More than 30,000 boys could have been victimized
in what the suit calls ``
''one of the greatest humanitarian crimes of the last 50 years.''
UAE Sheikhs Face Child Slavery Lawsuit
The 'Alien Tort Claims Act'
The Super Wealthy 'Sheikh Mo'
The civil complaint, a class action
lawsuit, filed in Miami federal
court Florida, portrays the United Arab Emirates as a longtime hub for
the slave trading of children for camel racing.
It named Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, as
well as Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates
(UAE) and his brother, Sheikh Hamdan
bin Rashid al Maktoum, the UAE Minister of Finance, and the deputy
ruler, of being ''the most active participants'' in the slave trade for
The complaint alleges that boys as young as 2 years old have been stolen
from their families and kept in brutal camel-racing camps. ''These
claims are brought to punish the perpetrators and compensate the victims
of child slavery and an international slave trade in small children that
seems unimaginable in the 21st century.''
''The defendants robbed parents of their children and boys of their
childhoods, their futures and sometimes their lives, for the craven
purposes of entertainment and financial gain,'' the suit said.
The complaint describes camel racing as a ''favored Arab pastime for
centuries,'' exploding in popularity as the Arabian peninsula's royal
families acquired extraordinary wealth from oil riches.
Thousands of young boys who claim they were enslaved by the rich rulers
of the United Arab Emirates, where the illicit slavery market persisted
throughout most of the 20th century.
The Arab sheikhs would not make their own children jockeys
and trainers,'' the suit said. ''The sheikhs instead bought boys who had
been abducted and trafficked across international boundaries.
''A vast conspiracy flourished among all the camel owners participating
in the sport to buy boys in the slave trade, hold them in bondage in
brutal camps in the desert while extracting their labor to care for and
exercise the camels, and then race against each other on race days''.
The suit accuses the Maktoum brothers as the main perpetrators of this
One local media quoted,
children go outside to play and never return".
The jockeys will typically start their life in the same way as millions
of other children in the Indian subcontinent. Perhaps having parents who
are poor, but still have dreams for their sons which do not involve
camels. Then maybe at the age of two or three the children go outside to
play and never return.
The problem was highlighted in the US state department's report. (Trafficking
in Persons Report (2005), United Arab Emirates)
The U.S. officials documented instances of
child camel jockey victims who were reportedly starved to make them
light, abused physically and sexually, denied health care, and subjected
to harsh living and working conditions. it observed some boys as young
as 6 months old were kidnapped or sold to traffickers and raised to
become camel jockeys.''
The 'Alien Tort Claims Act'
The child slavery
lawsuit was filed
under an "Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA)" adopted in 1789 as part of the
original Judiciary Act. It provides federal courts with jurisdiction
over violations of the 'Law of Nations'.
The statute provides a proper legal venue to victims who could not
otherwise bring their oppressors to justice by allowing U.S. courts to
decide human rights cases even when neither party has any connection to
the United States.
Recently, American courts have begun adjudicating civil liability for
intentional torts and crimes under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), 28
The Super Wealthy 'Sheikh Mo'
Dubai is the second-largest sheikhdom in the United Arab
Emirates after Abu Dhabi. The country has gained it's new wealth from
the super-profits of petrodollars reinvestment from Western banks. Trillions
of dollars worth
overseas portfolio of Arab Sheikhs have been repatriated to Dubai's
dozens of mega-projects.
Sheikh Mohammed, the hungry investor from Arab World, own billions of dollars in
assets in the UK, USA and many other countries.
The Maktoum took its first steps for overseas assets in 2005, to invest
in real estate projects in Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and more
recently in the Dh100 billion Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Mohammed is the world's biggest buyer of racehorses, spent hundreds
of millions building a worldwide racing and breeding empire, with farms
in Australia, Dubai, Japan and Kentucky. He own
Dubai Ports World,
which sought to operate seaport facilities in Miami and other U.S.
cities until Congress raised security concerns and forced it to sell its
interests to a U.S. buyer.
Shaikh Mohammad was born in 1949. He is one amongst Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al
sons. He became Dubai's ruler in January 2006, when his older brother,
Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum, died at 62.
The Maktoum brothers include former ruler Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Hamdan
Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance
and Industry, and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of
Dubai Police and General Security.
Personal life: Wives include Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin
Juma Al Maktoum and, Princess Haya bint Al-Hussein,
daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan. Seven sons and nine
Hobbies: Horse racing, camel racing.
Patron to numerous major sports events staged in Dubai, including golf,
tennis and horse racing.
Posted on 28th December, 2006
Dubai sheikhs hire lobbyists, PR firms amid boy-enslavement lawsuit
RICE FILES SUIT AGAINST ARAB SHEIKHS
truly shocking that such unimaginable crimes are taking
place against children in this day and age," stated
attorney Ron Motley of Motley Rice. "Two year-old boys
have been stolen from their families, shipped to foreign
lands and forced to live in dangerous and oppressive
environments - robbed of their childhood and their
future. By bringing this lawsuit we hope to punish the
perpetrators of these vile crimes and compensate the
victims for their pain and suffering."
View Full Text Here
'Camel Kids' The Camel Jockeys of United Arab
Pakistani boy who worked five years as a camel jockey,
starting at age 4, remembers the race as noisy and
dangerous, where more than 50 camels with screaming
children strapped onto their backs would run. He
personally saw about 20 children die, and more than a
dozen injured every week. He recalls: "There was this
one kid whose strap broke at the beginning of the race.
His head was crushed between the legs of the running
camel. Once the race has started it cannot stop.. The