MONGOLIA: Children's Rights in the UN Special Procedures' Reports

Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of the UN Special Procedures. This does not include reports of child specific Special Procedures, such as the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, which are available as separate reports.

Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.

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UN  Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn


Country visit: 15 to 21 December 2007
Report published: 15 February 2008

The Special Rapporteur paid a visit to Mongolia from 15 to 21 December 2007. The purpose of the visit was to assess the impact of the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Mongolia.

The majority of the group are women and some landed up in exploitative situations, such as forced marriage, before reaching Mongolia. Both male and female cases indicated to the Special Rapporteur that they had spent several years in the neighbouring country before seeking to leave the country. While some had been subjected to human trafficking, such as forced marriage, at times with children as a result of the union, others had taken up employment in the neighbouring country mentioned, although threatened with uncertainty due to their undocumented status, prior to moving to Mongolia. Nearly all cases that the Special Rapporteur witnessed stated that they had paid or promised to pay substantial sums to smugglers to help find their way to the Mongolian border. The sums demanded by the smugglers were around two to three and a half million Korean won, possibly with an additional "advance" sum. Several had left their families behind either in the country or in the neighbouring country where they had been forced to marry. They were afraid of the consequences of exposure of their identity, especially in regard to potential retaliation in the country against their families, and they expressed a strong desire for confidentiality. (para 57)


- The Special Rapporteur welcomes Mongolia's future accession to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, and encourages victim-sensitive procedures as part of the implementation process to ensure that victims of human trafficking and/or human smuggling are not criminalised, with due regard to gender sensitivity and the needs of special groups such as children.

− The Special Rapporteur invites the Mongolian authorities to continue the policy of affording humane treatment to those seeking asylum in the country, with the provision of facilities to meet their physical and psychological needs, including the possibility of counselling in the Korean language to alleviate their traumas, and productive activities, including vocational training and education, pending their departure to the resettlement country. (para 60)

(The Special Rapporteur has made two previous visits on this matter; for more information, go here:


UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Mr. Manfred Nowak


Country visit: 6 to 9 June 2005
Report published: 20 December 2005 

Mr. Nowak identified the following concerns in relation to juvenile justice:

  • the practice of keeping children in pre-trial detention for a prolonged period;
  • that juvenile first offenders are sentenced to imprisonment for petty crimes;
  • and the difficulties faced by children to be released on probation.

(para 29)


UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Mr. Jean Ziegler


Country visit: 14-24 August 2004
Report published: 8 March 2005

Mr. Ziegler identified the following concerns:

The extent to which undernourishment seriously affects the health and development of Mongolian children. One in five Mongolian children is stunted and 6.4 per cent are underweight. The number of infants with low birth weight increased from six to 10 per cent between 1992 and 1999 and infant mortality remains high. More than 13 per cent of children die before their fifth birthday due to malnutrition and related diseases. Micronutrient deficiencies are also widespread, with iron deficiency affecting one in four children, and iodine deficiency one in seven. In this regard, the Ministry of Health is currently responsible for a number of strategies in place that address nutritional deficiencies, particularly among children. Programmes include a project for flour fortification to reduce iron-deficiency anaemia. A strategy on "Prevention of micronutrient deficiency of children under 5" is being drafted by the Ministry which will focus on the distribution of vitamins A and D and iron to children. The government has also developed the project "Goals for Children in Mongolia", which sets out goals to reduce rates of under-five mortality and undernutrition, expand the coverage of vitamin D supplementation, increase rates of breastfeeding and ensure universal iodisation of salt. (paras 10, 33)

Many children now show serious signs of insufficient food intake as a consequence of food shortages within peri-urban household, which has driven families to cope with this problem by only eating one meal a day and sometimes going without meals for two or three days a month. (para 13)

The growing number of children living on the street and the high levels of food insecurity and chronic malnourishment in the poor urban districts of Ulaanbaatar. During his mission, the Special Rapporteur met with abandoned children brought into orphanages after being found living in underground heating pipe tunnels, drains and sewers. The Special Rapporteur met a six-year-old child in a State-run orphanage could neither walk nor speak as a result of severe malnutrition; others were also physically or mentally stunted (para 17)


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