U.S. – Mongolia CPC Partnership 3rd Annual Bilateral Dialogue: Ambassador’s Remarks
October 12, 2023
Thank you Ms. Nyamgerel for your kind introduction and your dedication to this compact. Thank you Deputy Minister of Justice and Home Affairs Solongoo, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection Zulphkar, and Deputy Prosecutor General Chinbat for your commitment to countering human trafficking and protecting children.
I am so pleased to join you today to convene the third annual United States-Mongolia Child Protection Compact Partnership dialogue. I am eager to hear about the progress over the past year toward achieving the goals of the CPC Partnership, including identifying and assisting victims and holding traffickers accountable. I am also excited to discuss the next steps as we move into the final year of the partnership to sustain these efforts. I look forward to hearing about plans for the next year, as well as ways the United States can work with Mongolia to solidify the Partnership’s achievements beyond its completion.
From the CPC signing in April 2020 and throughout subsequent efforts to fulfill the commitments set forth in the Partnership, the Government of Mongolia has demonstrated its commitment to this fight. Government officials and CPC implementing partners – World Vision and the Asia Foundation – have navigated many challenges, including a global pandemic, and have successfully adjusted where necessary to advance our shared goals. Over the past three years, the CPC Partnership has provided tools and enhanced government efforts to strengthen the response to trafficking and adapt to a changing environment, so we can continue this critical work to help the most vulnerable.
Through the CPC partnership, we have paired $5.5 million in U.S. funding with the Government of Mongolia’s significant investment of resources and personnel. Together, we are working toward our shared goals of strengthening the Government of Mongolia’s capacity to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers of children in a victim-centered way; to identify and provide comprehensive trauma-informed care for children who are victims of these crimes; and to prevent child trafficking in all its forms.
This investment has yielded important accomplishments in Mongolia, including the establishment of the Multi-Disciplinary Task Force. I am happy to see so many of members of the task force here today. I am interested to hear how the Government of Mongolia plans to institutionalize and strengthen the Task Force so they can continue to assist victims and coordinate the response to trafficking cases. I was also glad to have witnessed the opening of five child friendly spaces in coordination with the National Police here in Ulaanbaatar. These spaces provide a place where children can get the support they deserve from the criminal justice system. It is important to note that these Child Friendly Spaces are staffed by people who have received advanced training and are prepared to ensure sustained, trauma-informed and age-appropriate care to children.
I am eager to learn more about the great work you are doing and the commitment from the Government of Mongolia and our implementing partners to help children. As part of this work, I encourage the Mongolian government to prioritize its own investment in anti-trafficking efforts. In particular, I would ask authorities across sectors to commit to improved efforts to identify suspected child trafficking victims and refer them to appropriate medical care. Improving identification of victims is a top priority of the CPC Partnership as the first step to ensure child victims receive appropriate support and care, as well as the justice they deserve. This must also include male victims of trafficking and victims of labor trafficking, who are often overlooked. As leaders on the front lines of this fight, you understand that identifying victims is a sign of progress, not failure. I urge you to talk about these issues with your colleagues and dispel any lingering misperceptions that identifying trafficking victims reflects poorly on the Government of Mongolia. I ask you today to pledge to redouble your efforts to identify victims so we can help as many children as possible in the final year of the Partnership.
Further, additional resources are needed to sustain the work of the CPC Partnership, including long-term staffing and maintenance of Child-Friendly Spaces, as well as institutionalization of the training and protocols we have developed. The Partnership’s final year must focus on sustainability so that children will continue get the assistance they deserve for years to come. I ask you to commit to ensuring sufficient resources to combat human trafficking and to provide trauma-informed support and assistance to victims, including children.
This morning, we will hear from various stakeholders, including Mongolian government officials and our implementing partners. We will hear about their accomplishments over the past year, challenges that remain, and plans for the coming year. I am especially interested to learn more from ministries and agencies about the government’s contributions to this Partnership, and how these contributions are improving outcomes for victims – particularly in victim identification, referral, and protection. I also look forward to hearing about plans to sustain the achievements of the partnership beyond the conclusion of U.S. funding next year.
Thank you again for joining us today and for your commitment to combat human trafficking. We have made great progress together, and I am confident we will achieve even more as we continue to work together to protect the children of Mongolia.