Member States to address them. This publication highlights agreements that affirm the universal and interconnected nature of human rights. Human rights abuses emanating from cultural and traditional practices ..... 15 6.1. Hence these hinder the rule of law and the protection of victims.

These practices, which are perpetrated and condoned by parents or significant adults within the The International NGO Council on Violence against Children presents a report on harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion or superstition that violate the rights of children. For women, upon whose shoulders the burden of upholding cultural norms and values often falls, traditional values can be a tool that curtails their human rights. If you try to apply it directly to tradition, you will find that it is not a perfect fit and will affect a lot of [cultural] practices such as initiation.”
Across regions, millions of children are subjected to various forms of harmful practices.

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