The incidence of human trafficking in Mongolia is significant, particularly of young women and girls who are sexually exploited for commercial gain. Since 2007, IOM has been working with local civil society organizations to provide direct assistance and reintegration support to Mongolian victims of trafficking, and to support the government and other organizations to combat human trafficking.
In January this year, IOM Mongolia launched a two year project aimed at Protecting the rights of vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking in Mongolia. The initiative is co-funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) of the European Union. Key Mongolian counterparts include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, Immigration of Mongolia, the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (NHRCM) and mining companies.
“The project focusses on the southern mining impacted areas of Mongolia of Umnugobi and Dornogobi” said IOM Chief of Mission, Mr. Pär Liljert. “The development of the mining industry in southern Mongolia and the consequent increase in migration towards the mining sites has intensified the risk of irregular migration, including cross-border human trafficking. There is a need for increased awareness, improved coordination and capacity, and for direct support for vulnerable migrant women and victims of human trafficking.”
As part of the project, in April this year IOM trained over 100 officers who are involved in the protection of victims, the provision of responsive services, and prevention of human trafficking. Participants included civil society organizations, social workers from child and family development centres, and local immigration, police and administrative officials. The training workshops were held in the southern Dornogobi and Umnugobi provinces, and in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.
The project includes direct assistance to victims of human trafficking including shelter and reintegration support, awareness raising campaigns for vulnerable migrants, truck drivers and high school students, livelihood skills training and small income generating grants for vulnerable migrant women, and the establishment of a migrant resource centre in Umnugobi province.
The project is being run collaboratively with local project partners, the Mongolian Gender and Equity Centre (MGEC) and End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT).