CHILD-WITCHES OF KINSHASA
FOTOGRAFIA ETICA WORLD REPORT SHORT STORY AWARDS 2014 - DAYS JAPAN INTERNATIONAL AWARDS JURY SPECIAL PRIZE 2012 - PRIX SCAM ROGER PIC JURY SPECIAL PRIZE 2011 - EUROPEAN JOURNALISM FESTIVAL INVESTIGATION PRIZE 2011
Between 20 000 and 50 000 children live in the streets of Kinshasa. Organized in gangs, they get by, sometimes thanks to theft or prostitution. More than two third of them were chased away from their home in the pretext that they were child-witches and responsible of all the troubles of the family (death, unemployment, disease, etc.). The immense majority of the people living in Kinshasa are persuaded by the truthfulness of this curse. More than one hundred new "child-witches" are so discovered every month and thrown out in the streets.
The faith in witchcraft is profoundly rooted in the Congolese culture, but the phenomenon, which consists in abandoning children by accusing them of witchcraft, took a notorious scale only since the end of 1990s.
In this immense overpopulated shanty town that is Kinshasa, where 95 % of the population get by below the poverty line, the children are unproductive mouths to feed.