The plaintiffs were former child camel jockeys and their parents. Plaintiffs sued the defendants under the Alien Tort Statute (28 USC 1350), claiming that the defendants had engaged in and conspired to engage in slave trade and in forced child labour in violation of the law of nations. Plaintiffs also brought state law claims of battery, assault, intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress, wrongful death, and survival claims against the defendants. The suit was brought in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
This class action arose from the trafficking of young boys from Africa and South Asia, aged 2-12 (approximately), to work in the camel racing industry in the United Arab Emirates and other Arab states. According to the complaint, young boys were abducted and/or sold and enslaved in camel training camps to work as trainers and jockeys under the supervision of overseers. The children were reportedly starved, beaten, sexually abused and forced to work under harsh and oppressive conditions. When the children reached their teen years, and became too big to ride as jockeys, they were abandoned (e.g. sent back to their homeland) without any education, resources or assistance.
Ultimately, the federal District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed this case for lack of personal jurisdiction over the named defendant.
Court: U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
Date of decision: November 18, 2008
Reference: Mother Doe I v. Al Maktoum, 2008 WL 4965169 (2008)
Other clarifying information: This case was first brought in the Southern District of Florida, but dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants. See Mother Doe I v. Al Maktoum, 632 F.Supp.2d 1130 (Fl. Dist. Ct. 2007)
Suing on behalf of a class of young boys.
The defendants were accused of trafficking over 10,000 children, between 2 and 12 years of age, for their exploitation as camel jockeys.
The District Court dismissed all claims against the defendant for lack of personal jurisdiction.
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky