UN expert group to assess impact of business activities on human rights in Mongolia

GENEVA (4 October 2012) – A United Nations group of independent experts on business and human rights will undertake its first country mission to Mongolia from 8 to 18 October 2012, to assess the impacts of business activities on human rights in the country.

“Mongolia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and is expected to continue growing at this very fast pace in the coming decade,” noted Margaret Jungk, one of the members of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises who will visit the country.

“The tremendous amount of business activity lying behind this dramatic economic growth may have equally dramatic impacts on the human rights of the population living there. These impacts can be both positive and negative,” she said.

The UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed new Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights* in 2011, which established for the first time, an authoritative global standard to address negative impacts on human rights of business activities. This is the first time that a mission by UN independent experts will be conducted around the Guiding Principles, and this is the first information-gathering mission of the Working Group since it was created last year by the UN Human Rights Council.

“If the Guiding Principles are applied at this early stage, it could strongly benefit Mongolia and lay the groundwork for greater prevention of negative impacts, and improved access to remedy when they do occur,” added Pavel Sulyandziga, the other independent expert representing the Working Group in the country mission.

“We wish to learn first-hand from initiatives in Mongolia to address impacts of business activities on human rights, and we will be able to see in very concrete terms the clarity and the guidance that the Guiding Principles can provide at the national level,” Mr. Sulyandziga said.

Ms. Jungk and Mr. Sulyandziga, who visit the country at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Ulaanbaatar and Ömnögovi aimag, to visit mining sites and to meet with senior Government officials, members of Parliament, the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, and relevant stakeholders including business, trade unions, employers’ associations, academia and civil society representatives.

They will also participate in the ‘Mining and Human Rights in Mongolia’ conference convened by the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia on 10 and 11 October 2012.

They will hold a press conference to present preliminary observations from their visit at 11.00 on 17 October 2012 in UN Conference Room 512, Orient Plaza, G. Chagdarjav street 9, Sukhbaatar district, 1st horoo.
Map: http://www.un-mongolia.mn/web/contactus.php.

Findings from the country visit will be discussed at the Forum on Business and Human Rights** in Geneva on 4-5 December 2012 and a report officially presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2013.

(*) Read the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/Tools.aspx (English)
http://www.un-mongolia.mn/web/publications/HR_PUB_11_3_Inter%20EN.pdf (Mongolian)

(**) Learn more about and register for the 2012 Forum on Business and Human Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/ForumonBusinessandHR2012.aspx


The Working Group was established by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011. The five members are Mr. Michael Addo, Ms. Alexandra Guáqueta, Ms. Margaret Jungk, Mr. Puvan Selvanathan (current Chairperson-Rapporteur) and Mr. Pavel Sulyandziga. The Working Group is independent from any government or organization. It reports to the Human Rights Council and to the UN General Assembly.
Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/WGHRandtransnationalcorporationsandotherbusiness.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Mongolia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/MNIndex.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact Ms. Estelle Askew-Renaut on tel: +41 79 509 0557 or +976 11 327585 during the mission (8-18 October). After the mission: +41 22 928 9292 / wg-business@ohchr.org

You may also contact the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia,
A. Tsetsegmaa on +976 11 327585 ext 113, email: tsetsegmaa.amar@one.un.org and
P. Jargalsaikhan on +976 11 327585 195, 99135393, email: jargalsaikhan@undp.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en