Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 15:15 GMT

2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Oman

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 7 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Oman, 7 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8c9e2c.html [accessed 31 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

UNICEF is working with various government agencies to establish a National Plan of Action for Children to promote children's rights and improve the quality of education in the country.[1901] The Ministry of Education is implementing a basic education program intended to extend the length of primary education until the age of 16 years.[1902] The Ministry of Education is also working to increase net enrollment among children and improve the education curriculum.[1903]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 1999, the ILO estimated that less than 1 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 14 in Oman was working.[1904] Children are reported to work in small family businesses, particularly in the agriculture and fishing sectors.[1905] It has been reported that some children work as camel jockeys.[1906]

Education is free but not compulsory in Oman.[1907] In 1997, the gross primary enrollment rate was 97.5 percent[1908], and in 1996 the net primary enrollment rate was 68.7 percent.[1909]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The 1973 Labor Law sets the minimum age for employment at 13 years.[1910] The Labor Law also prohibits the employment of children between the ages of 13 and 16 in arduous, night, or overtime work without the authorization of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.[1911] The Labor Law and the 1996 Basic Charter prohibit forced labor.[1912] Prostitution caused by coercion or intimidation is illegal under the Penal Code,[1913] and while no laws specifically criminalize trafficking in children, the Penal Code prohibits abduction as well as deportation of any person for the purposes of forced labor or slavery.[1914] The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is responsible for enforcing child labor legislation.[1915] Oman has not ratified ILO Convention 138, but ratified ILO Convention 182 on June 11, 2001.[1916]


[1901] As part of the National Plan of Action for Children, Oman established a National Committee for the Care of the Child, which is authorized to conduct studies and research related to children. See "Youth in the UN," Country Profiles, Oman [hereinafter "Youth in the UN"], at www.esa.un.org/socdev/unyin/countrya.asp?countrycode=om on 11/8/01. See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of States Parties Due in 1999: Oman, UN Document CRC/C/78/Add. 1 (Geneva, July 18, 2000) [hereinafter Initial Reports of States Parties], at paras. 25, 28, and 86.

[1902] Government of Oman, Ministry of Information, "Oman 2000" (Muscat, 2000), at www.omanet.com/oman2000/oman2000.htm on 11/8/01. See also Initial Reports of States Parties.

[1903] "Youth in the UN: Oman," at http://esa.un.org/socdev/unyin/country.

[1904] According to the ILO, 0.1 percent of children between 10 and 14 were working in 1999. World Development Indicators 2001 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001) [hereinafter World Development Indicators 2001].

[1905] Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Oman (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) at Section 6d [hereinafter Country Reports 2000].

[1906] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Oman, UN Document CRC/C/15/Add. 161, October 12, 2001 [hereinafter Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child], para. 51.

[1907] Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child at para. 172.

[1908] UNESCO, The Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Oman, at http://www2unesco.org/wef/countryreports/oman/rapport_2_2.html.

[1909] World Development Indicators 2001.

[1910] The government is in the process of increasing the minimum age for employment to 16 years to coincide with the Basic Education Plan, which will provide schooling for children until age 16. See "The Effective Abolition of Child Labor: Oman," Review of Annual Reports under the Follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, ILO Document GB.277/3/2 (Geneva, March 2000) [hereinafter "The Effective Abolition of Child Labor"], 327. See also Initial Reports of States Parties, paras. 23, 51.

[1911] "The Effective Abolition of Child Labor" at 327.

[1912] See Country Reports 2000 at Section 6c. See also Basic Charter, Article 12, November 6, 1996, at www.uni-wuerzburg.de/law/mu00000_.html on 11/8/01.

[1913] If the law is violated against a person less than 18 years of age, the punishment is imprisonment for at least 5 years. See Omani Penal Code, Article 220, as cited in "Sexual Offences Laws," Oman, Interpol, at www.interpol.int/public/children/sexualabuse/nationallaws/csaoman.asp on 11/8/01. See also Initial Reports of States Parties at para. 235b.

[1914] Omani Penal Code, Articles 256-261, as cited in Initial Reports of States Parties at para. 238.

[1915] See Country Reports 2000 at Section 6d.

[1916] ILO, ILOLEX database: Oman at www.ilolex.ch on 11/8/01.

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