Independent Detention Monitoring in Mongolia

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mongolian Training Event
The APT recently visited the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, in order to initiate a six-month training project aimed at promoting independent detention monitoring in the country. The project, which was co-organized by Amnesty International (AI) Mongolia and the APT, sought to train around 25 NGO representatives on how to effectively monitor closed institutions such as prisons and police stations.

In addition, on 14 April 2008 the APT and AI Mongolia co-sponsored a one-day seminar in Ulaanbaatar to discuss the possibility of Mongolia ratifying the OPCAT. A range of relevant actors attended the seminar, which was hosted by the Ministry of Justice and supported by UNDP Mongolia.

 

 

 

Date: 10-14 April 2008
Place:
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Partners: Amesty International Mongolia
Purpose: To support independent monitoring of places of detention by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the ratification and effective implementation of the OPCAT in Mongolia.
Activities: The APT recently travelled to the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, in order to initiate a six-month training project aimed at promoting independent detention monitoring in the country. The project, which was co-organised by Amnesty International (AI) Mongolia and the APT, sought to train around 25 NGO representatives on how to effectively monitor closed institutions such as prisons and police stations.

For this purpose the organisations held a three-day workshop in Ulaanbaatar from 10-12 April 2008, drawing on the considerable experience of Mary Murphy, an international human rights trainer and consultant. Mary Murphy is also the current Director of Penal Reform International’s Tbilisi Regional Office in Georgia. In the course of the three-day training event a visit was undertaken to Ulaanbaatar's prison for women. This workshop represented the first ever training for NGO representatives on independent detention monitoring in Mongolia. 

In addition to the training workshop, on 14 April 2008 the APT and AI Mongolia co-sponsored a one-day seminar in Ulaanbaatar to discuss the possibility of Mongolia ratifying the OPCAT. A range of relevant actors attended the seminar, which was hosted by the Ministry of Justice and supported by UNDP Mongolia.
Outcome: As a result of the training workshop, the 25 NGO representatives learned how to effectively monitor places of detention. The participants represented 15 different specialist NGOs, including organisations working on children's and women's rights. On this basis, over the course of 2008 the participants will devise a program of visits to places of detention and produce reports on their findings.

Moreover, in the form of the seminar on the OPCAT AI Mongolia and the APT aimed to initiate a discussion on Mongolia’s future ratification and implement of the instrument. The APT learned that an inter-ministerial commission had recently been set up, which also includes civil society representatives, to examine these issues. This body must report back to the government by late June 2008.
Next Steps: In approximately six months time the trainers will return to Ulaanbaatar in order to conduct a follow-up training event for the participants. This event will be used to gauge the progress made so far in monitoring places of detention as well as the additional training needs of the participants. 

The follow-up will also be a timely moment to assess the steps taken by the Mongolian government and civil society to ratify and implement the OPCAT. However, the APT has offered its assistance to the inter-ministerial commission as it undertakes its fact-finding work in the coming few months.
Documents: 

Monitoring places of detention: A practical guide for NGOs - Mongolian, Other Languages  (An APT Publication)

Agenda, Training Workshop for NGOs, 10-12 April

Agenda, OPCAT Seminar, 14 April  

Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer
 

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Photographs courtesy of AI Mongolia

 
Independent Monitoring of Places of Detention in Mongolia