US embassy cable - 06ULAANBAATAR173


Identifier: 06ULAANBAATAR173
Wikileaks: View 06ULAANBAATAR173 at
Origin: Embassy Ulaanbaatar
Created: 2006-03-13 06:12:00
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.

DE RUEHUM #0173/01 0720612
P 130612Z MAR 06
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REFS: (A) State 003836, (B) 05 Ulaanbaatar 127 
Sensitive But Unclassified -- please handle 
Summary and Introduction 
1.  (SBU) Growing awareness of trafficking as a 
domestic and international issue -- as well as 
Mongolia's first appearance in the TIP report -- 
spurred Mongolia to take significant new steps against 
trafficking in the last year.  In November 2005, the 
government adopted a National Action Plan against 
trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and 
children.  The government has begun to take the first 
steps under this action plan and, acknowledging 
weaknesses, has prioritized improvements in the 
training of officials, in the legal environment, and in 
aid to victims.  The government conducted its first 
anti-trafficking publicity effort, and MFA began to 
distribute anti-trafficking training materials to 
consular officials in destination countries.  In 
January 2006, the government won its first conviction 
under an anti-trafficking provision adopted in 2002, a 
conviction which officials and activists hope will set 
the stage for more vigorous and successful 
prosecutions.  Domestically, there continues to be a 
child prostitution problem, and the government has 
allowed some companies to bring in North Korean 
contract laborers whose labor may not be fully 
voluntary.  Mongolia continued to be a country of 
origin for sex trafficking, largely to Macau, China and 
South Korea, although victims also were found in Turkey 
and Israel.  Information about international 
trafficking continues to be sketchy and anecdotal.  End 
summary and introduction. 
2.  (SBU) 
(A) Mongolia has a limited trafficking in persons 
problem, with some domestic trafficking cases and some 
cases of Mongolians trafficked overseas for sex. 
According to police statistics, there were 177 
underaged prostitutes discovered in 2005 (down from 215 
in 2004).  In April 2004, UNICEF persuaded the 
government and representatives of the travel and 
tourism industry to establish a voluntary code of 
conduct to prevent the sexual exploitation of children. 
Government and NGO officials suspect there may be some 
adult victims among those working in Mongolia's sex 
industry.   Scheduled anti-trafficking training of 
police and inspectors of entertainment establishments 
may lead to the discovery of such cases. 
There is no information indicating a domestic 
trafficking for labor problem, with one exception. 
Beginning in 2004, North Korean laborers have been 
employed in Mongolia, primarily in the construction and 
service industries. According to information received 
from the Ministry ofA'cial _lgar$$qnd Da`."h/pmGrlvc qp+Cz{u. `aSQWQQQompanies, with Mongolian government approval.  The 
contract terms require that the laborers return to 
North Korea at the end of the contract, although 
temporary, limited extensions are permitted.  The 
Government of Mongolia has made clear that, per 
agreement with North Korea, it does not intend for 
these contract laborers to remain long-term in 
The working and living conditions of these laborers 
raise the concern that they are subject to coercion, 
and are not free to leave their employment; however, no 
actual instances of workers either wishing to leave or 
actually leaving (going AWOL) their jobs are known. 
The DPRK workers are monitored closely by "minders" 
from their government, and many are believed to be 
subject to DPRK government pressure because of family 
members left behind in North Korea.  The workers 
reportedly do not routinely receive direct and full 
salary payments. 
While many Mongolians working illegally in other 
countries are exploited in some fashion, the only known 
trafficking victims outside Mongolia are women forced 
to work as prostitutes.  Neither the government nor the 
NGO community has accurate estimates of the extent of 
such trafficking.  The results of limited surveys by 
NGOs reinforce anecdotal evidence about trafficking 
destinations.  Young women are believed to be 
trafficked typically to Macao, China, and South Korea. 
