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Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. Download the full report in English.
Download the annex of the report. Fanta realized she was pregnant when she was In Senegal, girls like Fanta face high levels of sexual and gender-based violence, including sexual exploitation, harassment and Mature lady fuck gambia, by teachers and other school officials.
Unfortunately, these girls have few options for justice. Such cases are not often reported or investigated by school authorities. In some cases, families prefer to negotiate with men who make girls pregnant, including reaching agreement with the men to provide financial support for the girls during pregnancy, rather than to seek redress through official channels. But in many other cases, these girls would not inform their families because the taboos and stigma associated with such pregnancies are so damaging.
Click to expand Image. Human Rights Watch found that some teachers abuse their position of authority by sexually harassing girls and engaging in sexual relations with them, many of whom are under The teachers often lure them with the promise of money, good grades, food, or items such as mobile phones and new clothes. Many of the cases documented in this report should be treated, and prosecuted, as sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
Sexual exploitation and harassment by teachers takes place in a variety of ways: some teachers would approach their students —during classes, or school evening activities — demanding a favor or requesting their phone s. Often, the exploitation and harassment span months or in one case, years. Girls are also affected by the gender stereotypes and sexual overtones they experience in class. Some girls feel wary when they know a teacher is making advances on a friend or classmate.
When these types of harassment or abuse take place, teachers, parents, or even classmates, often blame the girls for attracting unnecessary attention from teaches, or provoking teachers with their outfits. However, teachers in Senegal, like their peers in many other countries, swear to adhere to a non-binding ethical and professional oath when they begin their teaching careers, pledging never to use their authority over students for sexual purposes. Harassment and coercion of students for sexual purposes and the abuse of their power and authority over by teachers carries the maximum sentence of 10 years.
There have been reports in the Senegalese media of rape by teachers in schools across the country, raising serious concerns about what many girls may be going through. Sincemedia reports show that at least 24 primary and secondary school teachers have been prosecuted for rape or acts of pedophilia — both constitute sexual offenses under Senegalese law.
Although it is important that these prosecutions have taken place, our findings suggest that prosecution, professional sanction by superiors, or redress for other forms of sexual violence, particularly sexual exploitation, has been limited. But many cases of sexual exploitation and harassment by teachers have gone unreported, and school authorities have not held perpetrators able.
Although some principals take allegations seriously, they try to conduct informal investigations, talk to staff discretely, and address problems internally, to protect their staff, retain teachers, or prevent scrutiny from education inspectorates or child protection committees.
In addition, talking about sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse is considered a taboo topic for many girls. Moreover, many students do not fully understand what sexual offenses are. Education about the full spectrum of offenses, or how to prevent and report sexual exploitation, harassment or abuse is scarce, and certainly not part of a national effort. Even when girls who are sexually exploited, harassed or abused want to come forward, they are reluctant to report cases within schools for fear of being stigmatized or shamed.
Mature lady fuck gambia they do come forward, senior school officials do not always take their word for it, and in some cases, are told that they have provoked their teachers. This has led to mistrust among students, and a feeling that reporting abuses will amount to nothing. As a result, girls affected by sexual exploitation, harassment, or other forms of abuse, rarely see their cases investigated, or see their perpetrators brought to through the judiciary and the Ministry of National Education. Init adopted a robust child protection strategy, which launched child protection committees at all administrative levels.
With international support, the government has also targeted some resources, seeking to end teenage pregnancies, and to empower girls. Many school teachers, according to Human Rights Watch research, are genuinely working to ensure that students study in a safe learning environment, so that they can successfully complete their education.
Many focus on tackling school-related sexual abuse. For example, some school principals have, on their own initiative, adopted zero tolerance policies for school-related abuses, and have openly talked about unlawful and unacceptable behaviors, to make girls feel comfortable with reporting any abuse or harmful behavior. Also, some committed teachers have dealt with these issues through child rights and child protection trainings, and organized awareness raising events at school to break down the taboos associated with these abuses. Existing efforts to ensure retention of girls in secondary schools have often complemented school-based initiatives to curb teenage pregnancy rates.
These have tended to focus on opening extra-curricular spaces for students to discuss family planning, and how to avoid HIV and sexually transmitted infections. But the government needs to do a lot more to ensure students have access to adequate comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education.
The government has been needlessly slow to adopt a national comprehensive sexual and reproductive health curriculum. Most public secondary schools in the regions where Human Rights Watch conducted research do not provide adequate, comprehensive and scientifically-accurate content on sexuality or reproduction.
In most schools, abstinence remains the leading message. Some of the teachers who lead extra-curricular spaces provide students with some information about contraception, on the basis that this information will only be applied once students get married. Also, there are limited opportunities for young people to obtain useful information within the community.
Human Rights Watch calls on the government of Senegal to adopt a stronger national response to end sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse in schools. Among its top priorities, the government should adopt a nation-wide policy to tackle sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse in schools. The government should also focus on increasing ability for school-related sexual offenses.
It should ensure principals and senior school staff understand their obligation to properly investigate any allegation of sexual exploitation, harassment, or abuse. It should introduce adequate trainings on child protection for all teachers, through pre and in-service training. The government should strive to end the culture of silence around school-related sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse, including by making reporting processes clearer, confidential and student-friendly, and roll-out a public education campaign directed at students and young people.
This campaign should tackle the stereotypes, taboos and stigma that make girls and young women feel that they are guilty for sexual abuses committed against them. The campaign should also seek to equip students with the knowledge to understand what sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse is, and the confidence to speak out whenever it happens.
Human Rights Watch chose these regions because they have some of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the country, as Mature lady fuck gambia as high levels of child marriage and low secondary school retention, according to United Nations and government figures. We also consulted local and national nongovernmental organizations NGOsmany of whom shared information or evidence from their existing programming assisting children affected by sexual and gender-based violence in these regions. Human Rights Watch conducted 42 individual interviews with 27 girls and 15 young women.
Their ages ranged from 12 to 25 years. Thirty-three attended school at the time of the interview while the other nine were no longer in school. Three of the girls said they were married, and nine girls and young women were pregnant or already had children. Although Human Rights Watch also interviewed girls who attended Franco-Arab, faith-based, and private secular schools, the findings included in this Mature lady fuck gambia focus on the situation in secular government secondary schools.
We also conducted focus group discussions with a total of secondary school students in 4 public schools and in 4 villages, ranging from 7 to 22 participants in each of the groups. All participants were informed that they could speak individually to researchers following group discussions.
Interviews were conducted in French, or in Wolof, Pular, Jola, or Mandinka, and translated into French by adolescent health volunteers and representatives of nongovernmental organizations who accompanied Human Rights Watch researchers. Human Rights Watch makes every effort to abide by best practice standards for ethical research and documentation of sexual violence.
We preceded and ended all interviews with a detailed explanation of informed consent to ensure that interviewees understood the nature and purpose of the interview and could choose whether to speak with researchers. Human Rights Watch informed girls and Mature lady fuck gambia women that they could stop or pause the interview at any time and could decline to answer questions or discuss particular topics. Some girls and young women preferred not to discuss personal experiences of school-related sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse, but spoke about friends or classmates affected by these experiences.
Six girls and young women said they themselves suffered sexual exploitation, harassment or abuse in the context of school. A further 10 girls and young women provided information on cases of sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse of friends or relatives. Most girls and young women interviewed knew of fellow classmates who had experienced school-related sexual exploitation or harassment.
In addition, the report includes information based on 11 interviews with teachers and activists, as well as mental health, adolescent health and child protection experts who supported girls and young women who had endured sexual exploitation, harassment, or abuse in the context of school.
Finally, researchers interviewed four relatives or legal guardians of girls or young women who had experienced sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse. Human Rights Watch makes no claims about the scale of school-related sexual exploitation, harassment or abuse by teachers in secondary schools across all of Senegal. Based on our research and findings, we note that issues raised in this report are underreported and the scale of school-related sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse of female and male students is unknown.
Reporting on sexual abuse against girls and young women is greatly affected by deeply entrenched taboos and stigma associated with both talking about, and coming forward to report, any form of sexual abuse committed against girls. The issue is also compounded by the lack of confidential reporting mechanisms. However, evidence suggests that many girls and young women are affected by school-related sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse.
Our findings on these particular abuses are consistent with evidence gathered by the government, UN agencies and national and international organizations, which shows that these abuses occur in the regions where we conducted research, as well as in other parts of the country.
For protection reasons, names of children and young women used in the report are pseudonyms. Focus group discussions are referenced by location, and not by school, to further protect those interviewed. Some teachers and senior school officials are referred to anonymously to protect their identity where information provided could result in retaliation by perpetrators, other school officials or local government authorities. Also, for protection reasons we do not specify exact locations of children or alleged perpetrators. We also interviewed mental health experts and practitioners, and development partners.Mature lady fuck gambia
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