Global Fairness 2006: Oman’s Labor Laws Fall Far Short of International Standards
[Excerpt] The labor laws of Oman simply do not protect the fundamental rights of workers. At this time, Omani workers are unable to form independent unions or to bargain collectively. Instead, the employer decides which benefits, if any, the workers shall enjoy. The law is completely silent on the right to strike. The constitution and labor laws do not prohibit the use of forced labor for public services, and the worst forms of child labor, such as camel jockeying, are still permitted in law and practice. As the 2006 State Department Report on Human Rights Practices explains, some foreign workers are trafficked and may be put in situations amounting to forced labor. Employers are known to withhold documents that would allow foreign workers to change employers, putting them at risk of detention and deportation. Finally, the constitution vests in the Sultanate the absolute power to issue and ratify laws. Thus, the labor laws that exist today could easily be weakened or revoked.
Oman; labor movement; labor law; workers’ rights; human rights
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