Thursday, September 14, 2006

Child slavery in Dubai (for camel racing)

A disturbing story from the BBC:

Dubai's ruler has been accused of enslaving thousands of young children for camel races in a class-action lawsuit filed in the US.

The action claims Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, his brother Hamdam and 500 others are responsible for abducting and trafficking the children...

The two, along with the other 500 defendants who the suit says are as yet unknown, face nine counts.

They include engaging in slavery, conspiring to engage in slavery, engaging in or facilitating child labour, battery, assault, infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death.

Yes, that's right. The allegation is that children from the Sudan, Bangladesh, and South Asia are being enslaved to be camel jockeys (though "[t]he use of child camel jockeys was banned in Dubai 13 years ago").

Is it true? We'll have to see. But it all seems quite credible, doesn't it?

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