The London murders of 8 year old Victoria Climbie and 15 year old Kristy Bamu brought witchcraft child abuse into the spotlight. Despite this, the number of cases of ritualistic abuse of children being reported to the Metropolitan Police has increased every year for the past decade.
Police are meeting with teachers, health care and social workers at City Hall to work out how to tackle the problem
Dan Freedman went to the event to find out what is being discussed.
Crimes against children including dunking in a bath and forcing them to drink unknown substances reported.
The Metropolitan Police Service and the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service, will be hosting a multi-agency event at City Hall today, to raise awareness of child abuse linked to faith or belief.
In the past year 27 allegations have been reported, which is an increase on previous years.
The investigations relate to ritual child abuse, ranging from child neglect, common assault, ABH, administrating noxious substances to sexual assault offenses.
Crimes against children including dunking in a bath and forcing them to drink unknown substances have been reported to the Met this year
Simon Bass from the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service says that this may not be a 'London centric' issue, but it is only the Met police who are correctly 'tagging' reported crimes. He hopes this event will raise more awareness.
A training film aimed at all front-line professionals who work with children will be launched at the event. Commissioned by the Metropolitan Police's Project Violet team advises how to recognise the signs that a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm from abuse linked to witchcraft and spirit possession.
Representatives from education, children's social care, healthcare, faith organisations and non-governmental organisations will be at the event to debate and seek solutions to this harmful practice.