Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Oman

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Oman

2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2015, Oman made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government established a study group to conduct research on child labor and how to combat it, drafted regulations outlining the conditions in which children may engage in light work, and set up a mechanism to receive complaints of child labor, including its worst forms, and refer them to the Royal Oman Police for investigation. Although the problem does not appear to be widespread, children are engaged in child labor, including in the agricultural sector in Oman. The Government lacks a policy to address all worst forms of child labor, and information on the enforcement of child labor laws is not publicly available.

Expand All

Although the problem does not appear to be widespread, children are engaged in child labor, including in the agricultural sector in Oman.(1) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Oman. Data on some of these indicators are not available from the sources used in this report.

Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Working children, ages 7 to 14 (% and population):

Unavailable

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

Unavailable

Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):

Unavailable

Primary completion rate (%):

108.8

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2014, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(2)
Data were unavailable from Understanding Children’s Work Project’s analysis, 2015.(3)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children’s work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children’s Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Agriculture

Farming,* activities unknown (1)

Fishing,* activities unknown (1)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.

 

The Ministry of Social Development set up a study group, in cooperation with the Sultan Qaboos University, to research how to combat child labor in Oman.(1)

Oman has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

 

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

16

Article 46 of the Child Law (4)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Article 76 of the Labor Law; Article 45 of the Child Law (4, 5)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

Yes

 

Article 76 of the Labor Law (5)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Articles 1, 2, and 9 of the Law to Combat Human Trafficking; Article 3bis of the Labor Law (5, 6)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Articles 1, 2, and 9 of the Law to Combat Human Trafficking (6)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 1, 2, and 9 of the Law to Combat Human Trafficking; Articles 220, 221, and 224 of the Penal Code (6, 7)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Articles 99 and 229 of the Penal Code; Article 58 of the Child Law (4, 7)

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

N/A*

 

 

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

16

Article 55 of the Child Law (4)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

16‡

Article 36 of the Child Law (4)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 13 of the Basic Law; Article 36 of the Child Law (4, 8)

* No conscription (9)
‡ Age calculated based on available information (10)

In 2015, the Ministry of Manpower drafted regulations that specify under what conditions children may be engaged in light work, pursuant to the Child Law.(1)

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Ministry of Manpower

Monitor and enforce child labor laws, conduct labor inspections, and share information with the Royal Oman Police on labor and criminal law violations when penalties are pursued.(11)

Ministry of Social Development

Enforce the Child Law, including receiving complaints and referring cases to the Royal Oman Police and Public Prosecution.(1)

Royal Oman Police

Monitor and enforce the Child Law, including its provisions related to child labor; refer cases to the Public Prosecution.(11, 12)

Public Prosecution

Prosecute human trafficking and sexual exploitation cases in court with assistance from the Royal Oman Police.(11, 13)

Child Protection Committee

Protect the child from exploitation and receive complaints and reports of violations of child rights, including the worst forms of child labor.(4)

 

In 2015, the Ministry of Social Development established a mechanism to receive complaints from the public regarding child labor, including its worst forms, and refer them to the Royal Oman Police for investigation.(1)

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2015, labor law enforcement agencies in Oman took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Labor Inspectors

200 (10)

160 (1)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Unknown

Unknown (1)

Training for Labor Inspectors

   

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

Unknown

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

Unknown

Unknown

Refresher Courses Provided

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Labor Inspections

Unknown

Unknown (1)

Number Conducted at Worksite

Unknown

Unknown (1)

Number Conducted by Desk Reviews

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

Unknown

Unknown (1)

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Penalties Imposed That Were Collected

Unknown

Unknown

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (14)

Unknown (1)

Routine Inspections Targeted

Yes (14)

Unknown

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (15)

Yes (15)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

No (14)

Yes (1)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

No (10)

Yes (1)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

No (10)

No (1)

 

In 2015, the Ministry of Manpower provided training on child labor issues in cooperation with the ILO. The specific type of training is unknown.(1)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2015, criminal law enforcement agencies in Oman took actions to combat the worst forms of child labor (Table 7).

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Training for Investigators

   

Initial Training for New Employees

No (10)

No (1)

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

No (10)

No (1)

Refresher Courses Provided

No (10)

No (1)

Number of Investigations

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Violations Found

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Convictions

Unknown

Unknown

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Unknown

No (1)

 

There was no evidence of child trafficking in the reporting period.(16) Research found no evidence of formal mechanisms or procedures to proactively identify children engaged in the worst forms of child labor.

Although the Government has established the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking, research found no evidence of mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking

Oversee the National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking. Includes the Royal Oman Police; the Public Prosecution; the Ministries of Information, Education, Manpower, Health, Social Development, Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Legal Affairs; and the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.(13)

National Committee on Implementing the UNCRC

Led by the Ministry of Social Development to oversee the implementation of the UN CRC, including its provisions related to child labor and its worst forms. Other members include representatives from the Ministries of Health and Education, and the Royal Oman Police. There are subcommittees in all 11 governorates.(10)

 

The Government of Oman has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 9).

