23rd Session, November 5, 2015
As delivered by Amanda Jessen
The United States welcomes the Omani delegation.
We commend Oman for its recent steps to establish labor courts and for enacting legislation providing protections for workers’ rights. We remain concerned, however, by the government’s limited efforts to hold forced labor offenders accountable through criminal prosecution under Omani law.
We are encouraged by several court cases in which government officials have been held accountable for corruption through an independent public prosecutor.
The United States also is concerned about continuing restrictions on the freedom of expression and the continued detention of bloggers. We note with concern the restrictions on civil society, including the limitations on the ability of civil society groups to receive foreign funding and interact with foreign organizations.
We recommend that Oman:
- Increase efforts to investigate and criminally prosecute forced labor offenses and sentence convicted offenders to adequate terms of imprisonment.
- Revise its Law to Counter Information Technology Crimes to protect online expression and allow internet access without blocking content.
- Reform civil society laws to establish a streamlined legal framework through which independent organizations can register, and to allow these organizations to accept assistance and contributions from foreign sources.