Shocking Stories of Suffering and Humanitarian Outcomes: Transnational Intervention into Qur’anic Student Begging in Senegal
Registration is now closed (this event already took place).
Through shocking visual and textual displays of child suffering, transnational human rights activists denounce the phenomenon of Qur’anic student begging in the streets of Senegal, West Africa, as human trafficking and exploitation. Human Rights Watch claims that the tens of thousands of children begging in Senegal on a given day are amassed from rural families and transported to cities where their instructor-traffickers force them to beg for money. Local discourses support an alternate explanation of mass urban begging among Qur’anic students, locally called taalibes, which invokes traditional work-based models of religious instruction, and recent rural economic decline rooted in structural adjustment austerity and climate change. I engage with research in medical anthropology of global health and transnational governance, interdisciplinary studies of human rights, and anthropological studies of cross-cultural childhoods, to illustrate why the divergence between these discourses surrounding Qur’anic student begging has hindered humanitarian and human rights efforts to improve conditions for the taalibes over time.
Kenth Hale Smith Bldg Rm 146
2100 Adelbert Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States