Ulaanbaatar, June 15, 2011 — Human trafficking is on the rise in Mongolia. Committed to the prevention of trafficking in persons, The Asia Foundation and Give2Asia today announced the continued support of the country’s only national anti-trafficking hotline. In close collaboration with long-term partner, Mongolian Gender Equality Center (GEC), the donation from Give2Asia’s MYTWO Fund ensures that the nation’s sole hotline for survivors of trafficking will remain operational for another two years. Established in 2006, the national hotline is a life-saving resource for survivors of trafficking, including men, women, and youth; it also facilitates reporting of cross-border and domestic trafficking cases to law enforcement agencies.
In recent years, trafficking in persons is a crime of alarming frequency in Mongolia. The country has become both a source and destination country for people trafficked for labour and commercial sexual exploitation.
The Asia Foundation has supported GEC to successfully implement a series of public outreach and prevention programs. As a result of these programs a significant number of trafficking survivors have been identified and received rehabilitation assistance. From 2002-2010, 385 survivors of trafficking were referred to the GEC, of whom 234 (60.7%) were exploited sexually, 98 (25.5%) exploited for labor, 47 (12%) were trafficked for mediated marriage, and 6 (1.8%) are still missing. A total of 197 (51%) survivors have been repatriated from nine foreign countries.
GEC is headed by Mrs. Ganbayasgakh Geleg, who recently received the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 TIP Hero award by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Despite the hotline’s success, the service was in danger of being discontinued due to a lack of funding from the government. The MYTWO Fund will help save Mongolia’s sole national anti-trafficking hotline, continuing to build cases against perpetrators and expand its reach through public awareness campaigns.
The hotline service can play an important role in facilitating reporting and services for survivors, however, a strong legal framework is necessary to protect Mongolia’s most vulnerable citizens. The draft Law on Combating Trafficking in Persons, if passed, will be the first ever comprehensive law to protect survivors of trafficking and will represent a major milestone in the country’s fight to end trafficking.