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Bangladeshi Child Camel Jockeys Return Home from UAE


More than 35 Bangladeshi children who worked as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates have returned home, following a UAE ban on the practice widely condemned as a form of slavery.

The children -- most of them between four- and 10-years old -- arrived in Dhaka on Thursday with their parents and Bangladeshi officials.

The United Nations Children's Fund arranged for their return. UNICEF says some 160 more Bangladeshi children will soon return home.

Bangladesh and UAE officials have identified about 200 child jockeys as Bangladeshis.

The gulf state recently tightened a ban on children, who are mostly from poorer countries, from taking part in the sport popular among Arabs of Bedouin origin. New steps include medical committees to check the age and weight of jockeys before races, and measures to stop traffickers from smuggling children into the country.

Zahurul Alam has more on the story.

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