Some Quranic school pupils are forced to beg on the streets of Senegal
Students at Koranic schools in Senegal are severely abused and subjected to slavery-like conditions, lobby group Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.
The HRW report calls for regulation at Koranic schools in Senegal and for abusive teachers to be punished.
HRW says at least 50,000 children - most under 12, some only four - are forced into begging, beaten and neglected by their teachers.
Senegal is a largely Muslim society and Koranic schools have great influence.
HRW says some teachers at Koranic schools collect over $100,000 (£64,677) a year from the begging, using an Islamic education as cover for the economic exploitation of the children in their care.
"There are certain marabouts [religious teachers] who have used the lack of government regulation as well as the lack of will to hold accountable those who exploit children, to twist religious education into economic exploitation," Mathew Wells of HRW in Dakar told the BBC's The World Today programme.
He acknowledged that there are some teachers who "continue to take their role of providing a moral and religious education quite seriously".
HRW has called on the Senegalese authorities to act on laws it passed five years ago which criminalise forcing others into begging for financial gain.
"At present these schools are completely unregulated, which means that anyone can open a daara [Koranic school] regardless of their religious or educational credentials, and use it as a means to exploit children," said Mr Wells.