Papua New Guinea: Surge in Witchcraft Allegations Leads to Femicide and Fear

Over the past ten years, at least twenty-five women accused of witchcraft have been murdered in Papua New Guinea. New witchcraft allegations are forcing many women to flee their homes because they fear they will be killed. Government officials say belief in witchcraft is spreading rapidly across the country and “destroying communities.” They said the women most likely to be targeted as witches are marginalized women without male relatives to protect them. At least six people were killed earlier in 2014 amid allegations of sorcery and a woman was publicly burned alive in 2013 after she was accused of being a witch. 


Compiled fromWitchcraft allegations are creating a refugee crisis in PNG, a government official saysABC News Australia (January 5, 2015); Four women, 13 children at risk of murder in PNG after being accused of witchcraft, missionary says, ABC News Australia (December 27, 2014).