WASHINGTON: The Sultanate has been ranked among countries that are making significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons.
The Sultanate has been ranked on Tier 2 alongside countries like Germany, Poland, Turkey, Italy, and Latvia, according to the Trafficking in Persons (TIP Report) annual report published by the US State Department.
The TIP Report ranks each country on one of four tiers. Such rankings are based on the extent of government efforts to eliminate human trafficking. Tier 4 is allocated to countries with special cases while the countries ranked in Tier 3 are those whose governments do not fully meet the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.
The US State Department report indicates an increased effort by the government of the Sultanate of Oman in combating human trafficking which includes enabling self-reporting of abuse by victims to obtain protection from the government agencies.
The report noted that the Sultanate’s government decided to remove the requirement for “no objection” certificates (NOCs) in seeking new employment and exit permits following the amendments to some provisions of the executive regulations of the Foreigners’ Residence Law declared by the Royal Oman Police on May 31. As per the amendments, a foreigner’s visa can be transferred from an employer to another employer who has a license for recruitment of foreign manpower, provided the employee presents a certificate of termination or expiration of labor contract.
The US Department affirmed that the Sultanate has strived to lay down a national action plan for combating human trafficking, and made significant efforts to reform its sponsorship system.
“Human trafficking became a topic of public concern in the 1990s due, in part, to the fall of the former Soviet Union, the resulting migration flows, and the increasing concern about the growth of transnational criminal organizations operating globally”, the report said.
The US State Department noted that the TIP report, which will be submitted to Congress, ranks governments’ efforts to combat trafficking in persons and indicates how well governments complied with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking. — ONA