The ability of Mongolians to travel to Macao and China 
without visas helps explain why these are leading 
destinations.  Estimates of Mongolian sex workers in 
Macao vary from 200-300 women.  Some women wittingly go 
to Macau to work as prostitutes, and it is unknown how 
many sex workers are trafficking victims.  In 2005, 
seven trafficked women were returned from Turkey, and 
another two trafficked women were found in Israel 
(these latter women have remained in Israel as 
witnesses in a criminal case against the traffickers). 
Government and NGO officials believe that the known 
trafficking cases are the tip of the iceberg, and that 
more cases would be reported if victims did not fear 
embarrassment and an insufficiently sympathetic 
reception by Mongolian law enforcement officials. 
(B) Traffickers target young women through newspaper 
advertisements.  The jobless rate among urban youth is 
high and working abroad is attractive.  Many of those 
working overseas do so without authorization in the 
destination country.  This extensive illegal migration 
provides a context in which trafficking in persons 
occurs; a few women who arrange to work abroad 
illegally actually end up as trafficking victims.  Some 
regulations about labor recruitment for overseas jobs 
exist, but are not always enforced.  The Ministry of 
Justice and Home Affairs currently prohibits companies 
recruiting for labor abroad from facilitating visas. 
The Ministry attempted to prevent recruiters from 
advertising vacancies for workers in restaurants and 
bars, but recruiters began to advertise for babysitters 
instead. Anecdotal evidence also indicates that a few 
women who enter into immigration-oriented marriages of 
convenience with South Korean men also fall victim to 
traffickers after arriving in that country. 
(C) While efforts against trafficking have increased, 
and there is enhanced public awareness, Mongolia's 
government has very limited financial resources but 
many difficult social problems.  Resources are 
typically allocated to sectors considered to be more 
pressing.  Corruption is believed to be endemic in 
Mongolia, including in law enforcement.  No cases of 
corrupt ties between traffickers and officials are 
known, but such links in individual cases are possible. 
(D) The government of Mongolia is committed to 
combating trafficking in persons and has tried to 
improve its ability to do so. In November, an order by 
the Prime Minister promulgated Mongolia's National 
Action Plan on trafficking, and against the sexual 
exploitation of women and children.  Mongolian 
government representatives also are taking an active 
part in anti-trafficking working groups along with 
NGOs.  This latter process has been organized by The 
Asia Foundation using ESF money. 
3.  (SBU) 
A.  The government acknowledges that trafficking is a 
B.  The Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor takes the 
lead on trafficking.  Police, prosecutors, judges, and 
the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs are also 
C. There was a government-run anti-trafficking campaign in 
late 2005.  More campaigns are planned.  Using ESF funding, 
an NGO has distributed trafficking information leaflets at 
the airport, train station and bus stations.  A broader 
publicity effort is scheduled this year.  Potential 
trafficking victims comprise the target audience of these 
D.  Since 2000, the police have conducted a program 
among arrested child prostitutes to encourage their re- 
entry into school or training.  Since 2003, the 
government has conducted a program among at risk groups 
of girls to prevent prostitution.  The government 
supports a variety of other job creation, social 
welfare, and educational programs; however, none of 
these are identified as efforts against trafficking. 
(E.  Missing in ref a) 
F.  There is good cooperation between the government 
and NGOs on trafficking. 
G.  Mongolia does not now screen for potential 
trafficking victims at exit points; it might be 
difficult to identify many trafficking victims at the 
exit point, since victims often intend to go abroad for 
illegal employment and only discover they are 
trafficking victims after arriving at their 
destinations overseas.  The government plans to train 
border officials in 2006 to sensitize them to 
trafficking issues.  Pamphlets placed by NGOs at train 
stations and the Ulaanbaatar airport attempt to alert 
potential victims, and provide information about 
contact points in common destination countries.  In 
2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to 
distribute information on trafficking to consular 
officials serving overseas. 
