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Oman slams rights group report on maid conditions

Oman rights commission says the title of the report is misleading giving the impression that abuse is institutionalised

Gulf News

Muscat: Oman’s government-backed National Human Rights Commission has slammed a report published by the Human Rights Watch in November 14 on the conditions of Tanzanian domestic female workers in Oman entitled: “I was working like a robot.”

Oman Human Rights Commission (OHRC), said in a statement denied that the mistreatement of domestic workers was a widespread phenomenon and urged HRW to be more objective when collecting data.

The rights workers did not travel to Oman to verify allegations of the Tanzanian workers, it added.

Instead they traveled to Tanzania—posing as tourists—to conduct their interviews.

The title of the report insinuates that abuse is institutionalised, when this is not the case, the commission explained.

“This is the second report in which the organisation focuses on domestic female workers in Oman, after its first report published in 2016 titled “Ba’aouni” (I was Sold),” OHRC said.

OHRC added that it studies with great concern all reports published by the local, regional and international organisations on human rights situation and conditions in the Sultanate, based on its powers and jurisdictions stipulated in its Law of establishment No. 124/2008.

The Commission is responsible for monitoring and rectifying violations.

Data is collected and analysed and published accordingly.

The report was based on a series of interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch in October and November 2016, and others in February 2017.

It addressed some of Oman’s labour laws and regulations on domestic workers.

The Tanzania’s Commission for Science and Technology also denounced the report.

There are currently around 140,000 housemaids in Oman now, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

Around 30 million riyals is spent on salaries of maids annually.

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