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Oman (Sultanate of) [1] [print]

Last edited: December 2005


Summary and Analysis


Oman ratified the Convention on December 9, 1996. Oman made a reservation to all the provisions of the Convention that do not accord with Islamic law or the legislation in force in the Sultanate and, in particular, to the provisions relating to adoption set forth in article 21 of the Convention.[2]

The Government formed a National Committee on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) to monitor the country's compliance with the Convention.[3]


In general the Omani legal system is characterized by a scarcity of legislation and just in recent years has introduced new decrees and codes, especially in commercial issues. Omani law is governed by the Shari'a (the Ibadi school of the Sunni sect). Shari'a remains the basis for family law and deals with such matters as divorce and inheritance, but does not speak to the child's right to be heard in protective proceedings. In June 1997, the Personal Status Law was promulgated by Royal Decree 32/97 with the aim of unifying judgments on matters like marriage and divorce, which had been open to differing interpretations under the existing customary laws. The Personal Law contains provisions for the custody of children and favors granting custody to the individual who is best able to raise, protect and guard the child's welfare.[4] 


Although the Basic Law guaranties freedom of expression, Oman does not have legislation to specifically implement the provisions of Article 12 of the Convention and therefore children in Oman do not enjoy the right to freely express their views in child protective proceedings. Traditional attitudes towards children in society may limit respect for their views, especially within the family and schools.[5] The exercise of a child's right to expression shall not exceed the limits of religious convictions or socially accepted behavior.[6]


In cases of dispute over custody in a divorce, children at an age when they can freely make a choice will be consulted and their desires will be respected.[7] 


The Ministry of Social Affairs, Labor, and Vocational Training and the National Committee for the Care of Children are responsible for assisting children in difficult situations.[8] The ministry established the Family Counseling and Guidance Department and introduced a new system for reporting incidents of child abuse and neglect.[9]


Despite our efforts, we were unable to locate a contact person for Oman.


Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)


Original text




The Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman


Original text unavailable.


International Law


اتفاقية حقوق الطفل[10]

المادة 12

1. تكفل الدول الأطراف في هذه الاتفاقية للطفل القادر على تكوين آرائه الخاصة حق التعبير عن تلك الآراء بحرية في جميع المسائل التي تمس الطفل، وتولى آراء الطفل الاعتبار الواجب وفقا لسن الطفل ونضجه.
ولهذا الغرض، تتاح للطفل، بوجه خاص، فرصة الاستماع إليه في أي إجراءات قضائية وإدارية تمس الطفل، إما مباشرة، أو من خلال ممثل أو هيئة ملائمة، بطريقة تتفق مع القواعد الإجرائية للقانون الوطني.






The Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman[11]


Article 12 Social principles


The family is the basis of society, and the Law regulates the means of protecting it, safeguarding its legal structure, reinforcing its ties and values, providing care for its members, and creating suitable conditions for the development of their aptitudes and capabilities.


Article 29 - Expression


Freedom of opinion and expression, whether spoken, written or in other forms, is guaranteed within the limits of the Law.


International Law


The Convention on the Rights of the Child[12]

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.


Additional Links


www.omanet.om ministry of information of Oman





[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[3] National Committee on the Rights of the Child, available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41729.htm. Also referred to as The National Committee for the Care of the Child (NCCC).

[4] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial reports of States parties due in 1999, Addendum: Oman, ¶ 17, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/78/Add.1 (Jul. 18, 2000), available as .pdf Document.

[5] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Oman, 28th Sess., 749th mtg. ¶31, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.161 (Nov. 6, 2001), available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[6] Initial Report, supra note 4, at ¶82.

[7] Id., at ¶103.

[8] Id., at ¶109-110.

[9] Concluding Observations, supra note 5, at ¶35.

[10] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), ratified by Royal Decree No. 54/96, available at http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/arab/b026.html

[12] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm.


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