Child protection advances in Mongolia
Pro BonoAsia Pacific and Middle East
The revised Law of Mongolia on Child Rights and the Law of Mongolia on the Child Protection were adopted by the Mongolian Parliament on 5 February 2016. This is a result of more than 10 years of effort and cooperation by local and international organizations, led during this critical period by Save the Children (STC) for whom we act as pro bono counsel.
We've been working with Save the Children since October 2015. We were instructed by STC to provide legal technical review on the versions of draft bills, as well as a two-way translation of the versions of the bills for the stakeholders, including STC's other offices.
Our legal review mainly consisted of commentary regarding the consistency and clarity of concepts and terminology throughout the two laws and other relevant laws such as Family Law and Law on Domestic Violence. We were also requested to attend meetings of the working group of the relevant Parliamentary standing committee as well as the chambers of the MP who is the main advocate for the bills.
Changing the law
Mongolia, located between Russia and China, transitioned to a multi-party system and market economy in 1992 and has a civil law legal system, with some typical aspects of the Soviet legal system retained.
One third of the population are children, and due to multiple social and economic factors, children's rights are often infringed. The Law on Child Rights, adopted some 20 years ago, as well as relevant laws and international treaties to which Mongolia is a party, did provide a basic system to deal with child rights matters, however the lack of procedural rules and clarity on the powers and obligations of the authorities, together with financial constraints have hindered the implementation and advancement of child rights protection. The revision of this law and adoption of the Child Protection Law set out a legal framework for both substantive and procedural laws.
These laws create a new national system of child protection, defining the powers and duties of all stakeholders including local and central government, addressing budgetary matters, and establishing a database for research and reporting. They mark a huge advance for child protection in Mongolia as these laws set out the first systematic framework in this area.
It is expected that the adoption and successful implementation of these laws will improve Mongolia's international obligations related to child protection.