Arabs Buck Ban on Child Camel Jockeys

10-year-old kids still used in dangerous sport
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2010 1:38 AM CST
Anti-Slavery International says its observers photographed these child jockeys at a camel race track in Abu Dhabi last month.   (Anti-Slavery International)

(Newser) – Children as young as 10 are still being used as jockeys in dangerous camel races in the United Arab Emirates, despite a law banning the practice. Observers from the group Anti-Slavery International photographed children racing at a recent event in Abu Dhabi attended by police officers and government officials, the Independent reports.

Thousands of children, many of them trafficked from other countries and some as young as 4, were used as jockeys before the practice was banned in 2005. Deaths and injuries among the youngsters were common. The continued use of children flouts international laws banning anyone under 18 from doing dangerous work. The fact that law enforcement authorities were present at the race shows child protection is not being taken seriously, noted an Anti-Slavery International spokesman.

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