In preparation of Mongolia’s next Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle scheduled for May 2020, the Globe International Centre (GIC) submitted its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on October the 3rd, 2019.
The report was developed by Human Rights NGOs Forum after three consultation processes with representatives from media organizations, academia, and journalists from both urban and rural Mongolia. The GIC participated along with other stakeholders and presented its findings to public officials.
The Mongolian Government accepted eight recommendations on freedom of expression (108.131-108.138) from the previous UPR cycle, but no progress has been made towards their implementation. Immediate actions should be taken on safeguarding freedom of information as stated in Article 10 of the Constitution and in fulfilling the nation’s pledges before the international community. Nevertheless, the new recommendations for this cycle included:
1. Abolishing Article 6.21 entitled Libel of the Law on Regulatory Offenses
2. Initiating legislation to recognize public figures, in order to ensure their tolerance to open criticism and to be subject to public control
3. The Right to Information (RTI) Law should be amended to narrow the regimes of exceptions and a nodal agency should be appointed to monitor the implementation of the law
4. The Law on State and Office Secrecy should be revised to provide the restrictions by law only, rather than by Government resolution or by internal rules of the public bodies. It should be based on a three-part test of legitimacy, necessity and proportionality. All secrecy laws should incorporate a substantial harm test to define when the harm overrides the public interest.
5. Revising section 19.11 titled “Illegal Access to the State Secret Information” of the Criminal Law
6. Considering adopting legislation on data protection
7. The provisions on election campaign included in the current drafts of three election laws should be revised in accordance with international standards, and sanctions on the termination and withdrawal of broadcast media should be abolished