BRIDGE II

Journalists build skills in reporting on forced labour

The Government of Mongolia and its social partners have been working closely with the ILO to effectively implement ILO's fundamental principles and rights at work, with particular focus on eliminating forced and compulsory labour in Mongolia.

Twenty five journalists participated in a training organized by the International Labour Organization and the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (NHRCM). This activity falls within the Phase II of the Bridge Project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to support efforts to combat forced labour under the 2014 ILO Protocol. It comes as a continuum of other activities organized in Mongolia since 2020, including prior trainings and the development of a contextualized edition of the ILO media toolkit on reporting forced labour and fair recruitment.

Training participants
In stretch of three days, the participants benefited from a rich discussion of panel speakers Dr Chang-Hee Lee, Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, Ms Bharati Pflug, Senior Specialist of ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and Mr Khunan Jargalsaikhan, NHRCM Commissioner, as well as insights from colleagues from NHRCM, the General Agency for Labour and Welfare Services, the Sectoral Inspection Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, and the Head of the Gender Equality Centre, a local NGO supporting forced labour survivors.

Thanks to these insightful discussions and speeches, the journalists were able to understand key aspects of possible forced labour situations in Mongolia and the heightened vulnerability of migrant workers within Mongolia and overseas, as well as the special care that should be used when reporting forced labour cases.

The winner of the 2023 ILO Global Media Competition on Labour Migration, Sen Nguyen, a Vietnamese journalist, joined the training online to share her experience. She highlighted the complexities of covering sensitive labour migration stories and shared insights on her recent work documenting migration patterns in the Nghe An province and the dramatic 2019 Essex lorry tragedy that affected numerous families in this province. Myagmarjargal Dashdorj, the Chief Editor of unuudur.mn, a news website, said that “I have learnt a lot from this training. I am inspired and motivated to write more by turning my knowledge into action. Based on our interaction with Sen, I expressed my interest in joint reporting on labour migration between Mongolia and Vietnam.”

Participants discuss about labour issues
Under the guidance of three national trainers - Oyuntsetseg Jargalsaikhan, Ariunaa Damdinsuren, and Enkhbayar Zorigtbaatar - and international trainer Charles Autheman, the participating journalists discussed about some pressing issues concerning labour and employment in Mongolia (or affecting Mongolian workers abroad) including working conditions in pastoralist animal husbandry, labour exploitation of foreign workers in Mongolia, and challenges faced by Mongolians migrating for studies or work within the region.
At the end of the training, while participants received their certificates, the three trainers received a national trainer diploma. This recognizes their capacity to lead such trainings in the future and marks the outcome of a several month-long training of trainers process.