UNODC uses film to change social norms

In Celebration of the Day of the African Child on 16 June, UNODC and the Senegalese National Task Force against trafficking in persons launched a one hour movie, directed by film maker Adam Sie, at the Daniel Sorano National Theater in Dakar, Senegal.

Le Cheval Blanc, released in Wolof with French subtitles, depicts the hardships, dangers and exploitation faced by the "talibés" (a Senegalese word for street begging children). It is estimated that 30,000 talibés are currently being forced to beg and exploited by adults in the city center of Dakar.

The film highlights the recruitment process, transportation patterns and exploitation that the children are subjected to upon arrival in the city. It also emphasizes the passive involvement by the general population: locals often give money to child beggars in fear of supernatural reprisals.

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Movie goers at the Cheval Blanc screening

The film will be used as an awareness raising tool with the goal of making social norms evolve. It will notably be screened in rural areas, in order to facilitate a debate with religious leaders, local authorities, parents and children.

The projection was attended by more than 800 people and was followed by a thirty minutes discussion on possible ways forward. Debate participants overwhelmingly applauded the relevancy and importance of the topic, as well as the crucial need for all citizens to commit to the protection of the child victims.

This one hour film was produced with funds from USAID and the Principality of Monaco, in the framework of projects aimed at fighting child trafficking and forced begging in Senegal.

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Further information:

Definitions and tools on human trafficking and migrant smuggling

UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

Contribution of UNODC to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel