Oman's human rights body commemorates 10 year anniversary

Energy Monday 10/December/2018 21:51 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman's human rights body commemorates 10 year anniversary

Muscat: Oman’s Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has been at the forefront of preserving the rights of all men, women and children, both citizens and expats, for a decade.
December 10, the International Human Rights Day, also marked the 10th anniversary of OHRC. At the celebratory event, officials revealed statistics about various cases related to women, children, and people with special needs. Sheikh Abdullah Al Hosni, chairman of the commission, said, “We have received more than 650 reports related to human rights since our foundation.”
The chairman said the commission’s main focus is on child safety and rights, adding: “These are innocent children, and we are all responsible for protecting them. We cannot avoid accidents, as some are inevitable, however, we can stand together to try and reduce the phenomenon of accidents caused by neglect.”
Al Hosni said that according to data from the Royal Oman Police, “Child deaths as a result of accidents where they have been run over have reached more than 194 cases over the last five years.”
“We know that the government, specifically the Ministry of Social Development, the ROP, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have been working hard to protect and care for the safety of children, however, the issue of neglect should be tackled.” “My message to all mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers is to enjoy themselves but to always keep an eye on their children. Kids cannot distinguish between a dangerous and a safe situation. Therefore, we as adults must be cautious.”
The event took place under the auspices of Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal Al Busaidi, Minister of Interior. OHRC also organised a children’s drawing competition for different schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
The event was attended by Dr. Yahyah Al Mandhari Chairman of the State Council; Khalid Al Mawali, Chairman of Shura Council; Sheikh Khalid bin Omar Al Mahroon, Minister of Civil Service; and Ahmed Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower.
Ali Al Barwani, the outgoing CEO of the Oman Road Safety Association, said that more needed to be done to find out why so many children had lost their lives on the road.
“If there are almost 200 cases of children who died in accidents on the road over five years, it means there are 40 cases a year, which means there are several cases every month. In a developed country such as Oman, you have to look into why this is happening, because this is not a number that you can just ignore. You need to look at roads where these accidents are taking place. If it is the main road, maybe the parents are not with the children so they must pay more attention.”
“If it is happening in residential areas, or near schools, or near the playground, we have to look at why this is happening and then solve it, based on the results we find,” added Al Barwani.
“Maybe we will find that it is a lack of infrastructure, or maybe it has to do with a lack of awareness. Whatever the case is, we have to look at it properly, because if you want safe roads, then children are the most important people to protect.”
According to the OHRC, in the last decade, there were 25 cases related to children’s rights. The violations included healthcare, family safety, sexual harassment, and a decent living.
“We are hearing more and more cases of children drowning, being locked in a car, or left on the bus, and this must stop,” Al Hosni added.
The commission also received 113 cases related to women’s rights and 19 cases related to the rights of people with special needs.
From 2010 to 2018, the OHRC carried out 45 visits to prisons and places of detention in the Sultanate, and as a result, met with approximately 450 inmates and detainees.
The number of reports received by the committee fell by 45 per cent from 2016 to 2017, however, the number of sexual reports increased three times during the same period.
“Our society is not perfect, but we must always preserve the rights of every woman, child, worker, citizen, and resident. They must all be given their rights in accordance with the law,” said Al Hosni.