H.  A National Action Plan against trafficking was 
approved in November 2005.  The lead agency is the 
Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor, but the task 
force includes all other relevant government agencies, 
including law enforcement.  Government agencies also 
participate in anti-trafficking working groups with 
NGOs, organized by The Asia Foundation in late 2005 
under an ESF grant.  Anti-corruption legislation is 
being considered by the parliament, and may pass in the 
next session.  If enacted, the proposed new law would 
establish an independent anti-corruption entity. 
(I.  Missing in ref a) 
J.  There is a National Action Plan.  NGOs were fully 
consulted in its drafting.  The plan has been widely 
disseminated among relevant organizations. 
4.  (SBU) There have not been changes to the law in the 
last year. 
A. The Criminal Code addresses trafficking in persons 
in Article 113.  The provision covers labor trafficking 
and sex trafficking, and, like other provisions in the 
Criminal Code, covers both domestic cases and offenses 
committed out of the country by Mongolians.  The 
terminology in the law, which refers to the "sale and 
purchase" of human beings, is the standard terminology 
used to translate "trafficking in persons" into 
Mongolian.  One reason that prosecutions under this law 
have been limited is that trafficking situations often 
may not have a clear "seller" or "buyer," but turn more 
on fraud and coercion.  Human rights advocates have 
argued that the law does cover such situations.  In 
early 2006, a judge agreed, convicting a Mongolian 
woman who had trafficked several victims to Macau for 
prostitution and sentencing her to ten years 
imprisonment.  The judge and the prosecutors in this 
case had received anti-trafficking training from the 
National Human Rights Commission.  The Ministry of 
Justice and Home Affairs and the National Human Rights 
Commission have worked on legal changes to more clearly 
spell out trafficking offenses.  While anti-trafficking 
advocates ultimately would prefer new legislation, they 
have urged that the Supreme Court issue an 
interpretation of Article 113 which would make the 
broader reading of the law standard for judges and 
prosecutors.  NGOs are hopeful the Supreme Court will 
issue such an interpretation in 2006. 
Other relevant sections of the Criminal Code include 
Article 115 (involving a child in criminal activities), 
Article 121 (forced labor of a child), Article 122 
(sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16), 
and Article 124 (organizing prostitution). 
B.  The penalty for trafficking under Article 113 is 
three years.  Enhanced penalties of 5-10 years are 
applicable if the trafficking is for the purposes of 
prostitution or involves persons under the age of 18. 
If the trafficking is done by an organized group, or 
involves grave harm, the penalty is 10-15 years 
The penalty under Article 115 (involving a child in 
criminal activities) is 1-3 months for those involving 
a child in prostitution, or 3-5 years if this is done 
by violence or threat or in the event of a previous 
conviction.  The penalty under Article 121 (forced 
labor of a child) is four years imprisonment.  The 
penalty under Article 122 (sexual intercourse with a 
person under the age of 16) is three years 
imprisonment.  Penalties under Article 124 for inducing 
others to engage in prostitution by physical violence 
or deception are incarceration for 3 to 6 months, while 
organizers of prostitution are punished by imprisonment 
for up to five years. 
C.  The standard penalty for rape is a prison term of 
up to five years.  Enhanced penalties of 5-10 years 
apply for rape of a minor or one which inflicts serious 
injury.  Rape of children under 14 years of age, or 
which leads to the death of the victim, may be 15-25 
years or the death penalty. 
Convictions for sex trafficking under Article 113 would 
lead to equal or higher penalties than a conviction for 
rape.  In practice, many trafficking-related 
prosecutions are under Article 124 (organization of 
prostitution), under which penalties may be less severe 
than for rape.  Reasons for choosing to prosecute under 
Article 124 include incomplete understanding among some 
officials of Article 113, as well as the relative ease 
of proving that a person was involved in organizing 
prostitution as opposed to proving that they induced a 
victim, through deception or coercion, into 
prostitution in another country. 
