Sustain Momentum with Investigations, Prosecutions.
The Senegalese government’s recent initiative to remove children including those forced to beg by their Quranic teachers from the streets is an important step in reforming a deeply entrenched system of exploitation, Human Rights Watch and the Platform for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (PPDH), a coalition of 40 Senegalese children’s rights organizations, said today.
The groups urged authorities to sustain the momentum with investigations and prosecutions of teachers and others who commit serious violations against children. During the first half of 2016, at least five children living in residential Quranic schools died, allegedly as a result of beatings meted out by their teachers, known as marabouts, or in traffic accidents while being forced to beg.
In 2015 and 2016, dozens of these children, known as talibés, have also been severely beaten, chained, and sexually abused or violently attacked while begging. The deaths and other abuses highlight the urgency with which the government should penalize those responsible for abuse and regulate the traditional Quranic schools, known as daaras.