Sold by their families to traffickers, thousands of children, some as young as three, were taken to the Middle East to be camel jockeys, where many died to provide sporting relief for the Arab aristocracy.
Desert Riders follows the stories of boys who were taken from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sudan to work as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates. In the opening scenes, a boy no older than 10 describes how he watched fellow riders die after falling from their camels either strangled in the jockey harness or trampled. Kept in appalling conditions and often physically abused, these boys communicate with a frankness and bravery that is overwhelming. Interviews with the traffickers, camel trainers and children's rights activists, create a picture of unbelievable exploitation of the poor and the young all in the name of sporting leisure.
Following the screening DocHouse will be joined by Catherine Turner from Anti-Slavery International for a panel discussion on campaigning for the end of child labour, along with award-winning photojournalist David Higgs.