According to some estimates, one in three Mongolian women is a victim of domestic violence and approximately one-half of all administrative detainees and one-quarter of criminal detainees have been held for domestic violence-related offenses. To address these grim statistics, Mongolia has adopted both a new Criminal Code, which for the first time identifies domestic violence as a specific crime and makes it subject to criminal punishment, and the Law to Combat Domestic Violence, which provides for a more comprehensive response to the domestic violence and for integrated victim services.
IDLO, with the support of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), is helping to activate these laws through supporting coordination between the key justice sector actors, who are tasked to prevent, investigate, and punish domestic violence crimes. To this end, IDLO has partnered with the Ministry of Justice and 5 government agencies to develop joint multi-disciplinary curricula and create a pool of trainers.
Participatory consultations to develop training curricula
The first fruits of this labor were training curricula developed by a multi-disciplinary Working Group. At a consultation workshop held in May, the draft curricula were discussed by over 70 stakeholders, from policy makers to provincial policemen, as well as civil society and academia. The feedback on the curricula and project itself was very positive.
“This exact mandate had been missing in Mongolia for years,” said Ms. Oyun Banzragch, UNFPA Gender Specialist.
Khorolsuren from the US Embassy echoed this view. “I have personally worked for 30 years in the police, so this project is very close to me, and I think the project’s approach to combine theoretical knowledge with practical cases and approaches is an excellent one.”
One of the most valuable contributions came from the regions. Erdenebaatar, Head of Police department in the Zavkhan Aimag, described how their police department had established a shelter for victims of domestic violence, initially housed in a small confiscated building.
This shelter has now moved to new premises and is supported by 16 organizations, under the order of the Aimag’s Governor. Aimag’s educational agency helps with children’s education, the hospital sends doctors to check the victims, and free legal advice is provided to people who come in and also via a hotline.
In the shelter, they also use a karaoke system donated by a Mongolian NGO. “It does wonders to improve the mood of the victims. After singing two songs in the karaoke, the professionals go to talk to the victim and get a much better reception,” said Mr. Erdenebaatar.
The inputs received from workshop participants and IDLO Senior Gender Specialist, Ms. Rea Abada Chiongson, helped finalize the curricula for the first-ever multi-disciplinary Training of Trainers on effective responses to domestic violence.
Bringing the curricula to life during the Training of Trainers
“The act of domestic violence is just a photo, not a movie of the relationships in the household. If you decide the case after solely considering the photo, you may misjudge the situation,” warned US judge, Ramona Gonzalez, during the 'Training of Trainers' course that was organized by IDLO in June for over 30 representatives from across Mongolia's justice sector from judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers to bailiffs and marshals.
Besides the presentation of international best practices, the participants also learnt of national experiences from 8 Mongolian experts, including psychologists, university professors and other practitioners in the field.
Learn more about the project in our photo gallery (see below)
“Domestic violence cases are often overlooked in our society,” said Mr. Sandag Dorjkhuu, a Mongolian bailiff and one of the future trainers, “with the new law, perpetrators will now be tried in a criminal court and receive criminal punishment. Thanks to this project, our understanding has also changed to consider not only physical abuse, but also psychological.”
The trainers will be working throughout the summer to jointly develop a handbook and prepare a training program to be delivered in the autumn of 2016 to two-hundred representatives of Mongolia’s justice sector.
“We would like to thank IDLO for tackling this important social problem of domestic violence, especially in this unique and novel way - promoting collaboration between all the participating agencies,” said Mr. Batbayar Gantumur, one of the prosecutors trained by the project.
This project helps achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls under SDG 5 and advance Goal No. 2.4 “Governance for Sustainable Development” under the Mongolia Sustainable Development Vision 2030.
2030 Agenda: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls is Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more