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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

OHRC celebrates Human Rights Day

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The Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Oman Human Rights Commission (OHRC), celebrated Human Rights Day under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd bin Mahmood al Said, Secretary-General of the General-Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, at the Civil Aviation Authority hall in Al Seeb, Muscat.


Shaikh Abdullah bin Shuwain al Hosni, Chairman OHRC, said "In the celebration of the International Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10, attention and appreciation is drawn to the foundations, principles and goals set by the United Nations to care for and preserve human rights all over the world. On this occasion, the OHRC renews its commitment and keenness to work with those international principles and mechanisms based on the provisions of our religion and the foundations of local legislation and laws that protect human rights and safeguard their interests in our homeland".


Al Hosni added that this year witnessed the most important event for the Oman Human Rights Commissions, which was the issuance of Royal Decree No. (57/2022), granting the commission broader powers and responsibilities that were summed up in the complete independence of the commission in carrying out its work and responsibilities, adapting the election process instead of appointment for the positions of the president and his deputy, and preventing eligibility of members representing government agencies in the committee from voting on its decisions.


"The commission may establish branches in the governorates. The term of membership is four years, coinciding with the term of the Council of Oman, renewable for one term," he indicated.


He also said, "During this year, the OHRC committee held many activities locally and abroad. It received more than 272 humanitarian issues from citizens and residents where it provided its legal opinion. It directed them to the authorities concerned to take the necessary action in his regard. It also received and monitored 74 reports as it intervened with the competent authorities to find appropriate solutions. More than 15 lectures were delivered to introduce the commission, its goals and responsibilities".


Al Hosni noted that the commission organised, last June, a symposium on the role of national mechanisms in promoting and protecting human rights in order to enhance cooperation and coordination with the concerned authorities in the government and in society in general. In addition, it organised a workshop in September on international conventions related to combating torture and protection from enforced disappearance, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The event was attended and lectured by a delegation from the United Nations High Commissioner headed by Mohammed Ensour, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Division.


On the external level, more than seven international reports were answered by governmental and non-governmental organisations, through which the commission clarified all the facts and topics that were raised about human rights issues and issues in the Sultanate of Oman.


On issues of neglect and abuse against children, al Hosni said: "through reports or means of monitoring during the last period, OHRC has followed up the issue of neglect in general and towards children in particular, which we fear that these unfortunate practices will turn into a phenomenon with unimaginable consequences. In this regard, the commission viewed statistics and figures issued by the competent authorities. It found out that the number of deaths due to child neglect during the past three years reached more than 77 deaths, including drowning cases, forgetfulness in a bus or car, or bypassing valleys during their flow, which led to the loss of precious human lives".


During the ceremony, a film about the efforts of government agencies, civil society institutions, and the OHRC to promote children's rights in the Sultanate of Oman was shown. Also, a theatrical show discussing the problem of neglect towards children was presented through examples of unfortunate practices of neglect.


The patron of the event awarded six human initiatives at the level of the country, those of which contributed to serving human rights in general and children's rights in particular.


The initiatives included Dar al Hanan affiliated to Oman Cancer Association, Muscat; My childhood is safe, from Dhofar; Listen to me is concerned with stuttering; Tell me about them, from Sohar; Protect myself from Sur and Masaira charity team.


@zainabalnasseri


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