Sunday, August 1, 2021

I AM A “Talibé” IN SENEGAL

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ore than half of the population of Senegal live below the poverty line. Children are much more affected and their rights are not respected. They face many kinds of abuse and even being forced to beg daily for money, food, rice or sugar. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 100,000 children in Senegal are forced to beg on the streets for food and money.

Almost 40% of children in Senegal do not go to school.

According to UNESCO, Senegal has an adult literacy rate of 51.9%. Male literacy rate is 64.81%, females is 39.8%, showing a big gap between the sexes.

Parents who cannot afford to send their  young boys to school, turn to “daaras”, which are Koranic schools. These children are called “talibés”, are to remain at the teacher’s or marabout’s home to instruct them the religion.

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n These “daaras” or Koranic schools, young boys are subjected to any kind of abuse, including being forced to beg daily for food and money which the marabout collects at the end of the day.

In addition, daaras lack proper regulations and guidelines, and they are often dirty places where hygiene and personal care are missing. In some daaras, children are beaten, raped, imprisoned, tied or chained.  In 2018, Human Right Watch reported 16 deaths of talibé children due to abuse or neglect, 15 cases of actual or attempted rape or sexual abuse, and 14 cases of children imprisoned, tied or chained in daaras.

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he Rising Against Forced Child Begging Project was created in response to children abuse in Senegal and to protect the rights of children in Senegal.

The project  is composed of two elements; the Child Protection Committee and the Emergency Talibe Shelter.

Contact info: [email protected]