It seems that the US Government has agreed to undo that, as reported in the Oman Tribune and Observer.
Sultanate hails US on trafficking list move
WASHINGTON The Sultanate has welcomed the US decision to remove it from a certain list in the report on human trafficking by the State Department.
Deputy US Secretary of State John Negroponte has received a written message from HE Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, Secretary-General at the Foreign Ministry, that included the Sultanate’s welcoming of the US president’s decision to cancel the statement about the Sultanate cited in the US Department of State’s report on human trafficking and removing its name from the third category in that report.
The message was delivered by Haneenah Bint Sultan Al Mughaireyah, the Sultanate’s Ambassador to the US, when she was received by the US deputy secretary of state in Washington.
While the full Tribune article tries to take all the credit for the revision for the Tribune [really, read the full article for a good example of OTT reporting], there is no mention on the US State Dept website I could find. Readers should note the article is quoting the wording contained in a letter send by Oman to the US, rather than a proactive statement by the US.
Presumably this is an official 'follow up' to place in the official written record something from a verbal statement made by the US, and therefore more probably related to the recent visit of dep. Sec State Negroponte last month when he met HM.
So, yes, I think its pure politics, and just because of HM's involvement, and probably due to a loose verbal statement made by Negroponte to HM, possibly combined with the continuing battle in the US to get full implementation of the US/Oman free trade agreement ahead of the new administration. It's also one of those moments when no-one mentions that it's something good for Oman coming from the so-called 'authority' of the hated GW Bush. It is not a technical revision from the civil servants who drafted the original report, but Omanis will probably not care about this subtle difference.
I think it merely shows the real politic of the US Administration in response to a personal appeal from HM, and not so much that the original rating was actually flawed.
I'm sorry Oman that you felt insulted, and yes I totally agree the UAE did not deserve at all to be Tier 2 while you were Tier 3. But I stick with my original opinion that Oman should concentrate on real effective change in their actual enforcement and establishment of institutions to support and protect vulnerable women expats from the third world, make some prosecutions, and not just complain that good intentions were not apparently enough.
And yet another reason to see the end of this terrible Bush administration...