Presentation on theme: "“Children on the Move”- Abuse and exploitation of Talibes children Changing Societal Attitudes Social Norms course – Penn. Univ. Philadelphia, 11th July."— Presentation transcript:
“Children on the Move”- Abuse and exploitation of Talibes children Changing Societal Attitudes Social Norms course – Penn. Univ. Philadelphia, 11th July 2012 Sonia Polonio
Key Factors Talibe Children: Wolof word (Senegalese language) of Arabic origin, which refers to a student of the Koran, or someone who is seeking knowledge. Child Begging- worst forms of child labor and economic exploitation of begging children –trafficking. 98% of begging talibes (in GB and abroad) are from Fula ethnic group. 20% of children (5-11) living outside their families are engaged in religious studies. 350 talibes children begging in Senegal were repatriated ( ) to Guinea-Bissau (NGOs prog. and volunt.) Since 2008, 8 koranic teachers were arrested and accused of traffickers (280 children intercepted by the border police) Still is a tabu issue among low class fulas communities.
Problem description Defining the Problem as a Social Norm - the norm is supported by: Factual Beliefs: Most intelligent and strong boys should be send to learn the Koran abroad. Children that go to Senegal to learn the koran have better knowledge If a child doesn't learn with a koranic master from the same ethnic group he will not receive good knowledge. Suffering is part of an acquiring knowledge and makes children stronger. After death all parents sins will be relieved through their son’s prayers. Begging is a mean to finance third studies.
Problem description Defining the Problem as a Social Norm - the norm is supported by: Conditional preference: parents preference by sending their children away for religious education is not individual but a social preference (even if it is not what they like to do) and is supported by a conditional preference. Families' choice depends on what other people from the relevant network believe should be done. Empirical expectations: Families see and believe that all children coming back from religious studies became respected members on the community. Normative Expectations: Families believe that other relevant network members think that all the families within the community ought to send at least one of his child for koranic studies abroad.
Problem description Defining the Problem as a Social Norm: the norm is supported by: Normative Expectations Normative Expectations (cont.) Families believe that the Imam and elderly influent members of the community think that learning implies suffering and begging is part of it. Families believe that their fellow villagers think that parents who don't send their children to learn the Koran are in less position (as well as their children) to claim certain rights/participate in important community events (rewards/sanctions). Pluralist Ignorance:? not clear….are parents personal normative believes different from other parents… even though, they know often that children are suffering and living in harsh life conditions they continue sending..)
What Have Been Done So Far… Research, and policy development Law enforcement Advocacy, social communication and mobilization of communities for prevention, support and care. Strengthening capacities of key stakeholders (NGOs and public service providers) to implement preventive and assistance measures. Provide assistance and care to children victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Family and community reintegration. Involvement of local Islamic organizations on preventive actions (at community level and with religious teachers). Develop Sub-regional talibé children initiatives.
What Have Been Done So Far… Less liked to be successful: Facilitation of community based dialogue with communities and families are one-way. Family reunification (still a problem) - The process of “returning” children from Senegal are criticized by families, religious groups and some children. - Lack of knowledge (from those working at community level) on social and personal believes as well as on the EE an on the NE of community members. - Absence of trust (communities and some NGOs), as these lasts often blame parents and communities of being facilitating child trafficking. Assistance and Care lack of knowledge regarding appropriate mechanisms, processes and standards needed to offer adequate assistance to child victims.
Major Challenges Law enforcement Determinates for the extent of the practice: - Absence of an alternative education strategy that integrates koranic studies and the formal curriculum. Without improved educational alternatives in the villages, parents will continue to send their children abroad for education or work. - Poor socio-economic situation of the country and its political instability
New strategy : Social Norms Perspective Community-Led Progamme Social norms approach will be integrated in a mix-strategy (assess how they can complement each other) Learn from other social norms programmes working on community-led activities for behavior change (TOSTAN/FGM/C) Understand better the relation between the personal beliefs, EE+NE (by measuring correctly the norm) and assess the existence of belief traps, inconstant expectation and pluralist ignorance. ( KAPs, questionnaires and network analysis ). Work more with and in the communities (planning and implementing activities) – bottom-up initiatives and not one-way communication.
New strategy: Social Norms Perspective Community-Led Progamme Identify the key network members (religious leaders/Marabus, former talibes children, influent women, fathers, positive deviants…) and create the core group. Open discussion among community members to ensure that they arrive to a common knowledge of their own personal normative beliefs, their NE and that finally their EE and FB can really change. Role of facilitators in triggering is decisive. Work on the core values and believes that exist in the communities regarding learning and caring for children (HR/CR issues- holistic). Organized diffusion (within the community and with other communities) – help change com. EE and later on NE.
New strategy : Social Norms Perspective Community-Led Progamme Public collective commitment of the community to stop sending their children abroad and organize (by the community) community alternative education – Behaviors will change…. Ensure that partners (gov/civil society) are aware of the SN approach and engage with it. Define concrete action to strengthen current work that is been done at urban setting with 2 main religious councils and harmonize it to community-Led programmes at rural settings (alternative education/both systems).