Mongolia's Commitment to Human Rights

Local news, 03.02.2024

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia marked this milestone with a special session on December 10, 2023, the International Day of Human Rights.

Dr. Stefanie Burri  received the " For Human Rights medal"
Dr. Stefanie Burri received the " For Human Rights medal" ©SDC

The National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia organized the National Human Rights Forum two days prior, leading to the historic occasion of the Mongolian Parliament conducting a self-assessment on gender and human rights issues.

With over half of Mongolia's population residing in Ulaanbaatar, the capital faces challenges in ensuring the right to live in a healthy and safe environment. Traditional dwellings – predominant in the city – require manual maintenance, and issues such as traffic congestion persist due to infrastructure challenges. Despite these obstacles, Mongolia, which declared 1968 the Year of Human Rights, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the UDHR with noteworthy achievements.

Mongolia's commitment to human rights is evident in its participation in over 50 human rights treaties. The country has strengthened its national legal framework, mandating Parliament to discuss the National Report on Human Rights annually. Notable milestones include joining the Additional Protocol against Torture, abolishing the death penalty, and establishing national mechanisms for preventing torture and protecting human rights defenders.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, has played a pivotal role in promoting human rights in Mongolia. The SDC supported the self-assessment of the State Great Khural, fostering parliamentary education, consolidating democracy, and enhancing the capacity of the civil service. Dr. Stefanie Burri, Head of Swiss Cooperation in Mongolia, received the For Human Rights medal from Mongolia's National Human Rights Commission in recognition of her contributions.

As part of their collaborative efforts, the SDC and the National Human Rights Commission released the documentary "Human Rights in Mongolia." The documentary traces the history of human rights in the country, highlighting progress made and challenges addressed.

Switzerland and Mongolia collaborate across borders to promote respect for human rights globally. Both countries are actively working toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and recognizing the integral role of human rights in this endeavor.

The SDC's unwavering support for the National Human Rights Commission over the last 20 years underscores the enduring partnership between Switzerland and Mongolia. Cooperation areas include promoting healthy and safe food practices, respecting human rights in artisanal mining, ensuring equitable and inclusive education, and advocating for the right to live in a healthy and safe environment.

Mongolia's commemoration of the UDHR's 75th anniversary reflects a journey marked by achievements and a commitment to ongoing progress. Through collaborative efforts from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Mongolia continues to champion human rights nationally and internationally, contributing to a more just and inclusive world.