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Government Should Promptly Adopt Strong Policy to Tackle Abuses against Students

The hashtag #JusticePourLouise has been trending in Senegal in recent days, the latest grim reminder of the country’s failure to deal with the scourge of sexual violence in Senegal’s education system. In the latest case, a 19-year-old male student…
A young woman stands by a window at a secondary school in Dakar. 
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Governments Should Urgently Tackle Education-Related Abuses

(London) – Governments around the world should urgently step up efforts to ensure students’ safety at school and in online spaces, Human Rights Watch said today on the first International Day against Violence and Bullying at School Including…
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Government Should Ensure Children’s Right to Food During Covid-19

As children across England return to school this week, the government should prove it has learned from its mistakes after school closures during Covid-19 left pupils going hungry. Department for Education (DfE) guidance published late last week, just…
Students wash their hands as they arrive on the first day back to school at Charles Dickens Primary School in London, England, September 1, 2020.
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Inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services

Introduction Human Rights Watch welcomes the Commons Select Committee’s inquiry into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to address the public health emergency on children’s access to education and other essential rights, and the…
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Roadmap for Reform Seeks Bold Action to Protect Talibé Children

(Dakar) – The Senegalese government has not gone far enough to combat the chronic and widespread abuse, exploitation, and neglect of thousands of talibé children living in traditional Quranic schools, Human Rights Watch and the Platform…
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Report
Summary “Everyone knows there is enormous suffering for talibé children in certain daaras. It’s time for the government to take concrete action to protect talibé children and end the abuse.” – Mamadou Wane, president, Platform for the…
Report
  Summary Dusty, dirty, and often-barefooted boys holding empty tomato cans or plastic bowls as they beg for money remain a common sight in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, and in many other cities across the country. Most of them…
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Protests Against LGBT Curriculum Force Suspension of Inclusive Programs

Debate is growing in the UK over schools teaching children about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identities and relationships. When a Birmingham school started the “No Outsiders” program, lessons aimed…
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Time to End the Culture of Silence Around Harassment, Exploitation, and Abuse

“I just saw your post on sexual harassment. Please send me your number – I’m going to explain to you what happened to me when I was a teenager.” That message – sent by a young woman to a Senegalese child rights activist –…
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In October 2017, I traveled to a small village in southern Senegal. I was there to investigate persistent allegations of sexual abuse in secondary schools. There I met 16-year-old Aïssatou, who told me that her teacher had…
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News

End Culture of Silence; Act Against Abusive Teachers

(Dakar) – Abusive teachers and other staff sexually exploit, harass, and abuse adolescent girls in Senegal’s secondary schools, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While Senegal has taken important steps to expand girls…
Secondary school girls in a classroom in a middle secondary school in Sédhiou, southern Senegal.
Report
  Summary In a village in the southern region of Sédhiou, 23-year old Fanta told Human Rights Watch about a secret “relationship” she had with her 30-year-old teacher, which began when she was 16. “I felt the shame in class…
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Sexual Exploitation, Harassment by Staff

He was Fanta’s teacher and he still teaches in the same school and lives in the same village. Fanta, who had to abandon her dream of being a midwife, has to see him in the community as she walks through the village with the son he rejected. “In…
Secondary school girls in a classroom in a middle secondary school in Sédhiou, southern Senegal.
News

African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.