D. The Criminal Code adopted in 2002 dropped prostitution as 
an offense.  However, prostitution remains illegal under the 
1998 Law Against Pornography, which states that prostitutes 
may be detained for 14-30 days and have their earnings 
confiscated.  Organizers of prostitution remain subject to 
penalties under the Criminal Code, as noted in answers (A) 
and (B) above.  It is not an offense to be a client of a 
prostitute; however, it is an offense to knowingly have sex 
with someone under the age of 16.  Article 113 (trafficking 
in persons) of the Criminal Code provides for enhanced 
penalties of persons who traffic for prostitution. 
E.  The Embassy is awaiting an official written 
response to our request for information, but has 
obtained information orally from the police.  In the 
past year the government successfully prosecuted one 
case under Article 113, leading to a prison sentence 
for one Mongolian woman of 10 years.   The case 
involved seventeen women trafficked to Macau, six of 
whom testified.  Another case was prosecuted under 
Article 124 (organizing prostitution), leading to a 
five year sentence for a Chinese citizen.  Both these 
court actions involved cases in which investigations 
began in 2004.  Nine new cases of possible trafficking 
were registered by police in 2005.  Of these, police 
and/or prosecutors decided only one case had 
sufficiently strong evidence to enable prosecution. 
That case is pending in court.  Of these nine cases 
registered, five involved victims in Macau, two in 
Beijing, and two in China near the Mongolian border. 
Six of the suspected traffickers were Mongolian, two 
Chinese, and one was South Korean.  Police comment that 
prosecutions are hampered by a variety of factors, 
including the current anti-trafficking law, 
requirements by judges for witnesses from destination 
countries to corroborate the offense, and poor 
cooperation by Chinese and Macau officials. 
F.  Information about trafficking, and trafficking 
patterns, remains anecdotal.  However, most anecdotes 
involve Mongolians posing as legitimate employment 
agencies to recruit victims. Reports say that once 
overseas, local organized criminal groups keep women 
trapped in sex jobs.  While some individual corrupt 
officials may be complicit in trafficking cases, we 
have no concrete evidence of this. 
G.  The government does investigate trafficking complaints, 
but often chooses to prosecute organizers for organizing 
prostitution, rather than trafficking per se.  This is both 
because of incomplete understanding of the relatively new 
trafficking offense, as well as the relative ease of proving 
the prostitution charges.  Most of the prosecution case is 
comprised of victim testimony about the situation they faced 
in the destination country.  Local law constrains undercover 
operations, and conducting such operations internationally 
(as would need to be done in trafficking cases) would be 
beyond both the resources and the experience of Mongolian 
law enforcement. 
H.  The National Commission for Human Rights has provided 
training for judges and prosecutors.  NGOs provide informal 
training for police and prosecutors.  One of the first 
initiatives under the National Action Plan adopted in 
November is expanded anti-trafficking training, including 
among police, entertainment establishment inspectors, and 
border officials, as well as prosecutors and judges. 
I.  Mongolia has limited cooperation with law enforcement 
officials in other countries on trafficking cases. 
Officials are satisfied with cooperation with authorities in 
South Korea, and with Turkey and Israel (while not frequent 
destinations, trafficking cases in Turkey and Israel 
involving Mongolians occurred in 2005).  Officials would 
like to improve cooperation with Chinese authorities, since 
Macau and China are leading destinations for trafficking 
victims.  In March 2006, Mongolia sent its Consul General in 
Beijing, who is a former Chief of Police, to Macau to build 
contacts there.  Mongolia does not have a consulate in 
either Hong Kong or Macau, but hopes that this trip and 
periodic follow up visits will boost cooperation on 
trafficking cases.  While prosecution of traffickers is one 
focus of such cooperation, Mongolia hopes that enhanced 
cooperation with other countries will lead to better 
identification and repatriation of Mongolian trafficking 
J.  Mongolia has extradition agreements with a number 
of other countries, but we have no information that 
extradition has requested in any trafficking case. 
