Senegal fails to stop abuse of children in Qur’anic schools

Source: The Guardian

Tens of thousands of children in Senegal are still being forced to beg for their food by abusive teachers in Qur’anic schools, a year after the government began a crackdown on the issue, according to a survey.

report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that most of the children picked up on the streets by the authorities were later returned to the schoolteachers who had sent them out soliciting in the first place.

There had not been a single arrest or prosecution in connection with the widespread practice, despite hundreds of children telling police officers they had been victims.

Senegal has been under considerable international pressure to stop abuses against children – called talibé – who are sent by their families, often far from their homes, to get an education at Islamic schools (daaras). But many such schools then abuse the children in their care, sending them out to beg and punishing them harshly if they do not bring back a certain amount of money or food.

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