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Mongolia 2016/2017

The main opposition party Mongolia’s People’s Party obtained the majority of seats in the June parliamentary elections. The new government postponed the implementation of five laws passed by the previous government, including a new Criminal Code which would have abolished the death penalty. The government failed to protect human rights defenders from threats and attacks by state agencies and non-state actors. Torture and other ill-treatment remained pervasive, particularly in custody. Residents of the capital, Ulaanbaatar, remained at risk of forced eviction and violations of their right to adequate housing because legislation did not conform to international human rights law and standards.

Housing rights

Despite the advanced stage of urban redevelopment in Ulaanbaatar, relevant laws and policies continued to lag behind practice at both national and local levels. Large-scale redevelopment in the ger areas − areas without adequate access to essential services − in Ulaanbaatar were initiated 10 years earlier to manage the city’s unplanned population growth and increased pollution levels.1 In the absence of adequate government regulation and effective consultation and monitoring, individuals affected by redevelopment were vulnerable to human rights violations, particularly the right to adequate housing.

In one case, redevelopment plans had a devastating impact on residents. People in a dilapidated building in the Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar, including people with disabilities and families with young children, remained in apartments without heating during the winter temperatures of -30°C in 2015-2016. The authorities relocated them to temporary accommodation in October. Those who were relocated remained at risk of a wide range of human rights violations and abuses without effective safeguards and mechanisms for redress.2

Human rights defenders

Human rights defenders continued to be subjected to physical and psychological threats and attacks by both state and non-state actors. An investigation continued into the suspicious death in late 2015 of Lkhagvasumberel Tomorsukh, an environmental activist from the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation. The National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia reported that the law on NGOs and other domestic laws did not fully protect the rights of human rights defenders.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Torture and other ill-treatment in detention centres continued to be widespread. The authorities frequently transferred detainees between detention centres or placed them in centres far from their homes in order to intimidate them and make their access to legal counsel and family visits difficult.

  1. Mongolia: Falling short − the right to adequate housing in Ulaanbaatar (ASA 30/4933/2016)
  2. Mongolia: 200 people face imminent risk of homelessness (ASA 30/3743/2016) and Further information (ASA 30/4793/2016)

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