Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tier three, again

For the second year running, Oman has earned a place amongst the fabulous glitterati of Tier three on the US Dept of State Human Trafficking report. The only entities surprised by this are the ministry in charge of fixing it, and perhaps the courts. The media coverage and press release from the Ministry of Foreign affairs was so shocking, that if I were in charge I would haul up the Minister and departmental heads of the ROP and Courts and demand an explanation.

You can read the report here. One can and should question if the US is a good country to be evaluating the human rights of other nations (Git-mo Abu Gharib, etc...) but the observations in the report are a totally accurate analysis of the current Human rights situation in Oman.

I, personally, am ashamed and embarrassed, because I thought Oman was actually going to DO SOMETHING about human trafficking, instead of throwing a few conferences, issuing a decree which was never enforced and distributing a printed leaflet to illiterate labourers. How hard would it be to actually run an aggressive sting programme to bust companies and individuals who deny their employees their basic human rights? Follow that up with some aggressive prosecutions, some crippling fines, and jail time for the CEO's and sponsors convicted of sexual trafficking, Physical abuse, Non payment of Wages, and withholding Passports. Then publish their pictures in the paper. Front page. Next, set up a small shelter for Victims of human rights violations, as well as local victims of marital violence.

Congratulations one and all. This is certainly a proud moment for our glorious nation.

4 comments:

ColOman said...

This is done for political gain. I would say this is true but since the UAE is not below us on the list, it can't be true. That country is full of hookers and protest are a daily thing.

This has to be because of our support for Iran and its way to put pressure on us.

Don't be naive, life is not that direct and simple.

Suburban said...

Coloman, thanks for the comment!

I can see why a lot of people feel would that way, but I think the US has plentiful means to exert pressure on Oman for political support. (the FTA, the US foreign Aid payments, etc...)

I also think the US is well aware that publishing the report and ranking Oman as TIER three would NOT HELP to garner political suport for thier plans in Iran or elsewhere. If anything, the publication of this report has acheived the opposite.

Look at the truly pathetic press releases sent by the Foreign office and the Majlis A Shura. In Both, not one single fact was presented to contradict the statements in the report. If we are doing such a great job at protecting human rights then show me the numbers. They are collectively hiding thier outright failure to protect the rights of thousands, behind thier self rightious indignation. How Sad.

Given the sort of country we are, the human rights situation in oman is appaling. We are not a third world country, and we have the police, courts, and infrastructure to prevent and punish the pimps and employers who exploit other Humans. Yet we choose not to. Instead we have spent another year twiddling our thumbs. It's shameful.

The difference between here and Dubai is that the UAE is actually DOING SOMETHING to combat this plague. They have a HUGE problem with trafficked women and labourers but they have laws and punishments for the criminals and a Judicial system that results in convictions. They have, finally, set up a sort of safe home for battered and trafficked women in charity city(?), and they regluarly conduct stings.

I think the biggest difference between there and here is that in Dubai most of the traffickers are foreign nationals. Here most of the sponsors for prostitutes are Omanis, though there are quite a few foreign traffickers acting as Liaisons. Just my observations.

Thanks again for the comment!

ColOman said...

Suburban,

Dubai economy dependes of hookers in many ways. This is a fact and the law there will not allow you to jail anyone for sex, unless you do it in a public place, other wise, its impossilbe to get busted.

I live in Dubai for 4 years and they dont see harm in having hookers as long as the hookers and pimps stick to their jobs only. Drugs are taken very seriously there.

With regards to the sheltered women and stuff, these are non profit organizations and I remember them being kicked out of their place since they could not afford rent, so unless something changed it was not completly organized as you stated.

Do we in Oman need these laws yes, 100%, an we do more yes, cbut to say that Dubai is not in tire 39 is a bunch of bull.

To put pressure of a country you will use all kind of tactics and these low blows is a good place to start as the FTA and Aid payment are harder to use for many reasons.

This will be the start of many claims to come from America, remember me then

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