 Table 9. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking

Establishes roles and responsibilities of governmental organizations involved in combating child trafficking and describes procedures for applying the Law to Combat Human Trafficking.(13)

 

Although the Government of Oman had adopted the National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking, research found no evidence of a policy to address all forms of child labor, including in farming and fishing.

In 2015, the Government of Oman funded programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 10).

Table 10. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Programs of the National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking†

Government programs under the National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking. Includes implementation of awareness-raising activities on human trafficking in schools and among the general population, provision of social services for trafficking victims, and coordination with international organizations on human trafficking developments.(13)

Trafficking Victims’ Shelter†

Government-run shelter that provides accommodations and social, psychological, legal, and medical services for up to 50 women and children who are victims of trafficking.(17, 18)

† Program is funded by the Government of Oman.

The exclusion of migrant workers and their children from public social services, including education and housing benefits available to citizens, may increase their vulnerability to the worst forms of child labor.(19)

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Oman (Table 11).

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Enforcement

Collect and make publicly available data on the labor inspectorate funding, whether inspectors are authorized to assess penalties, the types of training for labor inspectorate, the number of inspections and whether they were conducted at the worksite or via desk review only, the number of violations, the penalties including those imposed, and whether routine and targeted inspection were conducted.

2013 – 2015

Establish a referral mechanism between law enforcement and social services.

2014 – 2015

Ensure that investigators receive training on the worst forms of child labor.

2015

Collect and make publicly available data on the number of criminal investigations, violations, prosecutions, and convictions.

2013 – 2015

Develop formal mechanisms and procedures to proactively identify victims of all worst forms of child labor.

2011 – 2015

Coordination

Establish a coordinating mechanism to combat child labor, including in its worst forms.

2009 – 2015

Government Policies

Develop a national policy to address all worst forms of child labor.

2013 – 2015

Social Programs

Ensure that migrant workers’ children are afforded protection from exploitation through access to social services.

2011 – 2015

 

1.         U.S. Embassy- Muscat. reporting, January 18, 2016.

2.         UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed December 16, 2015]; http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. This ratio is the total number of new entrants in the last grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the theoretical entrance age to the last grade of primary. A high ratio indicates a high degree of current primary education completion. Because the calculation includes all new entrants to last grade (regardless of age), the ratio can exceed 100 percent, due to over-aged and under-aged children who enter primary school late/early and/or repeat grades. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

3.         UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Analysis received December 18, 2015. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor.  For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

4.         Government of Oman. Royal Decree Number 22/2014 issuing the Child Law, enacted May 19, 2014.

5.         Government of Oman. Royal Decree Number 35/2003 issuing the Labor Law, enacted April 26, 2003. http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/67540/84139/F1719028671/OMN67540.pdf.

6.         Government of Oman. Royal Decree Number 126/2008 issuing the Law to Combat Human Trafficking, enacted November 23, 2008. www.ncchtoman.gov.om/download.asp?filename=ncchtLaw_e.pdf.

7.         Government of Oman. Royal Decree Number 7/74 - The Penal Code, enacted February 16, 1974. https://www.unodc.org/tldb/pdf/Oman_CP.pdf.

8.         Government of Oman. Royal Decree Number 101/96 issuing the Basic Statute of the State, enacted November 6, 1996. http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=6118.

9.         Child Soldiers International. Louder than Words: An Agenda for Action to End State Use of Child Soldiers. London; 2012. http://www.child-soldiers.org/global_report_reader.php?id=562.

10.       U.S. Embassy- Muscat. reporting, January 22, 2015.

11.       U.S. Embassy- Muscat. reporting, January 16, 2014.

12.       U.S. Embassy- Muscat official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. April 27, 2015.

13.       Sultanate of Oman National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking. National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking. Muscat; September 2009.

14.       Oman: Labour Inspection Structure and Organization, ILO, [online] [cited November 11, 2015]; http://www.ilo.org/labadmin/info/WCMS_150276/lang--en/index.htm.

15.       Gianni Arrigo, Giuseppe Casale, and Mario Fasani. A Guide to Selected Labour Inspection Systems (with special reference to OSH). Working Document Number 10. Geneva, ILO; February 2011. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---lab_admin/documents/publication/wcms_160576.pdf.

16.       U.S. Embassy- Muscat. reporting, February 1, 2016.

17.       U.S. Department of State. "Oman," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2012. Washington, DC; June 19, 2012; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2012/index.htm.

18.       U.S. Embassy- Muscat. reporting, February 25, 2014.

19.       United Nations General Assembly. Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review 10th Session. Compilation. Geneva; January 24- February 4, 2011.

Related Content