This film is a set of stories about children forced into servitude, produced to mark the 200th anniversary of Britain’s abolition of the slave trade in 1807. The episodes come from Ghana, Cambodia, India, Peru and Saudi Arabia. OR Media contributed the Saudi story, which follows the story of a six-year-old boy, Ali, found begging at a service station. Ali is an illegal immigrant from Yemen; his mother is dead and his father is in prison. He’s been brought against his will to Jeddah, where he’s forced to beg, and hand the money over to a gang. The film traces Ali’s experiences after he’s been caught by the Saudi authorities, who have a unit that patrols the streets looking for foreign slave children working as beggars. Ali’s detained in a special hostel, and eventually deported back to his homeland, where an uncertain future awaits him.
90 mins, BBC2, 2006