The 2018 Global Slavery Index Report estimated that approximately 43,000 people were living in modern slavery in Senegal. Based on existing data, Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 100,000 talibés living in residential daaras across Senegal are forced by their Quranic teachers, also known as marabouts, to beg daily for money, food, rice or sugar. Thousands of these children live in conditions of extreme squalor, are denied sufficient food and medical care, and many are also subject to sexual and physical abuse amounting to inhuman and degrading treatment. A ‘Talibé’ is a “disciple” or student of the Quran. Talibés can be adults or children of any age, but the vast majority in Senegal are boys between the ages of 5 and 15, particularly those living at residential daaras. Some talibé children live with family and attend Quranic schools during the day. Most female talibés are day students that do not live at the Quranic schools. Human Rights Watch research suggests that hundreds of talibé children in 2017 and 2018 were victims of human trafficking, which under Senegalese law includes the act of harboring of children in a daara and exploiting them for money through forced begging, as well as the recruitment or transport of children for this purpose.Adama* was 16 when he was sent from Liberia in 2016 to study the Quran with his uncle in Guinea, who then asked permission from his father to send him to study with a Quranic teacher in Senegal.
Despite having the lowest regional prevalence of modern slavery in the world, Europe remains a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source region for the exploitation of men, women and children in forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most widespread for of modern slavery with an 84% of victims trafficked for this purpose. The majority of those trafficked for this purpose are women and young girls, thought men and boys are also trafficked for sexual exploitation. They often originate from Eastern Europe within the EU as well as Sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of people being trafficked from Nigeria to various parts of Europe including Italy, France, Spain and the UK through an array of complex trafficking networks. Al Bangura was born and raised in Sierra Leone but now lives in London with his wife and young children. Wanting to help support his family, Al travelled to Guinea where he was told by a man that he could play footbal in Paris. Al trusted this man, however on arrival in Paris, he was put in a room and subjected to sexual exploitation daily. He is now a professional footballer who has played for Watford Football Club in the UK’s Premier League.