Suit Alleges that Boys as Young as Two Years Old Were Abducted from Asia and Africa and Enslaved as Camel Jockeys
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – (September 13, 2006) – LAWFUEL – Law Jobs & Law News Network – Motley Rice LLC, one of the largest plaintiffs’ law firms in the United States, in association with attorney John A. Thornton of Miami, today announced that it has filed suit against several Arab Sheikhs, including Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the alleged abduction and human trafficking of thousands of young boys from Asia and Africa. Once abducted, the children were allegedly sold into slavery to serve as camel jockeys for the entertainment of the Arabian elite.
According to the complaint, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, boys as young as two years old have been stolen from their families, trafficked across international borders, and kept in brutal camel-racing camps throughout the United Arab Emirates, forced to train camels and perform as jockeys. Camel racing has long been a favored pastime of the Arab elite. Yet, despite the enactment of legal weight and age limits, child jockeys weighing less than 20 kg (44 lbs.) have become the standard in races. Because of the extreme danger involved in camel racing, Arab sheikhs have not used their own children for training or riding, and instead have resorted to this alleged child enslavement.
According to the lawsuit, this practice has resulted in a vast conspiracy among camel owners to buy boys in the slave trade, hold them in brutal camps, forcing them to care for and exercise the camels, and then race against each other on “race days.” Because one cannot race without competitors, it is alleged that the use of enslaved boys by the named defendants caused others to do the same.
According to the 2005 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, “Those who survive the harsh conditions are disposed of once they reach their teenage years.” Having been ripped from their families at such a young age, these children are typically unable to locate their families again or even, in most cases, speak their own language.
“It is truly shocking that such unimaginable crimes are taking place against children in this day and age,” stated attorney Ron Motley of Motley Rice. “Two year-old boys have been stolen from their families, shipped to foreign lands and forced to live in dangerous and oppressive environments – robbed of their childhood and their future. By bringing this lawsuit we hope to punish the perpetrators of these vile crimes and compensate the victims for their pain and suffering.”
The suit is brought on behalf of the boys and/or the legal guardians of the boys who were allegedly enslaved and is brought against the individual slave owners in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Motley Rice is working on the lawsuit together with co-counsel John Andres Thornton, Esq., of Miami, Florida