The Addressing Children’s Basic Rights in Senegal (ABRIS) project focuses on combatting human trafficking and exploitation of children in Senegal, particularly those attending private religious schools.
While many such schools (called daaras) offer genuine religious instruction, some are highly exploitative, subjecting young children (called talibés) to forced begging as their entire means of survival, as well as putting them at risk of physical and sexual abuse in the daaras. Concentrated in large cities, exploited talibés are sent out onto busy streets for hours on end, required to return with a quota of small coins, rice, or sugar, facing beatings if the quota is not met.
The project is addressing this issue by building the capacity of communities and government actors to prevent and respond to trafficking and exploitation. Working closely with the Government of Senegal (GoS), and local partner ENDA Jeunesse Action, Plan is seeking four key changes that will contribute to concrete improvements for exploited talibé children:
- Increase the capacity of law enforcement and legal system personnel to identify and combat trafficking of talibé children: Plan is working closely with the government coordination unit for anti-trafficking (CNLTP) to identify relevant personnel from the law enforcement agencies and legal system, and provide training on anti-trafficking laws and principles of child-friendly justice.
- Strengthen the referral system for trafficking victims: Plan conducted mapping exercises in two urban areas, the Departments of Pikine and of Saint Louis, identifying the actors who should be involved in victim referral and making recommendations for a comprehensive system. These are being consolidated into standardized referral guidelines and procedures, which will be promoted at the national level.
- Raise awareness of the risks and prevalence of talibé trafficking: Many people in Senegal are unaware of the extent to which talibés from some daaras are exploited and trafficked. Plan and ENDA are reaching out directly to community and religious organizations to raise awareness of the phenomenon of forced begging.
- Increase community-based services for talibé trafficking victims: Plan and ENDA are working with community-based service providers and mayors’ offices to improve their coordination and planning, and to provide institutional support for their anti-trafficking work.
- US Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP)
- Project Start Date
- October 2013
- Project End Date
- September 2016
- Technical Areas Covered
- Child Protection; Child Trafficking