January 27, 2004


I don't know much about camel racing, which is a traditional sport in the Arab countries. But I have heard plenty of it during recent times as many Bangladeshi children are being exploited by the camel racers. Jockeys being small and lightweight are a winning potential. Mounting camels three times their height, the children - some as young as six - face the risk of being thrown off or trampled. They are often starved to keep underweight. They are brought to Arab countries by child trafficking racket. One women was caught recently at the Dhaka Airport trying to smuggle 5 children declaring as her own.

Human right activities in Bangladesh as well as in other countries are vocal against these rackets and the use of child as jockey. Recent reports suggest that Gulf states aim to halt camel jockeys trafficking. There are strict laws in UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia banning exploitation of children as camel jockeys. In UAE the use of children aged under 15 and weighing less than 45 kilograms (100 pounds) as jockeys is prohibited. In Saudi Arabia the minimum age of a Jockey is 16. But I doubt whether the authorities are able to implement those laws in great effect.

It can be compared with the black people, who were used as slaves in western countries centuries ago as their masters were more powerful & rich. I wonder why there is no protest in the Arab countries by the Arabs against these inhumane exercises.


Post a Comment