HRDC to be set up to protect human rights defenders

  • 574
  • 0

On April 5, lawmakers D.Tsogtbaatar and Ts.Munkhtsetseg reported on the Law on Legal Status of Human Rights Defenders, which was passed by Parliament last week.

Highlighting that with adoption of the law, Mongolia became the first country in Asia to unite human rights defenders, including civil society organizations that protect human rights, legislator Ts.Munkhtsetseg said, “It has been 30 years since Mongolia transitioned to democracy. During this time, it acceded to domestic and international human rights treaties and conventions. However, in reality, human rights defenders have been intimidated, harassed, and even killed. Therefore, this law was passed to protect the people who are working for human rights. There are more than 40 countries where a legislation on the legal status of human rights defenders is enforced. Civil society and international organizations and legislators in Mongolia paid a lot of attention to the development of this law.”

“In 2016, a young leopard guard died of a mysterious cause. The case was closed on suspicion of suicide. However, the young man himself had repeatedly contacted the police and stated that he was being harassed, but he was not protected. Sh.Altantuya also died in Malaysia 15 years ago. Her father is a human rights activist. We must help and protect such people.”

“Now, in accordance with the law, the Human Rights Defenders Committee (HRDC) will be set up to conduct a risk assessment and protect human rights defenders. This committee will work under the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),” she noted.

Lawmaker D.Tsogtbaatar stressed that the functions of the NHRC and the committee do not overlap.

He also emphasized that a big step has been taken in the legal system of Mongolia, especially in the human rights protection system.

“The concept of a human rights defender is a whole new concept. In this sense, the scope of human rights protection has expanded in a new way. The human rights protection system itself must be improved, enriched and expanded. Protecting human rights is not just the job of the government or certain organizations,” he said.

“The new legal system has been established to protect the rights of every citizen. This means that the law will apply to every citizen. The human rights system in our country is not fully developed. Decision-makers have little understanding of human rights. As a result, people do not understand their rights, on the other hand, they are dissatisfied with the state’s implementation, and human rights are being violated on a daily basis. The United Nations issued a special declaration calling for a model law to be introduced in its member states. In accordance with this declaration, Mongolia adopted this law,” the parliamentarian added.

The law defines a human rights defender as a person who engages in or participates in human rights activities, independently or in association with others.

The law will come into force on July 1, 2021.

Misheel Lkhasuren