UAE gives $67,000 to rehabilitate former camel jockeys
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have resolved to fight the menace of child smuggling from Pakistan to the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries where the children are used as jockeys in camel races.
A high-level 10-member delegation, led by Brigadier Nasser Aloadi Yahya Al Minhali, called on the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior, Rehman Malik, in the Interior Ministry on Wednesday morning and discussed the issue in detail.
The delegation, accompanied by the UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, Ali Muhammad Al-Shamsi, spent some time with Malik and presented the first payment on the behalf of the UAE gov-
ernment for the rehabilitation of the camel jockeys who were recovered in the UAE and returned to their families in Pakistan through the joint efforts of Pakistan and the UAE government.
The amount of $67,000 is a contribution of the UAE government towards the Endowment Fund for the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau. Currently, 48 such children are under treatment. The UAE government has already set up rehabilitation centers for the camel jockeys
in the UAE where they are properly treated before they are returned to the countries
of their origin.
Brigadier Nasser Aloadi Yahya Al Minhali presented the first payment to the Pakistan government for direct compensation to former camel jockeys following the meeting. Simultaneously, at a ceremony in Rahimyar Khan, the home of many such for-mer camel jockeys, the children were presented certificates to inform them about the amount they would receive under the scheme.
According to the UAE delegation sources, the UAE has set aside $8.2 million to compensate the children once employed as camel jockeys and so far, an independent board in Pakistan has approved more than 120 claims ranging from $1,000 to $11,000.
Dr Faiza Asgher, Chairperson of the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, Punjab, and member of the three-member board that reviews and makes decisions about claims from former camel jockeys said that higher awards for those who were injured will be sufficient to provide lifetime support for the child.
The compensation covers all those who worked as camel jockeys in the UAE since 1993, she said. Rehman Malik appreciated the initiatives taken by the UAE government to rehabilitate the deprived children through the rehabilitation centers.
Source: The News