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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes


Constitution Year 2001
Last Amended 2008
Source Government of Senegal
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from French source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 1

The Republic of Senegal is a secular, democratic and social republic. It ensures equality before the law for all citizens, without distinction of origin, race, sex, or religion. It respects all beliefs.
The official language of the Republic of Senegal is French. The national languages are Diola, Malinke, Pular, Serer, Soninke, Wolof and other national languages to be codified.
The motto of the Republic of Senegal is: "One People - One Goal - One Faith."
The flag of the Republic of Senegal is composed of three equal, vertical bands of green, gold and red. There is a green five-pointed star in the center of the gold band.
The law establishes the seal and the national anthem.
The principle of the Republic of Senegal is: government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Article 4

Political parties and coalitions of political parties contribute to the exercise of suffrage. They are required to respect the Constitution and the principles of national sovereignty and democracy. They are prohibited from identifying with a particular race, ethnicity, sex, religion, sect, language or region.
The conditions under which political parties and coalitions of political parties are formed, exercise and cease their activities, are determined by law.

Article 5

Any act of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, as well as any regionalist propaganda undermining the internal security of the state or the territorial integrity of the Republic shall be punished by law.

Article 8

The Republic of Senegal guarantees all citizens the fundamental freedoms, economic and social rights and collective rights. These rights and freedoms include:
- civil and political liberties: freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of demonstration,
- cultural freedoms,
- religious freedoms,

Article 22

The State has the duty and responsibility to educate and train the youth in public schools.
All children, boys and girls everywhere in the country, are entitled to access to school.
Institutions and communities of a religious or non-religious nature are equally recognized as means of education.
All national institutions, public or private, have a duty to teach literacy to their students and to participate in the national literacy effort in one of the national languages.

Article 24

Freedom of conscience, religious and cultural freedoms and practices, and the profession of the religious educator are guaranteed to all, subject to public order.
Religious institutions and communities have the right to develop without hindrance.
They are free from the control of the state. They regulate and administer their affairs with autonomy.

Article 37

The President of the Republic is installed in office after being sworn in by the Constitutional Council in a public session.
The oath is given as follows:
"Before God and before the Senegalese Nation, I swear to faithfully fill the office of President of the Republic of Senegal, to strictly observe the provisions of the Constitution and laws, to devote all my strength to defend the constitutional institutions, territorial integrity and independence of the nation, and to spare no effort to finally achieve African Unity. "
The new President of the Republic makes a written declaration of assets that is filed with the Constitutional Council, which makes the declaration public.


1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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