Mongolia - Trafficking, forced labour, and migrant workers (2011)

Despite legislation against trafficking and forced labour, Mongolia remains a source country for trafficking, primarily of women, mostly to China and other Asian countries. Local NGOs have also reported an increase in internal sex trafficking and forced prostitution. The authorities have done little to prevent and prosecute offenders.

Mongolian law specifically prohibits forced labour but reports continue to emerge regarding the situation of some 250 North Korean workers mainly employed in mining, factory work, utilities, transportation, construction, customer service, and health service. It is believed that they are prohibited from leaving work and are unable to complain about working conditions.

There are 200,000 Chinese workers estimated to be working in Mongolia. In September, twenty Chinese workers, previously reported missing, were uncovered to have been staying without work visas and were to be repatriated. According to local media a total of 84 migrant workers from Huarong went to Mongolia through a Chinese labour agency. The first group of them, holding tourist visas, left China in mid August, and on arrival in Mongolia their passports were taken away. According to some of the workers, they were then effectively ‘bought’ by Mongolian employers for around RMB 4,000 RMB (around EUR 450) and worked as slaves. One report stated that several tens of thousands of Chinese migrant workers were being brought into Mongolia to work in the construction and mining sectors under similar circumstances.

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