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Off the Backs of the Children: Forced Begging and Other Abuses Against Talibés in Senegal

This 114-page Human Rights Watch report documents the system of exploitation and abuse in which at least 50,000 boys known as talibés – the vast majority under age 12 and many as young as four – are forced to beg on Senegal’s streets for long hours, seven days a week, by often brutally abusive teachers, known as marabouts. The report says that the boys often suffer extreme abuse, neglect, and exploitation by the teachers. It is based on interviews with 175 current and former talibés, as well as some 120 other people, including marabouts, families who sent their children to these schools, Islamic scholars, government officials, and humanitarian officials.

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