Wednesday, November 19, 2008

GW Bush clarifies why Oman was taken off Human Trafficking Tier 3

Following up on the infamous Tier 3 rating Oman received from the original US State Dept Human Trafficking report, and the subsequent amendment made this week by the US placing Oman on Tier 2 watch list, here's GW's official explanation, as leaked by the Oman's Ambassador in the released letter (and thanks for the link provided in earlier comments Lurkiloo). It is not an admission of error in the original rating, nor a 'cancelation' of Tier 3, but an update to Tier 2 Watch List based on new progress (apparently).

Interesting. Essentially the efforts made by Oman (both administrative and diplomatic) were considered enough to lift the country to an official 'OK, we see a bit of progress, so even though you are still non complaint with the act we'll cut you some slack and expect to see more progress next year' type of argument.See the full US President's report here.

I hope we will see a follow-up of actual action and results in the 9 month breathing space afforded by HM's diplomatic wasta, sorry, I mean the US Administration's re-evaluation following the slight actions taken by Oman since the report was published. And by that I do not mean more laws, more training, a few awareness campaigns, and the '3 monkey' approach to such serious issues, etc etc etc, but instead:
- actual trafficked persons like enslaved prostitutes (who do exist in Oman) rescued and cared for (and not prosecuted),
- the criminals (and their Omani sponsors and customers) arrested, tried, punished and publicly identified in line with the law,
- inhuman exploiters of manual laborers and housemaids also dealt with by the full force of the law.

Please Oman. It's not hard - because I agree that you do not, on the scale of things, have a huge problem with human trafficking in an absolute sense. But you must demonstrably place the rights of these exploited people ahead of those of the expat and Omani who commit these crimes.

Presidential Determination With Respect to Foreign Governments' Efforts Regarding Trafficking in Persons

Memorandum for the Secretary of State
SUBJECT: Presidential Determination with Respect to Foreign Governments' Efforts Regarding Trafficking in Persons
October 17, 2008
Presidential Determination No. 2009-5

Consistent with section 110 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Division A of Public Law 106‑386), as amended, (the "Act"), I hereby:
- Make the determination provided in section 110(d)(3) of the Act, concerning the determination of the Secretary of State with respect to Moldova and Oman;

On the basis of positive actions undertaken by the Government of Oman since March 2008, the Secretary of State has determined that the Government of Oman does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. This is the standard for placement on Tier 2 of the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report.

The Secretary of State has placed Oman on the Special Watch List because the determination that the Government of Oman is making significant efforts is based, in part, on our expectations of additional future steps over the next year.

Since the June 2008 release of the TIP Report, the Government of Oman has adopted significant measures to prevent trafficking in persons for the purpose of forced labor by addressing abusive work conditions. Such measures include its recruitment of a total of 94 additional labor inspectors (male and female) – as well as 7 legal researchers – to strengthen enforcement of Oman labor laws and punish acts of trafficking for labor exploitation. In August, labor inspectors received training in collaboration with the International Labor Organization that, among other topics, highlighted their role in combating human trafficking and best practices against trafficking in persons. Oman’s Ministry of Manpower has publicly admonished the poor performance and excessive fees charged to workers by some Omani labor recruiting firms, and it has pledged to conduct more regular inspections of their operations.


  1. October 20 but Oman thanked a month later

  2. Is everyone blind or what? Human rights commission was established right when the downgrade happened.

    -Omani in US

  3. my post is entirely unrelated but i hope that someone, especially UCDragon will shed proper light on this.
    sometime back it was announced that PCCW-Awaser Oman had won the bid for the second fixed line services.
    Now today's Times of Oman has frontpaged a report saying that Nawras has won the bid.
    what is happening?

  4. grass is green:

    PCCW-Awaser Oman failed to satisfy the financial requirements set down by the TRA, so Qtel (Nawras) got the gig instead (they were always a front runner for the fixed line services). I'll be moving my land line over to Nawras as soon as it is possible to.

  5. is it that obvious or is there something more than meets the eye? bcoz i'm sure that PCCW has enough money going by their size of operations

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. A lawyer friend of mine is pending official release from his emloyer.

    Does this issue relate to the post /comments in any way?

    PCCW-Awaser Oman - Pl. read this news on Reuters.

  8. I have no idea of course ref: PCCW Awaser Oman, but is it possible they were rejected because of some conflict of interest issue that Nawras is not contaminated with???


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