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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                                

The Sultanate of Oman

Oman is a middle-income economy that is heavily dependent on dwindling oil resources, but sustained high oil prices in recent years have helped build Oman's budget and trade surpluses and foreign reserves. As a result of its dwindling oil resources, Oman is actively pursuing a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP to 9% by 2020.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Oman

Oman is a transit and destination country for men and women, primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia, most of whom migrate willingly to Oman as domestic servants or low-skilled workers in the country’s construction, agriculture, and service sectors. Some of them subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, such as withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, long working hours without food or rest, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Unscrupulous labor recruitment agencies and their sub-agents at the community level in South Asia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may coerce or defraud workers into accepting work in Oman that turns out to be exploitative and, in some instances, constitutes involuntary servitude. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009     Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Oman.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

Ministry of Manpower
800 77 000
Country code: 968-



Arms Trade – Oman

Victoria Garcia, Center for Defense Information CDI, February 13, 2004

[accessed 15 December 2010]

BACKGROUND - While the U.S. State Department has noted some improvements in the area of human rights, Oman’s record is still poor.  The judiciary is not independent of the sultan’s rule, freedom of expression and association are limited, due process is sometimes denied, citizens are not free to marry foreigners, human rights organizations are forbidden, women’s rights and workers’ rights are restricted, and forced labor as well as the abuse of foreign domestic servants are significant problems.

*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Oman

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 20 June 2021]


Some migrant workers, employed as domestic workers or as low-skilled workers in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors, faced working conditions indicative of forced labor, including withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, usurious recruitment fees, nonpayment of wages, long working hours without food or rest, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.


In 2019 the country made a moderate advance in eliminating the worst forms of child labor, and there is evidence that children in the country engaged in child labor, including in fishing and selling items in kiosks.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 4 May 2020]


Oman’s labor policies put migrant workers at a severe disadvantage and effectively encourage exploitation. Household workers, who are not covered by the labor law, are especially at risk of abuse by employers. The government has pursued an “Omanization” process to replace foreign workers with native Omanis. Among other tactics, temporary visa bans for foreign workers in various professions have been issued or extended since 2013. Despite a 2008 antitrafficking law and some recent efforts to step up enforcement, the authorities do not proactively identify or protect human trafficking victims.

2018  Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor

[accessed 20 January 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[Select Oman]

In 2018, Oman made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Sultan of Oman promulgated a new Penal Code that enhanced penalties related to commercial sexual exploitation of children. The National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking signed an agreement with the Oman Lawyers association to allow attorneys to represent victims of human trafficking on a pro bono basis. The Committee also launched and began implementing a new National Action Plan for Combating Human Trafficking and conducted awareness-raising activities.  Although research is limited, there is evidence that children in Oman engage in child labor, including in fishing and selling items in kiosks.

UN expert on human trafficking calls on Oman to do more to help victims

UN News Centre, 8 November 2006

[accessed 10 September 2014]

[accessed 4 May 2020]

“Some of these migrant workers are often lured in their country of origin by unscrupulous recruiting agents with false promises of a certain job or certain working conditions. More often than not they are shocked to find themselves in exploitative situations upon arrival,” she said, adding that “casual labourers” are one of the most disadvantaged groups and most open to abuse.

child slavery – petition

Petition sponsored by ipetiton

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

1. Please take urgent action against human trafficking, especially young children between the age of 2 to14 years who are being used as camel jockeys in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, and other parts of the Persian Gulf, Middle East, and Arab regions. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, children should be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse. They should be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to interfere with their education or be harmful to their physical or mental health and spiritual, moral and social development.

2. Ban under-age and under-weight camel jockeys. The practice should be eliminated in all of the countries listed.

3. Prohibit unhygienic living conditions and purposely providing inadequate nutrition to the jockeys.

4. Prohibit physical and sexual abuse by the trainers.

5. Urge the government to set and implement standards to improve living condition for the jockeys.

Slavery of Children and women in Persian gulf countries

Morteza Aminmansour, Persian Journal, Jun 20, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 9 September 2011]

Exact number of victims is impossible to obtain, but according to an official source in UAE, there has been increase in the number of teen-age girls in prostitution (forced to work from Iran and other countries). The magnitude of the statistic conveys how rapidly this form of abuse has grown. The popular destinations for victims of the sex slave trade are the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf (UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar). Traffickers target girls between 13 and 17 to send to Arab countries. The number of Iranian women and girls who are deported from Persian Gulf countries indicates the Magnitude of the trade. - htcp

Secretary-General of League of Arab States Delivers Address

United Nations Press Release, Commission on Human Rights 58th session, 17 April 2002

[accessed 15 December 2010]

ZAKARIYA AL-SA'DI (Oman) said from the beginning of the 1970s, Oman had been giving particular attention to the rights of the child. There was a clear political will to improve the status of children and to address their needs and their development. Oman had always acceded to international conventions on the rights of children. It was inconceivable that children were not protected even in the twenty-first century. It had been internationally recognized that the children of Oman, being brought up in an Islamic country, were fortunate to have escaped several of the scourges suffered by children in other countries. International reports had proved that Oman had showed its commitment to children. Oman's achievements had been noted and the improvements it had made had been given international recognition.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [DOC]

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29 September 2006$FILE/G0645119.doc

[accessed 15 December 2010]

[65] While noting that the domestic legislation prohibits forced child prostitution, manufacturing, acquiring or distribution of pornographic materials, bondage and slave trade, the Committee is concerned about the potential of the State party to be or become a destination country of trafficking in children owing to the large number of migrants in search of employment. It notes with concern the lack of data and the lack of research on the prevalence of national and cross-border trafficking, child prostitution and child pornography. Concern is also expressed about the lack of a comprehensive procedure to identify children who may be victims of trafficking and the absence of adequate recovery and reintegration services for these victims.

The Protection Project – Oman [PDF]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 13 February 2019]

A Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING -- Many workers, both men and women, are lured to work in Oman from their countries of citizenship by recruiting agents who promise them steady jobs and good working conditions. Once in Oman, however, the workers often discover they have signed fictitious contracts and find themselves in exploitative conditions, such as commercial sexual exploitation or labor exploitation on camel farms. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Sigma Huda, reported on issues of human rights violations in Oman with regard to exploitation and maltreatment of migrant workers (especially  “casual  laborers”)  including  physical  and  emotional  violence,  sleep deprivation, withholding of wages, restriction of movement, confiscation and withholding of passports, and denial of basic communication (e.g., telephone communication). Women from Eastern Europe, South Asia, North Africa, and China are involved in prostitution, but it is unclear who of those women, if any, are victims of trafficking; however, the International Trade Union Confederation has reported on the use of women for commercial sexual exploitation, trafficked from the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Morocco, and Eastern Europe. A report by Organs Watch, an organization based at the University of California, Berkeley, identified Oman as one of the world’s major organ-importing countries, suggesting that the international organ trade was a remnant of the inadequacy of many countries’ health care systems.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The law does not prohibit trafficking in persons; however, trafficking crimes are prosecuted under the criminal code and those convicted face three to five years in prison.

While one NGO reported unsubstantiated claims of evidence near the Buraimi Oasis that foreign children were trafficked to the country for training as camel jockeys, the local UNICEF representative concurred with the government's denial that foreign children were trafficked and employed as camel jockeys. According to a December 20 statement from the International Labor Organization, child camel jockeys were no longer an issue in the country.

The government operated a 24‑hour hot line to register complaints of potential victims and also worked with foreign governments to prevent trafficking in persons.

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