Despite having reached satisfactory standards of democracy and improved the respect for human rights, Mongolia faces some serious issues in addressing high levels of domestic violence against women. Mechanisms and services for protection of and support to victims of domestic violence are still very limited. A lack of training, procedural guidelines and inter-agency coordination between justice sector actors often creates obstacles for victims and hinders an efficient response to domestic abuse.
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.
According to some estimates, one in three Mongolian women is a victim of domestic violence and approximately one-half of all administrative detainees and one-quarter of criminal detainees have been held for domestic violence-related offenses.
As part of IDLO’s continuous commitment to accountability and results-based management, IDLO is pleased to share this Evaluation Brief (summarised evaluation report): “Commercial Law Judicial Capacity Building in Mongolia”. The evaluation has been conducted by independent evaluation experts, supervised by IDLO’s Evaluation Unit.
Mongolia has formally joined IDLO, the latest stage in an expanding partnership for the advancement the rule of law. The first communist-ruled nation outside the Soviet Union, Mongolia has over the last two decades built a democracy that is untypical of its region. But for all the efforts of its political class and civil society, it has some way to go to improve governance, enhance access to justice, and reduce inequality.
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While Mongolia enjoys a reasonably good overall human rights record, the picture is somewhat bleaker when it comes to domestic violence; and despite a number of recent, positive regulatory and judicial steps aimed at tackling it, domestic violence remains a pressing issue.
Honduras, Mongolia and Pakistan have formally joined IDLO, taking the number of Member Parties to 30. The three countries were unanimously welcomed as IDLO Members at the organization's Assembly of Parties, currently underway at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. At the event, Irene Khan was confirmed as IDLO's Director-General for a second four-year term.
Many national and foreign businesses seeking dispute resolution are still unaware that Mongolia offers faster, more cost-effective options than the courts. To promote these options, IDLO has helped establish Mongolia's first private mediation center and assisted in creating the first Mongolian corps of world-class commercial mediators. Established at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with main premises in Ulaanbaatar and a branch office in the second largest city of Darkhan, the center benefits from close proximity to Mongolia's business community.
Unless it boosts capacity in commercial law, Mongolia risks discouraging inward investment, not least in the vital mining sector. To avoid this happening, IDLO has been working with Mongolia's Supreme Court and Judicial General Council to improve the courts' ability to apply commercial law. In particular, we have ensured that 24 Mongolian judges are equipped to train their peers in areas such as mining disputes, intellectual property and competition law.
Mongolia’s investment climate is chronically undermined by poor enforcement of rulings. In an effort to improve the enforcement rate, IDLO has been helping strengthen the Mongolian General Executive Agency of Court Decisions by building the capacity of more than 200 bailiffs (12 of them bailiffs-trainers) in areas including sale and seizure of property, mediation and international arbitration, and conflict management.
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.