But this lead Oman News Agency story from yesterday forced me to suck it in and make some time. I had to laugh out loud when driving to work and I heard the top story: that Oman's Foreign Ministry, through spokesman Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, the secretary-general, stated that they had officially complained to the US ambassador that the recent report on human trafficking was unfair, full of lies, and obviously untrue. Obviously.
He sounded pretty pissed off. As well he should be, not because Oman doesn't deserve Tier 3 (they do), but because I bet His Majesty is super-dooper mad with the Foreign Ministry for not getting Oman out of Tier 3, despite his explicit instruction that they do so.
This is why over the past year we're had a workshop on human trafficking (and sponsored by the Foreign Ministry, not the ROP), a royal decree stressing that human trafficking is illegal (which it was already), press reports on how bad human trafficking is and how fantastic Oman's police have been in combating it, and leaflets for (some) sub-continent workers.
And Al Busaidi was rather miffed that all that 'effort' had been for nothing. Oman is still officially rated by the US state dept as a very naughty country. WTF? You bet HM will be pissed off. The press release was a classic CYA move.
Perhaps Sayyid is yet to learn that the rating is based on actually doing something, and not on just talking about doing something. And certainly not based on talking about maybe planning to do something, or a few propaganda stories in the ever pliant media.
Workers from the subcontinent continue to have their passports taken, worked 7 days a week, 12 hrs a day (or more), paid less than a 100 dollars a month, with no right to leave their employer for another. Maids continue to be abused. Indian and Iranian women held as forced prostitutes in Ruwi, or Chinese girls openly made to sell sex with their pimps there to supervise. And no prosecutions.
Times Of Oman
Sultanate rejects US allegation of human traffickingOK. I agree its a bit rough being rated in the lowest category when the UAE is rated as Tier 2. They are far worse. Maybe now we'll actually see some real action. But don't hold your breath. Expect another conference soon...
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 12:23:17 AM Oman Time
MUSCAT — The Sultanate has rejected and protested the latest US state department’s report on human trafficking citing Oman for the second year among countries that have made no efforts to fight this global issue.
It said that the faulty report doesn’t tell the truth, shows the Sultanate in bad light, and shows the shortsightedness of the US views. Besides, it doesn’t reflect the real life situation of the citizens and expatriates in the Sultanate.
The above had been quoted by Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, secretary-general of the Foreign Ministry, in reply to journalists’ questions yesterday regarding the Sultanate’s stand on the US State Department’s report, and measures taken by the Sultanate in this regard.
He said that he met with the US ambassador to the Sultanate on Monday and handed over to him an official protest note, informing the Sultanate’s rejection of the misleading information and incorrect allegations mentioned which contradict the reality.
He added that everyone knows that the Sultanate is renowned for its serious cooperation with the international community in combating crime and that the competent authorities in the Sultanate are very serious on cracking down, arresting and punishing perpetrators of all crimes and not human trafficking which has become a global issue..... etc