UNICEF in Oman
UNICEF’s partnership with the Government of Oman was established in 1971 with the aim of improving the health and social services for children and women in the Sultanate. In 1982 UNICEF opened its office in Muscat, becoming a full-fledged country office in 1987. Its partnership has culminated in numerous achievements, such as the expanded programme of Immunization (EPI), hygiene and sanitation treatment, Oman’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocols to the CRC, the successful nationwide implementation of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), women and child labour law amendments and the publishing of various reports.
UNICEF with the support from the Government of Oman has a strong mechanism to push through its agenda, that is advocating for the rights of children and women. UNICEF is also working with other UN agencies and partners in addressing some of the emerging health issues like diabetes, obesity, substance abuse and lifestyle issues among adolescents. The subject of adolescents is very important for the work of UNICEF and the focus now is increasingly on highlighting their needs.
In the area of education UNICEF works in quality of education, and work is ongoing on the establishment of a link between outputs of the education system and the labour market needs. In the area of child protection, UNICEF is supporting the Government in providing technical assistance in developing a legislative and institutional framework for child protection. Support is also provided in institutional development and capacity building of professionals in child protection particularly focussing on cases of child abuse.
UNICEF is working extensively in upstream policy development and supporting evidence-based policy making through strengthening establishment of databases to monitor the situation of women and children. Through the work of national committees of CRC and CEDAW, UNICEF also supports the Government in promoting development of national plans of action for children and women. The focus is also on equity, geographical disparities as well as socio-economic disparities. UNICEF is using the analysis of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey to highlight the issues related to disparities in the country, and is working with the Ministry of Health in developing a child development index.
The three Conventions – CRC, CEDAW and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) form the normative framework of UNICEF’s country programme with the Government of Oman.