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06MUSCAT1711 2006-12-20 12:59:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
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1) Per ref A, the following information updates Post's 2005
report on Oman's actions against child labor, particularly
its worst forms (ref B).

2) In 2006, Oman strengthened its legal and regulatory
framework to enforce prohibitions against employing children.
Under the U.S. ) Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Oman
amended its 2003 Labor Law to increase the fines and prison
sentences for hiring children under the age of 15 (ref C).
Oman also took steps to enforce the Ministry of Sport's
August 2005 prohibition against employing underage camel
jockeys (ref D). Officials at the Oman Equestrian and Camel
Federation claim that all camel jockeys registered since
January 1, 2006 are Omani citizens and meet the minimum age
requirement of 14 years, which is set to rise gradually to 18
by 2009. They also state that the Federation monitors each
race to ensure that only registered riders are participating.
Oman has yet to specify the types of work that are
considered harmful to the health, safety and morals of
children as required by Article 4 of ILO Convention 182.
Officials at the Ministry of Manpower assert that they are in
the process of drafting a Ministerial Decision to update
Article 79 of Oman's 2003 Labor Law to meet this commitment.

3) In other steps, Oman agreed to ratify the Gulf Cooperation
Council's (GCC) Unified Trafficking in Persons Law, which the
GCC Supreme Council endorsed during its December 10 meeting
in Riyadh. According to local press, Oman will implement the
law to prevent trafficking and protect victims, especially
women and children, after a transition period of four years
from the date of ratification, during which the law's
provisions will act as a set of guiding regulations.
Throughout 2006, Oman continued supporting social policies
that prevent children from entering the workforce. All Omani
children and those of expatriates employed by the government
are entitled to free primary and secondary education. In
addition, the Ministry of Education announced a partnership
with UNICEF to develop a syllabus on human and child rights,
and study how to incorporate it into the standard curriculum
of primary and secondary schools.