Target: President Macky Sall
Goal: Stop the exploitation of young boys in Senegalese boarding schools
Despite promises from the Senegalese government to investigate the exploitation of young boys in boarding schools, the country has made no progress in protecting thousands of youth from physical abuse and ill-treatment. Senegal’s president Macky Sall, after the death of eight boys in a Dakar boarding school, assured human rights groups that he’d rectify the situation by drafting a legislation that would set strict standards for living conditions and end manipulation by boarding school principals and teachers. So far, Human Rights Watch reports that Sall has maintained apathy and indifference.
Today, thousands of followers of the Quran continue to persuade poor Senegalese families to enroll their sons in Quranic boarding schools to obtain honorable and moral educations. The Quranic teachers then narrate stories of superb living conditions, meals, clothing and world class education. Trusting them, the families ship young boys off with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, unaware of the dangerous and disparaging lives many of the boys will come to lead.
Stories of brutal beatings with electrical cords, ropes and whips plague the Quranic boarding school lifestyle, as well as torment and burnings using caustic substances and forceful impositions by teachers to beg for money and other goods from strangers. In a report by Human Rights Watch, more than 150 boys, at any given time, can be seen begging for money in Dakar suburbs and other urban areas throughout the country. Some boys, no older than 6, are required to make 500 – 1,000 CFA francs — the equivalent of US $1 to $2 dollars, a day. Others are told to beg for uncooked rice or sugar. If the boys don’t reach their quota, they face incomprehensible assault.
What’s worse are the living conditions these child slaves endure. As many as 20 boys will sleep on the floors of small, dimly lit rooms. Others are forced to sleep outside of makeshift shacks near garbage dumps, animal carcasses, car parts and charred debris.
No child should be swindled into a life of trafficking and oppression. Urge President Macky Sall to shut down these inhumane schools and establish a legislation that improves living conditions and enforces human rights.
Dear President Macky Sall,
It has come to my attention that you’ve done nothing to improve the lives of young boys hoodwinked into human trafficking, exploitation and abuse by Quranic ‘teachers.’ There is simply too much lax in the regulation of any of these ‘boarding schools’ that promise protection, a better life, and, most importantly, an education. Disease, infection, and troubling impositions are rampant and there are many boys, as young as 6 years old, who will never see or hear from their families ever again.
The disparity and injustice that you’ve allowed to occur in Senegal is unforgivable. I urge you to save these enslaved, scarred and ailing children from the disillusioned thinking touted by these so-called educators. Free them from the wrath of these savage impostors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Logan Abassi via wikimedia