Forced labor affects Mongolian and migrant workers in Mongolia in various sectors, including mining, factory work, utilities, transportation, construction, customer service, health service, military conscripts, prisons, and sexual exploitation. The ILO CEACR has raised concerns over the free and informed consent of detainees to work in detention centers, without menace of any penalty, in particular in the case of persons convicted for alcohol or drug addiction. Mongolia is a source and destination country for trafficking in persons for sexual and labor exploitation, as well as a transit country for persons trafficked to Russia and China. Transgender women are at higher risk of commercial sexual exploitation due to pervasive social stigma barring them from employment in the formal sector. Mongolian communities experiencing widespread unemployment due to the pandemic—especially women and informal sector workers—are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and forced labor. The ongoing development of the mining industry in southern Mongolia intensifies trafficking vulnerabilities—especially along the China-Mongolia border. Truck drivers transporting coal are often more vulnerable to labor traffickers due to an arrangement under which employers confiscate their passports as collateral for their vehicles. The families of coal transporters who are delayed at the border, who are injured, or who die as a result of the poor working conditions, may also be vulnerable to sex trafficking due to ensuing economic hardships. Traffickers exploit women and girls in sex trafficking in these border- crossing truck lines, along the coal transport roads connecting mining sites to the Chinese border, at nightlife establishments in mining towns, and at entertainment sites across the border in Inner Mongolia. Sex trafficking and child forced labor also occur in connection with artisanal mining. Mongolia is on the USDOS 2022 Tier 2 list.
The project has identified the potential areas of interventions as follow:
- Increased knowledge, awareness, and implementation of the ILO Protocol and recommendation
- Improved and responsive national policies, action plans and/or legislation on forced labor with strong implementation, monitoring, and enforcement mechanisms
- Increased efforts to collect reliable data in order carry out research and share knowledge across institutions at national, regional, and global levels
- Workers' and employers' organizations actively support the fight against the forced labor
- Strengthened awareness of services and livelihood programs for victims of forced labor