[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Dubai's ruler accused of slavery
Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
The case against Dubai's ruler was filed in Miami where he has property
Dubai's ruler has been accused of enslaving thousands of young children for camel races in a class-action lawsuit filed in the US.

The action claims Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, his brother Hamdam and 500 others are responsible for abducting and trafficking the children.

It was filed on behalf of six unidentified parents and thousands of unnamed children.

There has been no comment on the action from the accused.

The children were said to be from Bangladesh, Sudan and southern Asia.

Once in Dubai, it is claimed that the children - some of them as young as two - were kept in poor conditions, starved (so as to keep their weight down), abused and forced to take part in a dangerous sport.

A child camel jockey (left) in the Gulf. Archive picture
The use of child camel jockeys is banned in Dubai

The case was filed in Miami where Sheikh Mohammed and his brother, Sheikh Hamdam bin Rashid al-Maktoum, have property.

The two, along with the other 500 defendants who the suit says are as yet unknown, face nine counts.

They include engaging in slavery, conspiring to engage in slavery, engaging in or facilitating child labour, battery, assault, infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death.

The use of child camel jockeys was banned in Dubai 13 years ago.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific