Monday, December 3, 2007

Trafficked children tell their stories

by Saddam Al-Ashmori from Yemen Times (Yemen)

Every day, hundreds of Yemeni children between the ages of 9 and 18 find their way to the vast frontiers leading to Saudi Arabia, some accompanied by smugglers or relatives. They go there seeking work or to beg due to their miserable living situations and extreme poverty. Smugglers pay Yemeni parents to take their children to Saudi Arabia; however, such parents don’t think about the dire consequences caused by their actions ... A Yemen Times reporter contacted the smuggler, saying that he wanted to get into this type of work and that he has a large number of children to smuggle. The smuggler knew the smuggling routes, but the reporter, pretending to be an aspiring smuggler, didn’t know how the current labor market is or to whom to smuggle the children. The smuggler informed him that the secure areas for child trafficking are Al-Malaheet, Al-Managrah, Al-Mazariq and Al-A’redha, Al-Khubah and Al-Mashnaq in Saudi territory. He noted that these areas are empty, while others are used to smuggle qat, shammah and fireworks. Additionally, he said Saudi Arabia’s Subia area is a famous market for child trafficking.

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