Mongolia is one of the few countries that have added a ninth MDG. In recognition of the cross-cutting importance of good governance to socio-economic development and environmental sustainability, Mongolia endorsed a ninth Millennium Development Goal in 2005 to: “Strengthen human rights and foster democratic governance.”
MDG 9 Strengthen human rights and foster democratic governance
Where we are?
TARGET 22 .Fully respect and uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ensure freedom of media and provide the public with free access to information
**Difficult to achieve
Achievable with more effort
Since ratifying the Constitution in 1992, Mongolia has undertaken many important reforms and established new, independent organizations such as the National human Rights Commission, the Council of State Service, and the Independent Agency Against Corruption. There has also been considerable focus on creating and improving the legal environment.
With an HDI of 0.675 Mongolia ranks 108th among 175 countries as per 2013 UN Human Development Report. The average HDI for the Asia-Pacific Region (0.683) is slightly higher than that of Mongolia in 2012. The target is to increase the HDI to 0.830 by 2015 and the country is on-track to achieve this target. However, the index’s two components, namely income per capita and life expectancy, are lagging behind.
Source: 5th National MDG report,2013
Expert evaluation of conformity of Mongolian laws and regulations with international human rights treaties and conventions: Mongolia is party to seven out of nine UN international conventions and treaties on human rights, and has signed one of them. The percentage of domestic laws and regulations conforming with international human rights treaties and conventions was 3.4 percent in 2008, which increased to 3.9 percent in 2011. There has been no further change in this percentage.
There are many cases of human rights violations in Mongolia. It has been estimated that 43 percent of the children have been exposed to domestic violence, 52 percent in schools, and 5 percent in public institutions. The National Human Right Commission stresses the lack of educational opportunities for children residing in temples and for the children with disabilities. The safety of children driving horse in horse races is often neglected. Social stigma against homosexual individuals, both lesbian and gay, and among transsexual and bisexual people is strong. Irresponsible mining causes environmental degradation and serious violations of human rights to a healthy and safe environment, to possession and ownership of land, and to private farming.6
6 National Human Rights Commission, 2013, 12th Report on the State of Human Rights and Freedoms in Mongolia.
Percentage of implementation/enforcement of court and judicial decisions : Prompt and full enforcement of judicial decisions and compensation of damages is an important guarantee for reinstating violated rights. However, the process takes too long for a victim, and many cases are neglected. The percentage of implementation/enforcement of judicial/court decisions considerably increased in the past two years from 52 percent in 2010. Nevertheless, only three of four judicial decisions are enforced, and one remains unimplemented violating the rights of citizens.
Number of attorneys that provide services to poor citizens: About 80 percent of offenders convicted of criminal charges are poor and unemployed persons. Legal aid to indigent persons at all levels of the adjudication process is vital in eliminating human rights violations and establishing the rule of law. The number of attorneys that provide services to poor citizens decreased significantly in 2007-09, and stabilized in the past three years although not reaching the level of 2004.
The National Program on Legal Aid to Indigent Citizens has institutionalized Legal Aid Centers in all aimags and districts of the country to provide free legal aid to indigent citizen, legal counseling and information provision to the local population, and legal education and awareness building. Centers have been established in 21 aimags, and 9 districts and capital city Governor’s Offices within the framework of the UN-supported Project on Access to Justice and Human Rights. In 2012 MNT 240 million was spent from the state budget for this purpose. The Law on Legal Aid to Indigent Citizens was adopted by the Parliament in 2013.
Public perception of political, economic and financial independence of mass media: According to 2012 survey only 12.6 percent of the 3744 randomly selected adults agreed that the media was free from political influence Furthermore, a majority of the survey respondents considered media was not financially independent. This indicates growing public dissatisfaction with the state of media independence.
Number of state organizations that regularly place reports of their budgets and expenditures on their websites: The number of state organizations that regularly present reports of their budgets and expenditures on their websites has continuously increased in the past three years. As of the end of 2011, there were about 4,000 organizations (excluding State-Owned Enterprises) financed from the state budget. Of them, nearly 8.7 percent regularly placed reports of their budgets and expenditures on their websites. The Ministry of Finance of Mongolia maintains ‘Budget Transparency’ website, where information on integrated budget is made available to the public. However, it is unclear whether the information provided is understandable for the public and user-friendly for the clients.
TARGET 23. Mainstream democratic principles and practices
**Difficult to achieve
Achievable with more effort
During the last two years there has been notable progress in enhancing democratic principles, particularly reforming the election system, decentralization of political power and ensuring wider participation of citizens, improving accountability of public services, and strengthening justice in the country.
A new Law on State Great Hural Election, passed in 2011, changed the election structure from the majoritarian system to a mixed system7 and set the minimum quota of female candidates as 20 percent. Reforms were introduced in organizing the Parliamentary Election of 2012 and the Presidential Election in 2013 to enhance democratic participation of the citizens. These measures enabled to eliminate violations regarding the voting lists, and organized the casting of the ballot in fair and efficient manner, and ensured voters rights. However, voter turnout was low for both Parliamentary and the Presidential Elections.
In order to support development at local level, the new Budget Law established the ‘Local Development Fund’ to promote civic participation in identifying the development priorities and subsequent allocation of the local budget. From 2013, every investment proposals shall be discussed by local communities and presented for implementation to the local administration. Local communities will also have power to monitor execution of the project.
To promote e-governance and provide public service in a fast, efficient, and non-bureaucratic way, ‘Public Service E-machines’ or ‘Automated Machines’ have been introduced from 2013. Citizen complaints lodging system was streamlined, and hotline 11-11 was introduced where people can express their opinions. The President has initiated and established the Citizens’ Hall.
7 48 out of 76 seats to be won by majoritarian system and 28 by proportional system.
TARGET 24. Develop a zero tolerance environment to corruption in all spheres of society
**Difficult to achieve
Achievable with more effort
Mongolia’s Corruption Index was 0.63 in 2011, which decreased by 0.01 points compared to 2009. In other words, in 2011 the corruption status has worsened. This diminishing trend was mainly caused by 0.02 points decline in de-composite of the index - the “form of corruption”, which explains about severity of the existing forms of corruption in the country. The major factors affecting this increase are associated with political nominations, conflict of interest and affiliation with business lobby groups, and financing mechanisms of political parties and electoral processes.
A large-scale reform was undertaken in the past two years to combat corruption, reduce bureaucracy and injustice in public service, and accelerate decentralization and remove conflict of interest. In compliance with the Law on Anti-Corruption and the Law on Conflict of Interest a new system has been fully implemented so that officials who submit their information to the Independent Agency against Corruption send their declaration of income before the deadline. From 2012 the candidates for public service positions have been monitored by relevant organizations on status of their conflict of interest.
The Law on Information Transparency and Freedom (2011), the Law on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Finance (2013) were newly ratified and amendments were made into the Criminal Code (2011, 2012). These reforms have contributed significantly to advance fight against corruption.
There are still challenges related to establishing a highly capable civil service free from politics. After every election the new government replaces civil servants with its own people with a strong negative impact on functioning of the government. Unfortunately this situation was repeated after the 2012 Parliamentary elections as well.
The youth targeted program on building awareness on democracy, anti-corruption and justice and increasing civic education is under design and a curriculum on anti-corruption will be included in the secondary schools programme.
For more information: Full report
Targets for MDG9
- Target 22: Fully respect and uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ensure the freedom of media, and provide the public with free access to information
- Target 23: Mainstream democratic principles and practices into life
- Target 24: Develop a zero-tolerance environment to corruption in all spheres of society