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Type of document: News
Topic: Evaluation
Geographic descriptors: Pakistan
Language: English
Date of publication: 23 September 2005
Long Abstract: Trafficking of children for camel racing from Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been going on for more than 30 years as the government authorities and civil society organisations failed to take any action to stop it. The only voices of concern have been in response to newspaper reports of deaths among children while racing camels. International television news channels have made documentaries on these children. This created awareness and demands that children must not be used in inhuman sporting events, which could cost them their lives.

Despite this awareness and concern, there have been very few initiatives to gather facts and investigate the issue in depth. Most of the studies generally looked into issues such as the reasons for trafficking, target communities from where the children were trafficked, routes of trafficking etc. but none have investigated the situation of children whilst in UAE as camel jockeys and conditions in which they spent their time there.

This research is therefore a unique and a pioneering effort by Save the Children Sweden and Pakistan Rural Workers' Social Welfare Organisation in gathering data from repatriated children, who had returned to Pakistan after working as camel jockeys in the UAE. The information collected from these children is the most important aspect of this research study as it gives us a detailed account of the situation which the children faced at the hands of sheikhs, bedus or their cohorts. The information shows the severity of and exploitation of children, which persists, in the camel racing industry even today.

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