Muscat: Violence against children is rare in the Sultanate of Oman. If some cases come to the notice of authorities, action is swiftly taken.
A few days ago, the Ministry of Social Development followed up on a video circulating on social media platforms about “a child being subjected to physical abuse.”
Accordingly, the ministry explained its intervention as soon as it received the report through the child protection representative. It coordinated with the relevant authorities, took the necessary legal measures, and detained the offenders. The ministry said the child’s health was safe and stable.
Oman Human Rights Commission stresses that the judiciary and the competent authorities in the Sultanate of Oman deal with cases of violence against children under the provisions of the Omani Penal Code.
Abuse includes physical and emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, child labour or other types of exploitation, which cause actual or potential harm to the child’s health and threaten his or her development or dignity at home, schools and other areas.
Any form of violence against a child is a crime punishable by imprisonment from five to no more than 15 years and a fine of up to RO 10,000.
For children with disabilities, the Sultanate of Oman has a range of specialised services. However, most of them are limited to major cities. The government is continuing its efforts to implement inclusive education in regular schools.
In addition, cases of child abuse can be reported through Child Protection Line 1100 and the Ministry’s Call Centre 1555.
Parents need to be cautious as cases of their abuse are reported even from homes and schools.
The UNICEF Gulf Office focuses on strengthening the capacity of governments to generate the data needed to improve analysis of the causes and prevalence of violence against children, strengthen national response systems, and monitor the effectiveness of responses at the national level.
The data can be used to help governments raise national awareness of children’s rights.
The Ministry of Social Development has taken many steps to build a safe family and a stable and cohesive society, protecting every child on the land and preserving his rights and its mission is to provide protection for beneficiary cases, working to rehabilitate them, as well as rehabilitating family members and specialists dealing with them according to scientific standards.
There is a directorate in the ministry specialised in family development, and in this directorate there is a family protection department. One of the specialties of this department is to identify the dimensions of social problems, work to find programmes that help solve them, receive communications and study them to verify their accuracy and validity, and then develop a treatment plan for the case. Also, preparing the statistical database on family protection, setting plans for family protection and strengthening the efforts of the concerned mechanisms in coordination with the relevant authorities in the field of protection.
Child protection committees are also present in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman. They were formed by a ministerial decision. Child protection committees are responsible for receiving complaints and reports about any violations of children’s rights, and about cases of a child being subjected to violence, exploitation or abuse, all as indicated by the regulations, and the members of these committees. They are represented by the Royal Oman Police, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Health, the Public Prosecution and Sultan Qaboos University Hospital.
Awareness needs to be focused on protecting children from neglect, abuse and violence.
Every child has the right to be protected from violence, exploitation and abuse. In addition, facilities are in place to help children to access social services and solve the issues.