Oman Hosts Regional Seminar On Labour Rights


The Declaration covers four areas: freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of forced and compulsory labour; the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in the workplace. The three-day seminar aims at enhancing the knowledge of professionals at ministries, social organisations and private labour establishments on rights at work stated in the declaration with focus on association freedom and avoidance of discrimination in the workplace.

It also seeks to shed light on legislative developments adopted in the GCC countries and enrich dialogue and opportunities of joint work among ILO member countries, and reaching a common understanding and agreement on various issues concerning fundamental rights at work. Nada al Nashef, Arab Regional Director at the International Labour Organisation, in a speech said there have been some serious and positive changes in labour strategies in the last few years including unemployment compensation adopted by Bahrain, labour law reform in Oman, UAE and Bahrain, as well as others.

“These changes reflect a strong interest by these countries to improve the status of foreign labour and give them equal treatment in pay and care as fundamental labour rights dictate,” she said. “This seminar is a starting point towards creating mechanisms of trilateral dialogue between production parties in the GCC countries which will be rewarding in terms of improving the performance of labour market and establish a sustainable socioeconomic development in the region.

“Oman’s experience in socioeconomic development is exceptional and an example for others to follow as the Sultanate is always a leader in respecting and adopting international laws and standards especially those in regard to labour.” “The announcement by the Ministry of Manpower in Oman to reform the labour law and give labourers the right to organise themselves within unions and give productions parties total freedom and bigger role in decision making especially in regard to the labour market.

“I should also praise the work of labour inspectors who successfully finished a training workshop we conducted in Oman and Bahrain and wish them good luck in their work to participate in the rapid development the labour market witnesses in the region,” she added. Othman al Tuwaijri, Director-General of the Executive Office of GCC Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs, commended the seminar objectives saying they focus on international labour standards and the follow up or its applications in the GCC countries, as well as mechanisms of elimination of forced work and human trafficking.

“This seminar shows the region’s firm determination to create better social dialogue between parties of production. This will help find efficient representatives capable of defending the rights of each party and protect their interests which increases their ability to make a difference and have a stronger say in making applicable strategies and laws.” The first day’s programme included a lecture on the Declaration presented by Dr Khawla Mattar, Regional Consultant of the Declaration at the ILO, followed by a presentation on union freedom and public negotiation by Dr Mattar.

The evening session featured a talk by Jamal al Salman, Director or Labour Affairs at the Executive Office of ILO on Application of International Labour Standards in the GCC countries. Yahoo al Kharbooshi, Director of Union Organisations at the Ministry of Manpower, spoke on the development in labour representation and union freedom in Oman.

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