UAE compensates Bangladesh child jockeys
Dhaka, May 6, 2009
The UAE government has paid $1.43 million in compensation to more than 870 children in Bangladesh who were used as child jockeys.
A UAE delegation, which arrived in Dhaka recently, handed over the money to be distributed among 879 children who had been trafficked to the UAE to serve as camel jockeys.
The UAE delegation said that the money will help the children re-integrate into society.
Bangladesh Home Ministry will allocate between $1,000 and $10,000 to each child, depending on the injuries sustained during camel racing, said a report.
A country-wide survey, conducted by the UN, has identified the children eligible to receive payments.
'Using under-aged children as camel jockeys was a despicable incident. It stirred the world's conscience,” said Tanjim Ahmed, Bangladesh's State Minister for Home Affairs.
“The scars will heal through this compensation,” he added. 'This compensation programme will be a great help to those affected children for their rehabilitation, medical treatment and education.'
Bangladesh Home Minister Sahara Khatun said that the amount of compensation received by each victim will depend on the extent of their suffering while in the UAE, as well as the amount of time they spent there.
She added that money will only be paid to children who worked as camel jockeys after January 1993.
In 2005, the UAE government agreed with Unicef to cooperate on the 'repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration' of children being used as camel jockeys.
Around 1,100 children were returned to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sudan and Mauritania over the following two years.
In 2002, UAE banned the use of children under 15 as camel jockeys.