Mongolia is a source country for women and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Trafficking reportedly has increased in Mongolia over the last few years but remains difficult to quantify. Most victims do not file police reports or approach NGOs. Mongolian girls and women are trafficked to People’s Republic of China, Macau, and South Korea for commercial sexual exploitation. A significant number of North Koreans contract laborers in Mongolia are not free to leave their employment, raising strong concerns that their labor is compulsory. Some Mongolian women who enter into marriages with foreign husbands – mainly South Koreans – discovered conditions of involuntary servitude after moving to their husbands’ homeland. Underage girls are trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.
The Government of Mongolia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mongolia should increase its efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly through law enforcement means. The government should ensure that it has the legal tools to prosecute all trafficking offenses, including those which occur through fraud or coercion.
The Government of Mongolia’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts did not improve over the reporting period. Mongolia appears to prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons through Section 113 of its criminal code, with prescribed penalties of 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Over the last year, the government did not prosecute any trafficking offenses or convict any trafficking offenders, a decline from five cases prosecuted and one trafficker convicted during the previous year. Twelve cases of trafficking involving 25 victims were investigated by police during the year. Prosecution efforts are hampered by the paucity of victims filing police complaints, as well as by the fact that State prosecutors do not pursue some cases presented to them by the police. Legal changes are under consideration that would help ensure the effective prosecution of trafficking crimes. While there were reports that some law enforcement officials may have facilitated trafficking crimes, there were no documented cases of such facilitation and no investigations or prosecutions of officials for complicity in trafficking.
The Mongolian government sustained efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. Although the government does not run or fund shelters for victims of trafficking, Mongolian authorities refer identified victims to protection services provided by NGOs. Victims are encouraged to participate in the investigation of traffickers. The government ensures that identified victims of trafficking are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government continued to provide assistance to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, through a police program that encourages their re-entry into school. In 2006, the government announced plans to open a consulate in Macau in order to provide services to Mongolian nationals, including those who have become victims of trafficking in the Macau Special Administrative Region. The government began cooperation with the IOM on a program to assist with repatriation of victims and to provide counseling and other services.
The Mongolian government continued efforts to raise public awareness of trafficking by conducting an anti-trafficking campaign throughout the year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued its distribution of information on trafficking to consular officers serving overseas. Mongolia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.