With domestic violence only recently classified as a crime in Mongolia, police officers, judges and other justice professionals initially had to navigate unfamiliar territory. Capacity building programs are helping them to support victims in line with the new legislation and resolve cases through coordinated response mechanisms.
Landlocked and traditionally isolated, Mongolia possesses a great wealth of under-exploited natural resources, including gold, silver and copper, as well as 10% of the world's known coal reserves. Although the country is peaceful and politically stable, corruption, insufficient transparency in government affairs, and an ambiguous foreign investment legal framework have undermined its capacity to fully capitalize on its economic potential.
Strengthening the domestic violence response in Mongolia
IDLO is implementing a project in Mongolia that aims to strengthen the response to domestic violence and increase access to justice for survivors.
Domestic violence in Mongolia is increasingly recognized as a significant problem. Law enforcement officials report that in 2016 domestic violence cases increased by 25 per cent in the first seven months of the year compared to the previous year. In response, the Government of Mongolia has begun to take legislative and policy steps to improve its response to the issue. While important steps continue to be taken, significant challenges remain.
Investment climate to improve through creation of transparent and predictable legal environment
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> 50% of all cases reported to the police in Mongolia relate to domestic violence, according to law enforcement officials.
> In 2015, national statistics showed a 25% increase in the number of domestic violence cases reported, compared with previous years.
On a recent trip to a Central Asian preliminary detention center, the custodians proudly showed us the new ventilation system to prevent from spread of TB – a cut-in window directly across the door.
In recent years, following a growth spur which made it the fastest growing economy in the world, Mongolia has experienced rapid economic and social downturn. Although the years of growth yielded wealth and investment, the country was unable to prepare for a recession due to corruption, inflation, distortion of the local economy and environmental degradation. One of the key obstacles to sustainable growth and development is the weak and poorly prepared judiciary.
Mongolia’s rapid economic and social growth over the last few years is threatened by low-quality and unenforced court decisions. Despite a series of judicial reforms launched by the Government, Mongolia still lacks the legislative framework necessary to enforce court decisions or a strategy to address a growing caseload. Moreover, bailiffs’ inadequate legal knowledge and skills weaken the credibility and efficiency of the judiciary system and impede its proper functioning.
The continued challenges Mongolia faces in implementing its anti-corruption reforms demonstrate a clear need for improvement in the immediate detection of corruption cases and stronger international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in corruption-related criminal matters.
Funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia, the “Child Protection Enhancement Project” (CPEP) builds on the results of its first phase of COVID-19 response programming addressing child access to justice in Mongolia. CPEP works to enhance the child protection system and support Mongolian children by building the technical and professional skills of Legal Committees for Child Rights (LCCRs) through mentorship and advanced training.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it have had severe and long-lasting impacts on Mongolia. Though prevention and containment measures have successfully prevented a large-scale health crisis, extended lockdowns have negatively affected children’s access to education, psychological and physical wellbeing and reduced the capacity of the Mongolian justice system to respond to crimes against children.
Legal reform and institutional capacity building have been priorities for the Government of Mongolia since 2005, when a specific Government Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection was established. However, the Government Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection still has institutional weaknesses and has not always been able to effectively implement changes of the legal framework.
The Government of Mongolia has taken a number of legislative and policy steps aimed at tackling domestic violence. While the new legal framework undeniably offers an improved, holistic and more victim-centered approach, its practical implementation and adherence to ensuring the needs of victims requires significant technical assistance, ongoing monitoring, and effective coordination among all the relevant actors.