Sunday, March 05, 2006

Camel Jockeys Become Issue In Ports Deal

Before you get all hot and bothered by that title, which is lifted from the article, its not what you think. I would never use such a derogatory term in reference to people. In this case it is correctly descriptive.

It seems 3 years ago the US and UAE clashed over the issue of trafficking in young boys who were used as camel jockeys in races. As trafficking suggests, often the boys were kidnapped from neighboring countries.
One of Dubai's major investors in camel racing is Sheikh Mohammed Al-Maktoum, the UAE defense minister and crown prince. He's also president of the holding company that owns Dubai Ports World, which would control operations at the six U.S. ports.

Suddenly this isn't just a business as usual situation, but has disturbing human rights implications.
State Department spokesman Tom Casey acknowledged the UAE has had a "bad track record on the issue of trafficking in persons and the camel jockeys."

But, he added, the country has made significant progress.

"The UAE has rescued 600 children, arrested 19 people for trafficking in providing child camel jockeys, and repatriated children to their own countries, and set up shelters for many," Miller said. "They are really trying this time.

Life and the world can be very complicated when you don't see everything as black and white, huh?

(read more)


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