Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Oman
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Oman, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a6fc.html [accessed 21 September 2014]|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of Oman has made clear progress against human trafficking since the release of the 2009 TIP Report. Oman convicted two expatriates for forcing a third expatriate into prostitution in September 2009 and sentenced both offenders to seven years' imprisonment and a $26,000 fine. According to the Omani government, two additional TIP prosecutions are underway.
In early October 2009, the government, in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO), conducted a two-day anti-human trafficking workshop for personnel of 12 government agencies. Also in October, the government's National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking launched a website and hotline which provides information on pertinent legislation, tools for identifying TIP victims, as well as reporting mechanisms to the relevant authorities. The committee also published the government's comprehensive National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking on the website. During the period, the public prosecutor's office trained prosecutors on the mechanics of prosecuting cases under the country's anti-TIP legislation.
Since the release of the 2009 report, Oman completed training for the police on the identification of trafficking victims and began using this training to screen immigrants who are apprehended for illegally entering Oman. Oman has yet to implement formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution and migrants detained once in country for immigration violations. The country has not completed construction of a central shelter that will provide protection services to both labor and sex trafficking victims; however, Oman continues to provide shelter, financial assistance, and counseling to TIP victims at appropriate facilities.
The government reported multiple cases in which the Ministry of Manpower forced employers to return passports to employees after the Ministry received complaints about passports being held and indicated that there were at least four cases where the Omani courts forced the return of passports. The law that prohibits withholding of workers' travel documents does not provide penalties for violation, however.