Children being abducted and used for human blood rituals is a part of life for some in the United Kingdom, according to a BBC News report.
According to Chris Rogers of the BBC, the trafficking of children from Africa to be used in human blood rituals is a common occurrence in the UK, where reportedly at least 400 African children over a period of just four years have been caught up in this ghoulish cultural practice.
The means by which these children are brought into the UK is unknown to British authorities, but the reason why they are being smuggled is clear and disturbing.
Witch doctors have become increasingly popular in Britain, according to authorities, and their means of promotions are not unlike those employed by any conventional businesses - through small ads or the use of leaflets, Rogers reports.
Anti-trafficking authorities point to the practice of "juju," according to the BBC report. The West African religion uses a form of witchcraft through the use of objects imbued with supernatural powers, and it is believed that is the source for the need of children.
Rogers reports that a trafficker can belong to any class or social group of people and that it is not the exclusive terrain of witch doctors.
According to the anti-trafficking charity organization, Ecpat UK, the Metropolitan Police and figures compiled by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP), many of these children have been subjected to "violent and degrading treatments, often involving forced extraction of their blood, to be used for clients demanding blood rituals."
Some children agreed to tell their story on the grounds that they would not be identified, due to fear of reprisals. One boy explained: "The traffickers or witch-doctors take your hair and cut your arms, legs, heads and genitals and collect the blood. They say if you speak out I can kill you."
Another victim is fearful due to the threat of a witch doctor. She said, [the] "witch doctor told me that one day he would need my head." She added, "Sometimes I would wake up and he would be standing over me with a knife, every night I was terrified that he would do it."
As reported by Rogers, a U.S. State Department report reveals that Uganda has been identified as one of the main culprits involved in the procurement of children to be used in smuggling. Accordingly, some 9,000 children have been reported unaccounted for over the past four years.
As the make-believe obsession of ghouls and goblins is observed this Halloween, it is important to consider the fate of children around the world, who are living through a ghoulish reality that is anything but make-believe.