A UN human rights expert today commended Mongolia’s significant progress in passing legislation to combat gender-based violence against women, saying the challenge now was to ensure effective implementation of the laws throughout the country.
In the past 10 years, key pieces of legislation on domestic violence, trafficking in people, gender equality, and witness and victim protection, among others, have set a legal framework to tackle gender-based violence, said the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Reem Alsalem, in a statement at the end of an official visit to the country.
“They offer a solid basis for continuing with legal reform, including that needed to align national legislation with international standards,” she said.
“It is welcome that services for victims, like shelters, one-stop service centres and multidisciplinary teams, have been progressively expanded, including at provincial level. More needs to be done however to ensure their availability and viability, particularly for women in remote or rural areas.”
There is also a need to promote a gender-sensitive approach by these services, especially those designed to target women victims of domestic violence, Alsalem said. Currently, service providers, particularly State-run, place actions related to women victims of violence under the broader heading of family-related interventions or combine them with actions aimed at preventing violence against children.
The expert also called on the Government to widen the scope of its policies and services to explicitly identify, include and reach vulnerable groups who are particularly exposed to gender-based violence such as victims of trafficking, members of the LGBTI community and sex workers.
“Service providers, law enforcement and the justice system need to respond to the needs of all groups of women and girls, and to all types of violence they experience, not only domestic violence,” Alsalem added.
To be truly effective, prevention activities need to tackle the deep-seated harmful gender stereotypes that exist in Mongolian society and that normalise violence against women and blame victims.
“Bold, courageous campaigns, as well as human rights education, are necessary, including to address alcoholism, a triggering factor in many cases of violence,” the expert said.
During her 10-day mission, Alsalem met Government officials, members of Parliament, the Supreme Court, independent state institutions, international organizations, donors, financial institutions, civil society organizations and victims.
The Special Rapporteur will present her findings to the Human Rights Council in June 2022.