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Despite local reluctance: OAHR participates in preparing Oman UPR shadow reports

OAHR participated with a number of international human rights NGOs in preparing the United Nations shadow reports for the Universal Periodic Review 2020 (UPR) for Oman in its 37th session. The deadline for reporting to the Human Rights Council was the July 9, 2020.

The UPR is an international procedure that follows the Human Rights Council, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006. It aims to improve the human rights records of all (193) UN Member States, through Evaluating the extent to which states respect their obligations regarding human rights. Each state is provided with the opportunity to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations such as the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and human rights treaties ratified by the state, in addition to the voluntary pledges and commitments made by the state and gives the states the opportunity to review the measures that they have taken to improve the human rights conditions in their countries, including civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.

The review is based on objective and reliable information on the extent to which each country fulfils its obligations to improve human rights conditions in a manner that ensures the comprehensive application and equal treatment of all states. All member states are reviewed every four years, 48 states are reviewed each year at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland.

There are three official documents that support each review:

The national report prepared by the country under review.
Summary of civil society NGOs and national human rights institutions.
Information provided by “other relevant stakeholders”.

Oman was previously reviewed under the 17th session in January 2011 (First Cycle) and under the 31st session in November 2016 (second Cycle). While the date of the 37th session of the review was postponed from November 2020 to early 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The new date has not been determined yet.

As for the previous two sessions, the Omani government was presented with a set of recommendations related to the violations of human rights in the country to raise its attention that Oman was not committed to its obligations in implementing and respecting human rights on the ground.

Among the documents considered in the UPR for each state are ones that are based on the information provided by independent NGOs, national human rights institutions and individuals, who are allowed to draw the Council’s attention when any human rights violations occur. Accordingly, OAHR cooperated in preparing the third session shadow reports for Oman, and these two reports are:

  • UPR Joint Submission on Statelessness, which was prepared in cooperation with:
    • The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI)
    • The Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights (GCENR)

It is worth noting that, until this date, no local NGOs in Oman has announced the submission of a UPR shadow report for the year of 2020.