Rotary Club of Phuket South Mini Marathon 2017 The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Senegal authorities sweeping child beggars off streets

SENGAL: In recent weeks, packs of shoeless boys and girls have been coaxed off the streets of the Senegalese capital Dakar where they have spent their childhoods, crying and frightened as they are loaded onto buses.

culture, crime, religion,


AFP

Sunday 21 August 2016, 04:00PM


A young Senegalese boy, known locally as a ‘talibe’, begs at the window of a car in Dakar in April 15. Photo: Malick Rokhy/AFP
A young Senegalese boy, known locally as a ‘talibe’, begs at the window of a car in Dakar in April 15. Photo: Malick Rokhy/AFP

The crackdown on child begging comes after years of inaction and has been praised by children’s groups but greeted with anger by powerful Islamic figures in the west African nation.

The children are from a mix of poor or homeless families and others known as “talibes” – boys sent out to beg by Islamic tutors to make money for their boarding schools.

They are brought to Guinddi Children’s Centre in the capital accompanied by social workers, where they are interviewed and checked for signs of maltreatment and disease.

“"The children are generally unaccompanied. When they come here we ask them for the telephone number of their tutor or Koranic teacher and they give it to us,” explained Maimouna Balde, director of the Guinddi centre.

Parents, or Islamic teachers known as “marabouts”, will generally come and pick up the children themselves, Balde said, whereupon the centre’s staff explain that if their charges are found on the streets again they will be prosecuted.

The operation will continue “for as long as there are children on the streets,” she said.

With 270 street kids picked up in the first two weeks of July in Dakar, according to the authorities, the initiative is a long way from dealing with the 30,000 talibes estimated to be begging daily.

Often from poor rural families, the talibes are sent to Dakar and other Senegalese cities nominally to memorise the Koran, but are often left vulnerable to abuse and receiving little education.

Sometimes the journey home is long: on July 11 nine children were repatriated to neighbouring Guinea after being collected from the streets, according to one Guinean charity.

The current crackdown is the first time a decade-old law has been firmly applied, with parents or guardians of child beggars potentially facing two to five years in jail and fines of up to 2,000,000 CFA (B117,389).

“There are fattened calves hidden behind this education system to exploit children through begging, which is an easy and profitable business,” Niokhobaye Diouf, national director of child protection services.

Lucky 13 Bar and Grill

Parents of street children should be assessed to see if they could benefit from state welfare and health programmes to deter them from relying on their children’s labour, he said.

Talibes are told to beg for food and money and not to return to their “daara” – Islamic school – until they have collected enough.

Even late at night in Dakar, children only visibly out of kindergarten, can be seen shaking empty tins of food, trying to get enough to be allowed to finish up for the day.

Dealing with the systematic slavery of children in Senegal in this way has been attempted and then abandoned by the state several times before.

Until now, the power of tradition means few have been willing to challenge the marabouts, given their status and the respect they are afforded as Islamic scholars.

Muslim elder Sidy Lamine Niasse told journalists the government “doggedly pursued daaras” to “stigmatise and demonise” them.

But the schools have a long history of abuse: in February, the Senegalese authorities found 20 boys aged between six and 14 kept in chains by their marabout – resulting in a rare prosecution.

Mustapha Lo, president of the national federation of Koranic schools, said the street sweep was taken without consulting Muslim educators and downplayed the concerns relayed by children’s charities.

“The majority of us manage our Koranic schools without making the children beg on the streets. Some Koranic teachers do that because they lack any other financial means,” Lo said.

Countering their arguments, Diouf said the government hopes to reform the daaras’ curriculum while giving them a better level of financial support.

More than their education is at stake: the authorities want to avoid children falling prey to jihadist recruiters in the region, who are luring young men away with promises of riches and glory.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket M-Slaz rider dies after high-speed collision with pickup truck

I respect your opinion, Foot. To answer you: High speed is a speed that you not able to control yourself when something happens in front of you. A...(Read More)


Red Bull heir threatened with arrest after latest no-show

That this wealthy criminal can do what he wants is not surprising. He can do that because thai government justice system let him do what he wants. I...(Read More)


Cabbie caught, charged with raping Brazilian tourist

After he did this for the 3rd time now he should get a long jail term and after that he should be kept in precautionary custody....(Read More)


Parks department mulls closing Maya Bay

Although i agree that something has to be done about" Maya Bay",i find it strange that Kurt comes here with an endless finger pointing comme...(Read More)


Phuket M-Slaz rider dies after high-speed collision with pickup truck

I'm with simon01 on this one. We do know the truck pulled out in front of him. Kurt, maybe "high speed" was a contributing factor, b...(Read More)


Phuket M-Slaz rider dies after high-speed collision with pickup truck

Yet another one. Why dont people look when pulling out, setting off, doing U turns, changing lane. Ok they say the bike was going fast BUT in Phuket t...(Read More)


Srivara insists Mae Hong Son governor tied to sex trade scandal

Is mr Suebsak still holding official Governor position this time? Is it not appropriate to transfer him out of the province to a ( perhaps temporaril...(Read More)


Cabbie caught, charged with raping Brazilian tourist

Yep once again Jor 12 completely missing the point, if the guy has been convicted twice already how on earth has he been allowed anywhere near a publi...(Read More)


Phuket M-Slaz rider dies after high-speed collision with pickup truck

The person who drives 'high speed' is always at fault when a accident occurs due to 'out of control'. Traffic law is very clear. Mo...(Read More)


Phuket Army chief confirms BYO umbrellas, sun loungers welcome at Surin Beach

While banning vendors on the beach will remove certain money making opportunities for locals, it will also create new opportunities... like rental ser...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.