The Radio Times description of the programme says:
"A shocking Dispatches film which reveals that in some of the poorest parts of Nigeria, where evangelical religious fervour is combined with a belief in sorcery and black magic, many thousands of children are being blamed for catastrophes, death and famine - and branded witches."What is particularly shocking is that these children accused of witchcraft are tortured and sometimes killed because of it. In the witch hunts in the western world, hundreds of years ago, the image is at least of adults being accused of witchcraft - however unfairly - but to hold children responsible for disasters and catastrophes seems about the most appalling thing I can think of.
And persecution of children because of a belief that they are witches is not limited to Nigeria, as is shown by the case of Victoria Climbié who was tortured to death in the UK only a few years ago after a religious leader said she was a witch.
While one petition is asking for a pardon for people executed in the witch hunts of bygone centuries, I think we should be making more efforts into saving these children now. One way of doing that is to support the charity Stepping Stones Nigeria. For more details, visit http://www.steppingstonesnigeria.org/