Oman will soon enact law to check human trafficking


The new moves were revealed by a senior official on the opening day of a workshop on combating human trafficking at the Diplomatic Institute.

Nayef Obeid Al Salami, Head of the institute’s International Affairs Department, said Oman would shortly pass "a special national legislation to deal with human trafficking and form a national committee in this regard."

He pointed that the government had given top priority to cooperation with the international community to curb the menace and further "consolidate Oman’s commitments through international charters and by joining regulated international agreements and conventions such as the UN pact on fighting cross-border organised crimes and its protocols."

Attorney-General Hussain bin Ali Al Hilali, who inaugurated the seminar, said the Sultanate had managed to realise high rates in economic and social growth that resulted in making it a destination for skilled and unskilled expatriate workers. "Despite the development witnessed by the Sultanate in the last four decades, crime rates of all types are extremely low as compared to other countries," he added.

“Some people might think that our crime statistics were not referring to this kind of offence — human trafficking — because of legislation deficiency in this field. But we confirm that is not the case because we have provisions issued in 1974 that criminate and punish people found guilty of this crime," Hilali said, adding: "However, we affirm a special law will be enacted in the foreseeable future and through joint efforts we will portray our true image through the international community so as to realise the principles of human freedom which all people aspire for."

Executive Director of Protection Against Human Trafficking Project Professor Mohammed Mattar said he was delighted that the GCC countries were aware of the problem of trafficking and are trying to take necessary steps to combat the problem. He noted that in October, the Arab League held a session and called upon all Arab countries to pass laws on human trafficking.

Criminalisation, he stressed, was not enough. "We need to advance to protection and prevention as required by the UN protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking especially women and children."

Several international experts and specialists from various government departments are taking part in the workshop which aims to raise awareness about the issue and how to combat it at the international level.


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