Confronting and combating gender-based violence in Mongolia

Project completed
Two female Mongolian social workers.
Social workers who assist victims of domestic violence are still rare in Mongolia. © SDC ©

Gender-based violence has been on the rise in Mongolia since the turn of the millennium. Yet because of a serious lack of data, the extent of the phenomenon is difficult to assess and a culture of impunity continues to hold sway.  The SDC plans to conduct a national survey to address this problem.  At the same time, it intends to strengthen institutions, put in place appropriate services and raise public awareness.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Legal and judicial development
Sexual & gender-based violence
01.05.2016 - 31.07.2020
CHF  4’090’000

Gender-based violence, and domestic violence in particular, is one of the most widespread human rights violations in Mongolia. Since the 2000s, political and socio-economic transformations have destabilised the country, resulting – as in many other countries of the former Soviet Union – in a worrying increase in gender-based violence.  Often linked to alcohol abuse, prostitution and lack of security, the phenomenon is widespread in mining towns but also affects urban, peri-urban and rural areas. Gender-based violence is a direct consequence of unequal relations between men and women.  The SDC aims to promote gender equality in Mongolian society and governing institutions as an important precondition for the reduction of domestic violence.

Action based on a better understanding of the phenomenon

Mongolia is a signatory to most international agreements on human rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Yet despite the country’s adoption in 2004 of the Law to Combat Domestic Violence, a culture of impunity continues to prevail in Mongolia: a high number of cases are never reported, victims have no protection and means to combat this scourge are still virtually non-existent.

The ability to counter gender-based violence is limited by a lack of statistical data – data that are essential to understand the phenomenon, implement appropriate measures and follow them up. The SDC has therefore proposed carrying out a national survey on gender-based violence. While the survey is being conducted, the SDC will work to strengthen the state institutions responsibles  and ensure that victims have access to the justice system. A partnership with the police, the judicial authorities, psychologists and medical assistance services will also be established. The SDC also plans to raise public awareness of this problem by calling upon the media and schools to cooperate and by encouraging victims to seek aid and report the perpetrators so they are brought to justice.