Trafficking in persons

Mother Doe I v. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid al Maktoum

UNODC No.:
USA152

Fact Summary

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.

Author:
Human Trafficking Database of the University of Michigan Law School

Keywords

Trafficking in Persons Protocol:
Article 3, Trafficking in Persons Protocol
Article 5, Trafficking in Persons Protocol
Purpose of Exploitation:
Forced labour or services
Sector in which exploitation takes place:
Other sectors
Means:
Threat or use of force or other forms of coercion
Abduction
Deception
Abuse of power or a position of vulnerability
Form of Trafficking:
Transnational
Acts:
Recruitment
Transportation
Transfer
Harbouring
Receipt

Cross Cutting

Procedural Information

Legal System:
Common Law
Latest Court Ruling:
Court of 1st Instance
Type of Proceeding:
Civil
 

1st Instance: 

Court: U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Kentucky
Location: 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)

 
 

Victims / Plaintiffs in the first instance

Plaintiff:
Mother Doe I
Gender:
Female

Suing on behalf of a class of young boys.

Victim:
Anonymous individuals
Gender:
Child
Age:
positive integer value

The defendants were accused of trafficking over 10,000 children, between 2 and 12 years of age, for their exploitation as camel jockeys.

Defendants / Respondents in the first instance

Defendant:
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
of the United Arab Emirates
Legal Reasoning:

The District Court dismissed all claims against the defendant for lack of personal jurisdiction.  Neither the federal nor the state law provided sufficient basis for the plaintiffs to sue the defendants in Kentucky. 

Defendant:
Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
of the United Arab Emirates

Charges / Claims / Decisions

Defendant:
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Charge / Claim:
Engaging in Slavery/Slave Trade in Violation of the Law of Nations
Charge / Claim:
Conspiracy to Engage in, Aiding and Abetting, Intentionally Facilitating and/or Recklessly Disregarding Slavery/Slave Trade in Violation of the Law of Nations
Charge / Claim:
Primarily Engaging in, or Aiding and Abetting, Intentionally Facilitating and/or Recklessly Disregarding Forced Child Labour in Violation of the Law of Nations
Charge / Claim:
Battery, Assault, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Defendant:
Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum
Charge / Claim:
Engaging in Slavery/Slave Trade in Violation of the Law of Nations
Charge / Claim:
Conspiracy to Engage in, Aiding and Abetting, Intentionally Facilitating and/or Recklessly Disregarding Slavery/Slave Trade in Violation of the Law of Nations
Charge / Claim:
Primarily Engaging in, or Aiding and Abetting, Intentionally Facilitating and/or Recklessly Disregarding Forced Child Labor in Violation of the Law of Nations
Charge / Claim:
Battery, Assault, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Court

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

Sources / Citations

http://www.law.umich.edu/CLINICAL/HUTRAFFICCASES/Pages/CaseDisp.aspx?caseID=453

Attachments

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