ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the interior secretary to submit a comprehensive report on June 11 about the actions taken against those involved in the smuggling of Pakistani children for use as camel jockeys in the Middle East.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday directed the interior secretary to apprise the court about all the agencies involved in tracking the movement of children outside the country. It also asked whether any case had been registered against the smugglers and if any action had been taken in this regard. The court adjourned further proceedings until June 11.
The chief justice observed that the smuggling of Pakistani children for camel racing was a serious matter.
Action: The court also observed that the report submitted by the interior secretary did not indicate any action taken against those responsible.
The Foreign Ministry Director Legal said the government of UAE had promulgated laws with regards to the business that prohibits children less than 16 years of age to become camel jockeys.
The interior joint secretary informed the court that a cabinet committee was preparing recommendations to curb human trafficking, especially the smuggling of children.
He said around 810 children being used as camel jockeys had returned home.
The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the matter following an application submitted by one Tahir Ali.
According to the application, the UAE must pay around $1.4 million in damages for the illegal smuggling and use of Pakistani children in camel races.
According to estimates, 12,000 Pakistani children are being smuggled from the country to the Middle East.
In 2005, the government of UAE imposed a ban on the use of children in camel racing which led to the 3,000 children returning to the country.
According to a report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the practice of children smuggling from Pakistan began in 1979.