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Senegal: Abusive Teachers Sentenced | Human Rights Watch

Senegal: Abusive Teachers Sentenced | Human Rights Watch
Sometimes, protests work. If you remember the series of stories on the 'schools' in Senegal which were really more like Fagin's in Oliver Twist, Human Rights Watch notes that the awareness campaign has actually resulted in some sentences for abuse:

Dakar - The arrest and conviction of seven Quranic teachers who forced boys trusted to their care to beg is a significant move forward for children's rights in Senegal, Human Rights Watch said today. The men were sentenced on September 8, 2010, marking the first application of a 2005 law outlawing the practice; two more men are scheduled to face the same charges on September 9. The authorities should make the children's welfare the top priority as they work to return the boys to their families, Human Rights Watch said.

The prosecution was part of an effort by Senegalese authorities to combat the widespread practice of exploitation and forced labor endured by tens of thousands of boys entrusted to men like the accused for the purposes of learning the Quran.

Each of the seven men was sentenced in a Dakar court to six months imprisonment with a suspended sentence and a fine of 100,000 francs CFA (US$200). "The arrest and conviction of these men represents a welcome step toward ending the exploitation of vulnerable children under the guise of supposed religious education," said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The Senegalese government should continue prosecuting abusers while at the same time ensuring that the boys are safely returned

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