Thursday, February 12, 2009

Witchcraft & Human Rights Network Forms

UNHCR's Policy Development and Evaluation Service has created a "Witchcraft and Human Rights Network." It is an informal network where information about new developments, research and news related to witchcraft can be shared.

The first article shared with the network is an article written in New Issues in Refugee Research by Jill Schnoebelen called "Witchcraft Allegations and Displacement." Readers may download the article [pdf] from

If you are interested in participating in the network, please inform Maria Riiskjaer at

Best regards,
The Policy Development and Evaluation Service UNHCR Geneva

Anthropologist Exposes Organ Trafficking

Nancy Scheper-Hughes’ research on global organ trafficking was highlighted in a story by Newsweek recently. Hughes acknowledges that her methods, which include misleading some research subjects, bump up against the association’s ethics code. Her research has, however, helped generate awareness about the black market organ trade and the extent to which some US hospitals are complicit in this trade. If you have thoughts on this subject, please leave a comment below.

Image from

AAA Responds to Threats against Forensic Anthropologists

AAA President Setha Low and the Committee for Human Rights sent letters to the Guatemalan government requesting additional protection for members of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation who have been receiving death threats for their investigation of massacres that occurred in the 1980s. Vice President Rafael Espada responded to this request by temporarily increasing protection for targeted members. CfHR is working to secure continuous protection for these forensic anthropologists. The letters and Espada’s response (in Spanish) are available on CfHR's homepage.

AAA Joins AAAS' Science & Human Rights Coalition

The AAA recently attended the launch of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science and Human Rights Coalition. The coalition aims to increase communication and collaboration between scientific associations, individual researchers, and the human rights community in the pursuit of universal human rights. The January 14th launch opened with three notable speakers, including Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Ireland. The coalition has already been involved in two human rights initiatives organized by AAAS: 1) The Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project, which utilizes high-tech mapping tools to gather data on isolated conflicts, environmental destruction, and indigenous rights; and 2) “On-Call” Scientists, a program that connects scientists interested in volunteering their expertise with human rights organizations in need of such expertise. Anthropologists interested in participating in this coalition or volunteering with “On-Call” Scientists can find additional information at