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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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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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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.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
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Governments, Donors Should Energize Support at Dakar Summit

(Dakar) – The slow growth of free secondary education for all is jeopardizing the futures of millions of children globally, Human Rights Watch said today, in advance of the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) 2018 Replenishment…
Secondary school students in a classroom in southern Senegal.
News
“It’s not strange to see a student who’s inappropriately dressed… Some girls wear short skirts… they copy whatever they see on TV. And there are boys and men who aren’t good men, you know?” Principal Abdul, a young secondary…
Secondary school girls in a classroom in southern-Senegal.
News

Other Countries in Francophone Africa Should Follow Suit

When it comes to end-of-life care and pain treatment, Francophone Africa has a long way to go. But, Senegal is one country working to change this. A 2012 study found 16 of 22 countries in Francophone Africa have no healthcare…
During a morphine shortage, a cancer patient in Dakar cluthes onto the railing of her hospital bed because she is in pain and the medication she needs is unavailable.