Protecting Children Being Forced to Beg

In response to a Human Rights Watch investigation, Senegalese authorities have begun enforcing a law prohibiting anyone from forcing a child to beg. Since we released our report on widespread abuses taking place at Quranic boys’ schools, ten teachers who forced children to beg have been convicted.
In late 2009 Human Rights Watch researchers documented the system of exploitation in which boys who attend Quranic schools are forced to beg all day, seven days a week on Senegal’s streets to meet quotas for food and money set by their teachers. The teachers, known as marabouts, often live in relative affluence because they keep everything the boys (know as talib├ęs) receive from begging. Should the boys fail to meet the quotas, they may be severely beaten by the marabouts.