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Mongolia's National Preventive Mechanism


Thursday, May 5, 2011

The question of which institution might act as Mongolia’s future NPM was recently put on the table, when national actors came together for a one-day workshop in Ulaanbaatar. Among various issues, the participants examined how the instrument is being implemented in other Asian countries including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Maldives and New Zealand as a possible point of reference for the future NPM.

Date: 28 April 2011
Place: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Purpose: To discuss Mongolia’s future National Preventive Mechanism.
Partners: Amnesty International Mongolia
Asia Pacific Forum
National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia
Activities: The question of which institution might act as Mongolia’s future NPM was recently put on the table, when national actors came together for a one-day workshop on this matter in Ulaanbaatar on 28 April. The event ‘Instituting a NPM in Mongolia under the OPCAT’, which was co-sponsored by the APT and its partners the Asia Pacific Forum, Amnesty International Mongolia and the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, brought together around 40-45 relevant actors to discuss how the OPCAT might be implemented in the country. Among various issues, the participants examined how the instrument is being implemented in other Asian countries including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Maldives and New Zealand as a possible point of reference for the future NPM.

In addition to the OPCAT round-table representatives from the APT and the Asia Pacific Forum held a one day training for the staff of the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia on the prevention of torture on 29 April. In particular, the role which NHRIs can play in preventing torture was discussed by staff based on the recent publication, Preventing Torture, which was jointly produced by the APT, Asia Pacific Forum and OHCHR.
Outcome: The ratification of the OPCAT by Mongolia appears to be under serious consideration at the present time. In October 2010 the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs publicly stated that it supported ratification of the instrument and that it would reconvene a pre-existing inter-agency/civil society OPCAT working group for this purpose. Moreover, during its Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council in early November 2010 Mongolia reaffirmed that it was considering this matter. The challenge now will be for the OPCAT working group to develop its vision of a future NPM and anchor it in law. This event sought to support this process with a view to ensuring that an effective NPM is eventually put in place in the country.   

At the OPCAT event on 28 April there appeared to be a consensus to institute an NPM which involves the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia collaborating with key civil society organizations. The challenge in the coming months will be to develop this vision in greater detail and establish it in law. The APT and APF aim to support national actors in relation to this ongoing process.  

In doing so, this project aims to build on the steps initially undertaken by the APT and its partner, Amnesty International Mongolia, in 2008-2009 to promote the signature and ratification of the OPCAT. Both organizations began lobbying for the ratification of the instrument which resulted in the first ever round-table event on the subject in April 2008, followed shortly afterwards by an invitation for Amnesty International Mongolia to participate in the inter-agency/civil society OPCAT working group, referred to above. This latter body was established under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs. It is therefore encouraging that the Ministry has once again chosen to reconvene the said working group and is intent on ratifying the OPCAT.
Next Steps: The co-sponsors of the event will discuss the possibility of co-hosting a follow-up roundtable meeting later in the year to take stock of any progress in the country regarding the implementation of the OPCAT. Moreover, it is clear that any newly emerging NPM will require a great deal of support in its formative stages if it is to start life on a firm footing. It is to this important end that future programmes of activities will be geared after 2011.
Documents: Agenda: Instituting a National Preventive Mechanism in Mongolia under the OPCAT
Agenda: The Role of NHRIs in Preventing Torture
Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer
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