Oman's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nepali Embassy unite to combat human trafficking
January 10, 2018 | 3:16 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: The Embassy of Nepal, Muscat organised an Ambassador Level Luncheon meeting of the "Colombo Process Member Countries" and "Abu Dhabi Dialogue Member Countries" Ambassadors based in Muscat, with coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Committee for Combatting Human Trafficking of the Sultanate of Oman at Sheraton Hotel, Muscat on January 9, 2018.

The meeting commenced with the speech of Her Excellency Ambassador Sarmila Parajuli Dhakal.

Dhakal briefed about the Colombo Process and informed invitees about Nepal’s current chairmanship of the process and its theme, 'Safe, regular and managed migration: win-win for all.'

The ambassador talked about five thematic areas of action of the process namely skills and qualification recognition process; fostering ethical recruitment; effective predeparture orientation and empowerment; remittances; and labour market analysis.

Additionally, four other thematic areas of action have provided important platforms for the CP countries to cooperate within the region and beyond, widely and deeply.

Dhakal stressed that all such consultative mechanisms should be made more collective, meaningful, productive and should be properly implemented for safer and secure migration that is equitably beneficial for countries of origin and destination.

First Secretary Aisha Sahar Wahid Al-Kharusi, Head of Partnership Initiatives and Cooperation Projects at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman delivered a speech elaborating the work the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking (NCCHT), headed by His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Hamed bin Humood Al Busaidi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to increase protection for vulnerable parties as well as for tackling human trafficking in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL and the International Labor Organisation (ILO).

She provided a brief about Oman's Royal Decree on Anti-Trafficking Law (No.126/2008) and 3Ps of Combating Human Trafficking – Prevention, Protection and Prosecution, and the fourth lesser-known P – Partnership, and spoke about the new activities being undertaken by the NCCHT.

She also highlighted the importance of the cooperation and facilitation of all the concerned embassies and thanked the Embassy of Nepal for initiating the gathering.

Counsellor Mohammed bin Ahmad Al-Rawahi, Legal Advisor to the Minister for Manpower explained the various activities of the Ministry of Manpower for the welfare and rights of the labour force as well as its role in developing programmes and systems to assure the best interests of both, the employers and employees, by inspecting work facilities, safety, professional health and social protection for workers.

H.E. Al-Rawahi informed about the regular awareness campaign, publication and distribution of guidelines for migrants’ welfare in 14 languages.

Lastly, Mr Younis Al Harrasi, Director of Communications at Bayan Tebyan, the agency that manages the campaign’s communications, prepared a brief presentation over the NCCHT’s nationwide campaign "Ehsan" activities designed to help people understand what is human trafficking, how to identify, report and prevent it.

Launched on October 16, 2017 by NCCHT, the 'Ehsan' campaign utilised different communications tools and platforms, which include 22 posters in several languages proclaimed across Muscat, three screens at Muscat international Airport and Royal Oman Police (ROP) centres.

To further promote the drive, a television interview was held on Oman TV that focused on topics such as common human trafficking issues as well as the laws and regulations that monitor it.

Additionally, a two-hour live discussion was organised on Al Wisal FM with participation of guests from ROP, Manpower and Public Prosecution.

The campaign is now looking forward to introduce some of its social media activities such as uploading short awareness clips and educational posters, the launch of its new website and development of a mobile application.

The meeting ended with the luncheon adding special Nepali cuisine "Momo". Participants including H.E. Ambassadors, Heads of Mission of Colombo Process Member Countries and Abu Dhabi Dialogue Member Countries, guests from Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman appreciated Nepal Embassy's and the Sultanate's efforts that focus on the welfare of migrant workers and combating human trafficking.

They also thanked H.E. Sarmila Parajuli Dhakal for hosting this meeting and creating a platform to speak about migrant issues.

The guests from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs First Secretary Aisha Sahar Wahid Al-Kharusi and Mr Donald Buechner, resident TIP Expert whereas the Ministry of Manpower were represented by Counsellor Mohammed bin Ahmad Al-Rawahi, Legal Advisor to the Minister of Manpower, Mr Salim Al-Badi, General Director of Labour Welfare, Mr Abdullah Al-Malahi, Director of the International Organisations.

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