In November 2009, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), with support from the U.S. Department of State, launched its Mongolia program, which aims to reduce human trafficking.
Mongolian men, women and children are trafficked to countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Macau, Malaysia and South Korea both for sexual exploitation and for forced labor. Internal human trafficking, especially forced prostitution, is also a growing problem. While the government of Mongolia is making significant efforts to improve its standing vis-à-vis international standards, greater use and development of the country’s legal framework is necessary to deter human trafficking.
Mongolia amended its human trafficking law in 2007 to provide for up to 15 years imprisonment. However, only a handful of convictions have ensued, partly because of the limited legal services available for human trafficking survivors and the insufficient protection for both victims and witnesses.
To address these gaps, ABA ROLI is working with its partners in Mongolia—the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) and the National Center against Violence (NCAV)—to build critical legal expertise and to support strategic litigation. The program will support the development of legal handbooks, and train and enable advocates to take on human trafficking cases. Trainings, which will be attended by advocates from urban and rural areas, will emphasize litigation strategies, evidence documentation and gender-sensitive approaches to representing human trafficking survivors.
To improve the legal response to the problem, CHRD and NCAV will develop multidisciplinary professional teams consisting of social workers, medical experts and investigators. These efforts are meant to increase criminal prosecution, encourage victims to seek civil remedies and enhance witness protection.
To learn more about our work in Mongolia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].