BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: UN Working Group to visit Mongolia

Summary: A United Nations group of independent experts on business and human rights will undertake its first country mission to Mongolia from 8 to 18 October 2012 to assess the impacts of business activities on human rights in the country.


On 16 June 2011, the Human Rights Council endorsed a new set of Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights designed to provide - for the first time - a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity.

A Working Group, consisting of five members, was then set up. Their first visit will be to Mongolia.

Further Information

The Working Group's inaugural visit

The Working Group will stage their first visit, to Mongolia, from 8 - 18 October 2012.

“Mongolia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and is expected to continue growing at this very fast pace in the coming decade,” noted Margaret Jungk, one of the members of the United Nations Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises who will visit the country.

“The tremendous amount of business activity lying behind this dramatic economic growth may have equally dramatic impacts on the human rights of the population living there. These impacts can be both positive and negative,” she said.

The United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed new Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights* in 2011, which established for the first time, an authoritative global standard to address negative impacts on human rights of business activities.  This is the first time that a mission by United Nations independent experts will be conducted around the Guiding Principles, and this is the first information-gathering mission of the Working Group since it was created last year by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

“If the Guiding Principles are applied at this early stage, it could strongly benefit Mongolia and lay the groundwork for greater prevention of negative impacts, and improved access to remedy when they do occur,” added Pavel Sulyandziga, the other independent expert representing the Working Group in the country mission.

“We wish to learn first-hand from initiatives in Mongolia to address impacts of business activities on human rights, and we will be able to see in very concrete terms the clarity and the guidance that the Guiding Principles can provide at the national level,” Mr. Sulyandziga said.

Ms. Jungk and Mr. Sulyandziga, who visit the country at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Ulaanbaatar and Ömnögovi aimag, to visit mining sites and to meet with senior Government officials, members of Parliament, the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, and relevant stakeholders including business, trade unions, employers’ associations, academia and civil society representatives.

They will also participate in the ‘Mining and Human Rights in Mongolia’ conference convened by the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia on 10 and 11 October 2012.

They will hold a press conference to present preliminary observations from their visit at 11.00 on 17 October 2012 in UN Conference Room 512, Orient Plaza, G. Chagdarjav street 9, Sukhbaatar district, 1st horoo.

Findings from the country visit will be discussed at the Forum on Business and Human Rights** in Geneva on 4-5 December 2012 and a report officially presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2013.

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