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Encyclopedia > Child camel jockey
Child Slavery: Trafficked children as young as 2 years old are worked up to 18 hours a day as camel jockeys Near Dubai - Pic by Ansar Burney Trust

Each year, children as young as four[1] are trafficked from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sudan for use as jockeys in the Persian Gulf States' camel racing industry. While official policies are in place requiring a minimum weight of 45 kg (100 lb) of the jockey, these restrictions are ignored by most in the racing industry because those who own the camels are also the heads of states. Image File history File linksMetadata Camel_jockey_ansarburney. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Camel_jockey_ansarburney. ... Coordinates: Emirate Dubai Government  - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Area [1]  - Metro 4,114 km² (1,588. ... Trafficking in human beings (or human trafficking) involves the movement of people (mostly women and children) against their will by means of force for the purpose of sexual or labor exploitation. ... The Arabian Gulf States, also called the Gulf States (which may cause a confusion with the Gulf States of the United States, which are those along the Gulf of Mexico), are the countries in Southwest Asia or the Middle East which border the Arabian Gulf. ... This camel is driven by a child jockey. ...

Child camel jockeys are often sexually and physically abused; most are physically and mentally stunted, as they are deliberately starved to prevent weight gain. According to a documentary by the American television channel HBO and the Ansar Burney Trust [2], many of the children are only fed two biscuits a day with water. Others are forced to wear metal helmets in the scorching heat of the desert so they bleed through their noses and lose weight that way. HBO (Home Box Office) is an American premium cable television network. ... // Background www. ...

Forced to work up to 18 hours a day, those children who fall asleep are punished with electric shocks while those who disobey orders are tied in chains and beaten.

Each year, many are seriously injured and several are stampeded to death by camels. They are provided no medical treatment whatsoever and those who die are buried in the desert in unmarked graves. They are not allowed to leave their lives of misery and those who try to escape are killed. According to the Ansar Burney Trust, in one such incident a child camel jockey was killed when his owner ran over him in his truck.

The child jockeys live in camps(called ousbah) encircled with barbed wire near the racetracks. Because the children are isolated from their families and find themselves in an unfamiliar culture, they are dependent upon their captors for survival. A selection of forms of barbed wire. ...

The U.S. Government estimates there are thousands of trafficking victims being exploited for use as camel jockeys throughout the region. Many are unable to identify their parents or home communities in South Asia or Sudan, particularly after prolonged servitude in the Middle East. Unlike other forms of trafficking that usually involve adults or older children, child camel jockey trafficking presents enormous challenges to source country governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to return rescued children to their parents and original communities. A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization that is not part of a government and was not founded by states. ...

Hundreds of children have been rescued from camel farms in Oman, Qatar and UAE by the Ansar Burney Trust and taken back to their original homes or kept in shelter homes. UAE redirects here; for other uses of that term, see UAE (disambiguation) The United Arab Emirates is an oil-rich country situated in the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia, comprising seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. ...

However, they report that in many instances the children rescued were not just abducted or trafficked victims - they were those who had been sold away by their own parents in exchange for money or a job abroad. If they were returned, the children would again be sold for the same purposes. Other children who had been abducted from their homes could not be returned because they were disabled, did not speak their native languages, or did not know how to live outside the camel farms.

It is estimated that there were as many as 20,000 children working as camel jockeys in the Middle East - up to 5,000 of them working in the UAE alone. The vast majority of whom were brought from third world countries of South Asia and Africa.

After sustained pressure by human rights groups, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates finally agreed in early 2005 to abandon child jockeys — robot jockeys were used instead. At a cost of about $5,500 and a weight of about 26 kg, the robots are remote-controlled by camel trainers who follow the camels in cars. The robots can use whips and can also shout to the camels. the robots must be sprayed with a special "perfume" to allow the camel to accept them as real. Oman followed suit in May 2005. My name is tyler bonin. ...

A shelter home was established by the UAE in Abu Dhabi under the control of Ansar Burney Trust where the rescued children were to receive an education, good food, medical facilities and were to be taught how to live outside a camel farm. As of the end of 2005, it is estimated that as many as 800 children have been sent back to their home countries.

However, Ansar Burney Trust was concerned that not all former child jockeys are accounted for, and that some might still be used in illicit night-time races. The Trust stated that children were still being used in some day time races and provided video evidence to prove that night-time races were taking place with children.

In September 2006, ruler of Dubai and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his brother Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum were served with a lawsuit in US district court in Miami, Florida for the enslavement of 30,000 boys in the past three decades for use as camel jockeys. The suit was filed on behalf of parents of six victims on the basis of international laws banning slavery and the use of child labor. The case was filed in Miami because the defendants own property in Florida, including a horse ranch. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic: الشيخ محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم) (born 1949) is currently the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Ruler of Dubai. ... Nickname: Location in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida. ... Child laborers coming out of a dye factory, Dhaka, Bangladesh Child labor (or child labour) is the employment of children under an age determined by law or custom. ...


  • BBC - Help for Gulf child camel jockeys
  • Gulf - Under-age camel jockeys get caring hand
  • BBC - Child camel jockeys find hope
  • More camel jockeys related news

External links

  • dubaicameljockeys.org - UAE government-run website concerning child camel jockeys


  • Mental Mayhem A blog entry by an Arab with some pictures of the event. A more nuanced perspective with links to related news stories about the development and implementation of robot jockeys.



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