UNCLAS MUSCAT 001289
STATE FOR DRL/IL (LHOLT), NEA/RA, NEA/ARPI
STATE PASS USTR FOR JBUNTIN, AROSENBERG
DOL/ILAB FOR TINA MCCARTER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI MU
SUBJECT: CHILD LABOR UPDATE FOR OMAN
REF: A. SECSTATE 143552
Â¶B. 04 MUSCAT 1449
Â¶C. MUSCAT 1237
Â¶D. MUSCAT 1045
Â¶E. MUSCAT 1277
Per ref A, the following is updated information to supplement
our 2004 and previous child labor reports. Updates are keyed
to categories listed in ref A, para 7:
A) Laws/Regulations proscribing the worst forms of child
-- While the Omani government does not consider minor camel
jockeys as necessarily falling under the province of
International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 182, in
August 2005 the Ministry of Sport raised the minimum legal
age of camel jockeys to 18. A waiver is available that sets
the current minimum age at 14 years, rising annually by one
year until achieving the 18-year minimum by the 2009 camel
racing season (ref C).
-- On July 3, the Sultanate ratified ILO Conventions 105 and
138, Abolition of Forced Labor and the Minimum Age of
Employment (ref D).
-- The inter-ministerial Committee on Health and Safety,
established after Oman's 2002 ratification of ILO Convention
182, is still drafting a proposed list of the worst forms of
child labor, as called for in Article 4 of the Convention.
B) Implementation and Enforcement:
-- The Ministry of Manpower is charged with enforcement of
Omani labor laws.
-- Statistics for 2004 indicate a staff of 42 persons in the
directorate charged with reviewing labor disputes. The
directorate conducted 4148 labor inspections in 2004 and 257
re-inspections. The statistics do not specify whether
children were among workers at any of the inspected
establishments (15 is the minimum age for non-hazardous
employment), but the total workforce of inspected
establishments totaled 82,964.
C) Social programs to prevent worst forms of child labor:
-- As reported in 2004 (ref B), basic education is compulsory
through grade 10.
-- The National Committee on the Rights of the Child, the
Ministries of Social Development, Education and Manpower, and
the local UNICEF office are all engaged in efforts to ensure
basic education and a healthy environment for minors.
D) Comprehensive government policy:
-- Among the government's efforts to protect children is the
2004-2006 Country Program of Cooperation between the
Sultanate of Oman and UNICEF. Representatives from both
parties conducted a mid-term review of the program in May
Â¶2005. The joint strategy focuses on improving well-being of
children and families, promoting quality education, child
protection, and development of life-skills and healthy
lifestyles among adolescents.
E) Continual progress toward eliminating the worst forms of
-- UNICEF and the ILO have applauded the Sultanate's decision
to raise the minimum age of camel jockeys (ref E).