Mongolia is prohibited by its constitution from 
extraditing its nationals; however, Mongolian law does 
provide for prosecution of offenses its nationals 
commit while out of the country. 
K.  There is no evidence of government involvement in 
L.  There have been no cases of prosecutions for 
officials for involvement in trafficking. 
M. The government has identified sex tourism as a 
potential problem.  With the help of UNICEF, the 
government and representatives of the tourism industry 
developed a voluntary code of conduct to prevent the 
sexual exploitation of children in the tourism 
industry.  The embassy is not aware of any cases of 
prosecution or expulsion of foreign pedophiles. 
N.  International instruments: 
--- Mongolia ratified ILO Convention 182 on the 
Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor in 
February 2001. 
--  Mongolia ratified ILO Convention 29 on March 15, 
--  Mongolia ratified ILO Convention 105 on March 15, 
-- Mongolia ratified the Optional Protocol to the 
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the sale 
of children, child prostitution, and child pornography 
in June 2003. 
-- Mongolia has not ratified the Protocol to Prevent, 
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially 
Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention 
Against Transnational Organized Crime.  According to 
officials, the Transnational Organized Crime convention 
and the three optional protocols are now in the 
interministerial clearance process, including a review 
of what legal changes Mongolia will need to make to 
comply with obligations under the agreements. 
Officials hope to obtain Cabinet endorsement in the 
latter part of 2006, and to submit the convention and 
protocols to parliament for ratification in the last 
quarter of the year.  The January 31, 2004 Joint 
Statement signed in Ulaanbaatar between (then) Deputy 
Secretary of State Armitage and (then) Vice Minister of 
Foreign Affairs Batbold, reconfirmed by July 2004 and 
November 2005 Presidential Joint Statements, highlights 
our mutual commitment to combat trafficking in persons. 
As part of its commitment, Mongolia has stated it will 
ratify the anti-trafficking (aka Palermo) protocol. 
5.  (SBU) 
A.  Assistance is still extremely limited.  In answer 
3.D. above, assistance to child prostitutes and at risk 
groups is noted.  Officials have identified improved 
assistance to victims as a priority for the first phase 
of the National Action Plan, and have formed working 
groups to this end.  Note: Improving assistance to 
victims is a key element of the February 2006 proposal 
by The Asia Foundation for ESF money to expand TAF's 
small existing anti-trafficking program.  End note. 
B.  See above answer. 
C.  Except for child prostitutes, there is no existing 
screening process.  The National Action Plan against 
trafficking includes a parallel focus on ending sexual 
exploitation of women and children.  As part of the 
effort, anti-trafficking training will soon be 
conducted among police and inspectors of entertainment 
establishments, and is aimed at enabling these 
officials to distinguish trafficking victims, who would 
then be referred to the expanded assistance to victims 
which is planned.  Government and NGO officials 
involved in the action plan also would like to improve 
the experience of victims with the law enforcement 
system.  They note that some victims who are witnesses 
in criminal cases against traffickers are currently 
discouraged by the unsympathetic handling by many law 
enforcement officials. 
D. Victims rights are generally respected; however, 
victims often do not know their rights or are reluctant 
to pursue them.  Identified trafficking victims are not 
prosecuted as criminals. 
E. Legal action by victims against traffickers is 
possible but difficult.  Victims often do not know 
their rights or are reluctant to pursue them.  NGOs are 
trying to encourage victims to pursue such suits, and 
to provide them pro bono legal assistance. 
F.  Protections for, and assistance to, victims and 
witnesses are extremely limited, which discourages them 
from coming forward. Furthermore, social stigma 
inhibits victims from telling their stories.  The 
government has identified improvements in these 
services as a priority in the first phase of the 
National Action Plan.  Police place girls detained as 
suspected prostitutes with parents or in shelters. 
