Child Sacrifice in Uganda

The business of turning the human body into a product, something to be taken apart piece by piece to distribute to those who need or want it, is disturbing enough. One of the more alarming situations involving body part trafficking is the business of child sacrifice in Uganda. I came across a BBC article (Where Child Sacrifice is a Business) which addressed this topic a few days ago and I can’t seem to get it out of my head.

Though child sacrifice may not be what typically comes to mind when one thinks of body part trafficking, it certainly falls within this category. In Uganda it is becoming more and more common for children to be murdered specifically for the use of their blood, organs, and/or limbs mixed with other elements in a ritual ceremony performed by a witch doctor. The blood/organs/limbs are forcibly taken from a kidnapped child and transported to a witch doctor who organizes the murder and ritual itself.

Some children are cut to collect blood for rituals. Photo: BBC News

Child sacrifice in Uganda is an old practice performed by witch doctors to bring wealth and good health. This practice was virtually unseen for several decades, but has grown over the past couple years along with the (slight) boost in Uganda’s economy. With the upward turn in the Ugandan economy took, people are becoming greedy and lusting for more money.

Due to the innocence of young children, they become prime targets for witch doctors performing the human sacrifice ritual.

Needless to say, the mutilation and killing of children to obtain child body parts to give to a witch doctor for a chance at monetary gain is completely appalling to me. To violate anyone’s body in such a way is horrific, but to do such things to a defenseless child reaches a level of repulsion that I cannot stomach.

By reducing a child’s body to a commodity, the business of child sacrifice has flourished. Children rarely survive these brutal attacks and are usually found left for dead in fields or on the sides of roads. Many are kidnapped and a child trafficking market has started to form specifically for the purpose of child sacrifice.

The lack of national response to this issue is very disappointing.

The Ugandan police did form an Anti-Sacrifice Police Task Force, yet many dispute the accuracy of the statistics this task force produces. The charity Jubilee Campaignreports that there are hundreds of cases and more than 900 cases which have yet to be reported. This presents a stark contrast to the 38 cases the Anti-Sacrifice Police Task Forces claims to exist since 2006.

Child left for dead after an attack. Photo: Jubilee Campaign

Though the police and government in Uganda claim to be doing all they can to tackle to problem, realistically the police are limited by lack of resources and evidence. Yet doubts and accusations of possible corruption still circle the efforts of the Anti-Sacrifice Police Task Force and the Ugandan police/government.

Several things need to change to stop the increase in child sacrifice in Uganda. New legislation needs to be implemented and enforced and the Task Force needs better resources to tackle the problem. The child sacrifice ritual needs to be separated from traditional healing and needs to be discredited as a reliable practice. Most importantly, more assistance needs to be provided to victims and citizens of Uganda to dissuade the environment of fear, educate, and build confidence.

To learn more about Child Sacrifice in Uganda, please visit the Jubliee Campaign’s website and download their report.




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