Muscat: On Sunday the Ministry of Social Development issued executive regulations for the Child Law which include mechanisms for child protection. Here's how the rules work.
According to the law: "If it is proved there is an imminent threat to the life or safety of the child, the child protection representative has the right to remove the child from the location, with the assistance of the Royal Oman Police."
This empowers the Child Protection Committee to act on reports of any violations of the law or the child's rights. In case of violence or abuse, the procedure to be followed includes communicating with the child, as well as the family, and recording statements.
In case the family cannot come to the Committee's offices, a specialist will be sent to visit the home to discuss the complaint.
"The concerned authorities should intervene if necessary to remove the child from the place where he or she is located, such as the home, educational institution, etc., to provide necessary protection," the Ministry added in the procedures.
The child has the right to express opinion, the law says. "In the case of a complaint, the Committee is obliged to take the opinion of the child to determine his or her needs, ensure that he or she has adequate information on the actions and decisions to be taken and to grant freedom of expression to his or her views and wishes." In addition, "the child must be informed of the procedures and given the opportunity to respond," the law states.
In the event that the child is found to have been subjected to violence, exploitation or abuse, after examining the complaint, the child protection representative can take a number of measures according to the law.
These include keeping the child in the family with the commitment of parents or caregivers to protect the child from any danger. This is with the provision that the delegate pays regular visits to ensure the stability of the situation and reports to the Committee on the protection provided to the child for further action.
Moreover, the authority will develop an appropriate plan for intervention and rehabilitation for the child and the parents or caregivers, in cooperation with specialists, and take the necessary measures to prevent a negative impact on the health and safety of the child.