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The Sultanate has preserved the rights of the child early before it adopts the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, and joining it in 1996. For the Sultanate had formed a committee to celebrate and organize events and activities of the International Year of Child in 1979, based on the Ministerial Decision No. 78/6. This was followed by the formation of the National Commission for Child Welfare by Royal Decree No. (85/92), headed by the Minister of Development and work at the time. It was re-formed again and is currently under the management of Ministry of Social Development.

With time, the requirements of the overall concept of family issues changed; therefore, the National Commission for Family Affairs was formed to deal with family, women and children's issues. In order to work on activating the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ministerial Decision No. 2001/9 was issued to form a committee to monitor the implementation of the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the Ministry of Social Development.

In 2007, the National Committee met and suggested preparing the Child Law (Arabic-only PDF) proposal, and at the same year held a talk panel for professionals and workers in the field of childhood to study laws and regulations relevant to child, and finally the team set up of legal experts and specialists worked on the draft of the project, and give the draft in 2010 to the National Committee of family Affairs to take into consideration its observations and proposals as well as those made by the ministries and all the competent authorities, and finally the law was handed to the Ministry of Legal Affairs to review the final form and present it to the Ministers, Shura and State’s Councils.

The Child Law includes 13 chapters, 79 articles on protection of child, in particular, the following rights:

  • The right to live, survive, and grow.
  • The right to non-discrimination because of race, color, sex, origin, language, religion, social status, or any other reason.
  • The right to be given priority in best of interests in all decisions and actions taken thereon, either by units of administrative apparatus of the state, judicial authorities, or those entrusted with child care.
  • The right to participate, to express his/her opinion, express in the framework consistent with the rights of others and public order and public morals and national security, and provide full opportunity for him/her to disclose his/her views.”

The law defines the child as “every human being who has not completed eighteen years,” and ensures that each individual within this category have their civil rights, health and education rights free of charge, and it prohibited all substances, behaviors and practices that threaten child’s mental and physical health. Articles (28 and 29) in the law that the state shall ensure children whose parents can’t afford to take care of them, as well as ensuring orphans and children of unknown parents, according to the provisions of the Social Security Act.

Cultural rights law and rights of the child to rest and play were also stated. And the prohibition of employment of children in acts that inflict moral damage to child’s body or behavior, and the law dealt with the types of jobs that the child can do in a detailed manner, as well as hours of operation and the right to get a break and get paid.

The law didn’t forget the rights of disabled children, and his/her rehabilitation. And finally, it explained penalties for each violation of the provisions of the law, penalties may get to 10,000 RO or imprisonment for a period of 3 years, according to the type of violation committed.

Related Links
The Convention on the Rights of the Child’s page on UNICEF

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