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Destiny set by tradition

Friends Aïcha, Antoinette, Rachel and Blandine are Child Rights Ambassadors. They are also members of a group that listens to children’s complaints and reports of violations of their rights.

When Aïcha and her ambassador friends hear from children who have been ill-treated by adults, they meet with leaders from the village or school. Together they try to find solutions that are good for the child, for example if a girl is being threatened with child marriage.

“In my village, the destiny of girls of my age is determined by traditions. You have to marry young if you don’t go to school. School isn’t the most important thing for our parents. It’s all about finding a husband for your daughter as soon as possible. I have no say at all, they decide what I’m to do, or I get beaten. “I’d love to be a doctor so I can help children, but I also want to be a lawyer and defend the rights of girls, boys and women, because they are rarely listened to and everyone has to do what men say.”

Aïcha, 16, Senegal

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