MP S.Odontuya speaks about legislations on children’s rights and protection

Trans. by B.DULGUUN


Parliament passed the Law on Children’s Rights and Law on Child Protection a month ago. These two laws were initiated to improve Mongolia’s former Law on Protection of Children’s Rights, which combined children’s rights and protection.

The following is an interview with Member of Parliament S.Odontuya, who led the working group assigned by the Head of the Standing Committee on Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science for the two bills on children’s rights and protection.


Many parents are very interested in the two new laws. Can you tell us about the Law on Children’s Rights and Law on Child Protection?


These two legislations have made the basic obligations of organizations and bodies protecting children’s rights and their inter-relation more specific. Currently, researchers are doing research on establishing a state inspectorate for the protection of children’s rights. Although Mongolia has specialized inspection agencies for inspecting and reporting on production of goods and service quality, it doesn’t have state inspectors who ensure that human rights, especially children’s rights, are protected. Considering the significance and value of children’s rights, we’re trying to train inspectors specifically for investigating and reporting on issues concerning children’s rights.

The Law on Protection of Children’s Rights was adopted in 1996. Mongolia’s finally renewed the legislation 20 years later. Our nation is establishing a national system for providing and guaranteeing children’s rights by passing the two new laws. We have also created a legal environment for regulating issues related to children’s rights, including preventive measures for child abuse and measures to take when a child is abused.


Mongolia has many laws but they aren’t strictly followed due to insufficient number of inspection agencies and funding. How will the implementation of the new laws be monitored?


That’s a good point. Lawmakers must always take implementation matters into account when passing a law. A total of 20 regulations and standards will need to be passed for executing the Law on Children’s Rights and Law on Child Protection. Associated ministries and agencies, as well as the Child and Family Development Center will have to co-develop a special plan.

Our working group is working on financial projections necessary for the implementations of the two laws with assistance from international experts. The legislations will be able to take full effect if 3.2 billion to 3.5 billion MNT from the state budget is allocated for them every year. The financing will have two stages and it will become fixed from 2017 to 2018.


There have been many disturbing cases related to children lately. Child abuse statistics of Mongolia isn’t decreasing either. What has been specified for these issues?


Every parent is concerned about this. The whole society has become critical about maltreatment of children. The fact that people have become critical means that the public attitude is headed to the right direction.

Child abuse is considered as a crime in accordance with the recently revised Criminal Code of Mongolia. The Law on Child Protection forbids any form of child maltreatment in all social environments, including the home, school, orphanage, and workplace. The Law on Child Protection will not regulate these issues alone. These issues will be determined within the framework of the Criminal Code, Law on Conflict, Family Law, Domestic Violence Law and other legislations, as well as their regulations.


Mongolians have a unique way of educating children compared to other nationals. The traditional ways remain the same to this day. Has this been included in the new legislations?


For a long time, Mongolians have practiced their own unique way of educating children, which involves making them realize things, providing moral and intellectual guidance, and becoming a good role model to children. Only an ignorant person with no common sense would punish, scold and beat children after setting a bad example themselves. As Mongolians say, “a beating once in a while might be necessary, but when constantly repeated, this action becomes a criminal act.” It’s important to know when to treat a child like a king and when to become their friend, and always try to listen and understand them.


What should parents focus on?


If a parent has moral deficiencies, they have to take part in parenting training in accordance with the Family Law. Of course, it’s more effective for government organizations to organize these types of services with cooperation from legal entities.

The most important change in the Family Law is the condition to increase the amount of time parents dedicate to their child. Employers have been specified to pay attention to employees’ families for the improvement of work productivity and security. The law also states that employers must provide a leave of absence with pay if an employee is going to attend parent-teacher meetings and also excuse employees from work for compulsory participation in training even if it’s not a paid leave of absence.

As the laws have been passed, the ministry in charge must develop a regulation. Even the Ministry of Labor view that winter horseracing competitions are dangerous for children’s health and safety, and issued a regulation. Another example is the prohibition of child labor in the construction sector. Ministries of every sector need to make child-related regulations.

The closest example would be the fact that competitions and tournaments are organized in soums and provinces during winter, but our working group doesn’t approve of making children travel long distances for competitions during the freezing cold winter.


You mentioned just now that the Ministry of Labor considers winter horseracing competitions dangerous to children’s health and safety. The biggest spring horseracing competition, Dunjingarav, was recently held and it will probably be organized in the future. Has this been included in the law?


Making children ride horses during cold weathers is an example of a violation of children’s rights. Just recently, a survey showed that majority of children hate riding horses during winter. Having children participate in horseracing competitions during festivals for profit or reputation is considered a crime according to the Criminal Code. However, children are free to help out their family business during non-school hours and holidays.


Recently, all sorts of videos and images of child abuse have been uploaded on the internet. Although it draws public attention to this issue, doesn’t it negatively affect the children that were filmed?


Exposure of confidential child abuse cases on the internet attracted a lot of attention from the public. This has become an easy way to draw public attention to any misconduct and negative attitude. We have legalized this. To be more specific, the responsibility to report any violation of children’s rights or safety has been given to everyone through the law. The law includes details on who and where to report to.


If a person doesn’t comply with their reporting obligations, what will happen to them?


The Law on Conflict, Criminal Code, Family Law and Domestic Violence Law clearly specifies liabilities in case a violation of children’s rights is detected. A new legal environment for child and family related matters will be made only if the Laws on Children’s Rights and Child Protection are linked to these legislations. The mayor must protect the rights of children who have been maltreated and place them in temporary protective custody, according to the law. This applies to children who live in risky family environments such as living with alcoholic parents, children who broke the law and are awaiting legal penalty or have been released from prison. These children will be placed in protective custody during a disaster as well.


Children’s rights are frequently violated by step-parents and orphanages. How will this issue be addressed by the new laws?


There are many unavoidable factors in life. We can’t do anything about death. Loss of dear ones and becoming an orphan is just another natural course and hardship of life. Somehow, we raise orphans into proper adults. The legislation touches issues related to children with divorced parents or have been born out of wedlock.

In the past, we used to send orphans to orphanages and concluded the case, but it’s doubtful that children raised in an orphanage will have the ability to live on their own, whether heir foster parents will love them, and they will get proper education. Children raised in orphanages or in someone else’s home are completely different from children raised by their own parents. We have to look at issues rationally and realistically. The new legislations state that the custody of orphans is to be given to their relatives. In return for looking after the child, the relative will receive an allowance from the state.


Source: Daily Newspaper


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Posted by on Mar 16 2016. Filed under Prime Interview. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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