Human trafficking takes many forms ranging from abuse of women for sexual purposes to brutalization of workers by unscrupulous employers, but a more under reported tale is educating children to work as beggars. There are about 1.2 million children in the world who ostensibly are receiving education, but their parents do not realize the education consists of their children being transformed into beggars. A recent study by the ILO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Bank, reveals in Dakar, capital of Senegal, there are 7,600 children who work as beggars. Many of the children’s parents were told their sons were being placed in an Islamic school where they would receive a good education, but, in reality, the only education the boys obtain is how to become an effective beggar.
In a story printed in The Times of India, the life of a boy named Coli describes how his family willingly placed him with people they thought were Koranic educators. However, once in the Koranic school, Coli spent about two hours memorizing material from the Koran and nine hours working the streets of Dakar begging for money. Coli is but one of thousands of such children who live in extremely poverty and are abused by older children while they spent their days begging in the name of religion.