5th January 2009 - UAE Delegation reviews progress on reintegration of former child camel jockeys
Khartoum – A high-level government delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been in Sudan this week to monitor the progress of a joint programme aimed at reintegrating former child camel jockeys back into their families and communities of origin in the east of the country.
The protection of children involved in camel racing was set as a priority by the Government of the UAE and Sudan’s Government of National Unity in 2006.
The UAE Government’s support for return and reintegration started in earnest after it passed a law banning the involvement of children under the age of 16 in camel racing about four years ago.
The joint reintegration programme, which is being implemented by the National Council for Child Welfare (NCCW) and UNICEF, aims to assist children who previously worked as camel jockeys.
It also aims to stop further trafficking by strengthening broader child protection systems for vulnerable children in the affected communities.
“With the two million US dollar contribution from the UAE we have been able to establish Police Family and Child Protection Units and introduce child-friendly police procedures in Kassala, Gedaref, and Red Sea states,” said Amira El Fadil, Secretary General of the NCCW.
“We have also been able to rehabilitate schools and construct centres, as well as raising awareness amongst families and communities, and we have implemented legal and social welfare reform processes,” she added.
NCCW and UNICEF applaud the commitment shown by the government of UAE to identify child camel jockeys and support their return and reintegration in their countries of origin.
“The generous support from the Government of United Arab Emirates is helping individual children and builds a vision and a system for better protection across borders to prevent child trafficking and other forms of exploitation. This programme has made a significant contribution to protecting Sudan’s children,” said Nils Kastberg, UNICEF Representative in Sudan.
For more information, please contact:
Fath El Rahman, Head of Protection, NCCW