Rights group, Human Rights Watch says teen girls in Senegal are sexually exploited by “abusive teachers and other staff”.
The group says teachers and staff “sexually exploit, harass, and abuse adolescent girls in Senegal’s secondary schools.”
Human Rights Watch in its reports said “while Senegal has taken important steps to expand girls’ access to quality education, it needs to step up efforts to protect girls from these abuses”.
The group said on Thursday that “teachers who violate professional norms or Senegalese law” held responsible.
The 85-page report, documents “abuses against female students in secondary schools, primarily by teachers and school officials”.
“To its credit, Senegal has acknowledged that sexual violence is a serious problem in its schools,” said Elin Martínez, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report.
Martinez adds that “many teachers are getting away with sexually exploiting and harassing their students, who tolerate sexual offenses to advance in secondary school.”
Human Rights Watch said it “conducted interviews and group discussions with over 160 girls and young women.” It also spoke with “more than 60 parents, education experts, psychologists, local activists, development partners, and national and local government officials in eight districts in four regions of Senegal.”
“The government wants girls to succeed in education,” Martínez said. “But it needs to end the culture of silence around abuse by teachers, encourage girls to speak out, and send an unequivocal message to all education staff that it will not tolerate sexual violence against students.”