G.  In March 2006, the government will begin to provide 
training to police, border and other officials on how 
to recognize trafficking cases.  Such capacity building 
is one of the major priorities of the first two years 
of the National Action Plan.  The Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs has provided anti-trafficking training 
materials to consular officials abroad since mid-2005, 
and is encouraging those in destination countries to 
establish relationships with NGOs and local law 
enforcement agencies. 
H.  The government does not currently provide medical 
aid, shelter or financial help to Mongolian nationals 
who are victims of trafficking.  The government has 
identified improvements in victim assistance as a 
I.  The Center for Human Rights and Development, the 
National Center Against Violence, the Gender Center for 
Sustainable Development, and the CEDAW Watch Office are 
the organizations most involved with trafficking 
victims.  With ESF funds, The Asia Foundation has 
increasingly played a role in coordinating the anti- 
trafficking efforts of Mongolian NGOs dealing with 
Suggested Text of Country Narrative 
6.  (SBU) Embassy suggests the following adaptation of 
the country narrative published in 2005; this 
adaptation assumes that the general structure of the 
narratives is identical to 2005. 
Begin text. 
Mongolia is a source country for women trafficked for the 
purposes of sexual exploitation; it also faces a problem of 
children trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial 
sexual exploitation. In 2005, the government documented 
almost 150 Mongolian children exploited as prostitutes. The 
circumstances of up to 200 North Korean contract laborers in 
Mongolia raise concern that they are not free to leave their 
employment if they desire, and therefore that their labor 
may be involuntary.  Mongolian women are usually trafficked 
to China, Macau, and South Korea for commercial sexual 
exploitation. In 2005, women were also trafficked to Turkey 
and Israel. 
The Government of Mongolia does not fully comply with the 
minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; 
however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The 
Mongolian Government has acknowledged that trafficking is a 
problem and has tried to improve its ability to address it. 
In November 2005, the government adopted a National Action 
Plan against trafficking and the sexual exploitation of 
women and children.  As priorities for the initial phase of 
the action plan, the government has identified improvements 
in anti-trafficking training of officials, anti-trafficking 
laws, and assistance to victims.  The government lacks the 
resources to combat trafficking effectively on its own, but 
receives some assistance from international donors and NGOs. 
Government action should concentrate on adopting a strong 
and comprehensive anti-trafficking law, arresting and 
prosecuting traffickers, and providing victim assistance and 
protection measures. 
The Mongolian Government's law enforcement efforts against 
trafficking were modest during the reporting period. The 
government brought five trafficking-related cases to court 
in 2005, and in four cases failed to win convictions. 
However, officials and activists hope that the January 2006 
conviction of a Mongolian for trafficking, the first such 
provision under an anti-trafficking provision adopted in 
2002, will set a precedent facilitating additional 
convictions.  Authorities have not developed the capacity to 
compile full information on trafficking-related arrests, 
prosecutions, and convictions.  Mongolia's criminal code and 
criminal procedure code contain provisions against 
trafficking and prostitution.  Traffickers may be imprisoned 
for up to 15 years, organizers of prostitution may be 
imprisoned for up to five years, and prostitutes may be 
detained up to 30 days. The government is currently 
reviewing the anti-trafficking provisions of the criminal 
code in an effort to strengthen the law and make it easier 
to prosecute traffickers. 
The Mongolian Government did not provide protection and 
direct assistance to trafficking victims during the 
reporting period, largely due to resource constraints. Some 
foreign and domestic NGOs provided limited support for 
The Mongolian Government recognized that trafficking is a 
problem.  The government conducted a modest anti-trafficking 
campaign and at least one NGO did so as well.  The 
government has continued to work with travel industry 
representatives and UNICEF to implement a voluntary code of 
conduct to prevent the sexual exploitation of children in 
the travel and tourism industry. 
End text. 
7. (U) Political Officer Patrick J. Freeman is the 
contact for trafficking issues; phone number 976-11-329- 
095; fax number 976-11-320-776; e-mail to  Time required to prepare the 
report: 40 hours by FS-2 (not including time required 
after submission of this draft); 2 hours of review by 

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