1. The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of Mongolia (CCPR/C/103/Add.7)
at its1825th and 1826th meetings, held on 22 and 23 March 2000, and adopted
the following comments at its 1835th meeting, held on 29 March 2000.
2. The Committee expresses its satisfaction at the submission of the fourth
periodic report of Mongolia, which contains valuable information on key
legal developments in Mongolia, and welcomes the opportunity to examine
the report in a frank discussion with the delegation. However, the Committee
deeply regrets the paucity of information presented, both in the report
and in many of the answers given orally by the delegation, on the enjoyment
in practice of the rights provided for in the Covenant. The lack of such
information severely impairs the Committee's ability to carry out its responsibilities
to assess the situation in regard to the implementation of the Covenant.
3. The Committee recognizes the substantial progress made towards the establishment
of democratic institutions and the enactment of legislation which seeks
to ensure many Covenant rights.
4. The State party is commended for taking account in the report of the
Committee's concluding observations following its examination of the third
5. The Committee notes with satisfaction that the State party has welcomed
international assistance in institution-building and capacity-building,
particularly in relation to the protection of human rights.
6. The Committee welcomes the Law on the Freedom of the Press. It also welcomes
the improvements with respect to freedom of association made possible by
the 1997 Law on Non-governmental Organizations and the emergence of a free
C. Principal subjects
of concern and recommendations
7. The status of the Covenant in domestic law is not clear, in view of the
fact that the Constitution (art. 10 (3)) stands in conjunction with laws
of lower status; the Committee notes that no example was adduced of reliance
on any article of the Covenant in any court proceedings to date.
It should be made clear by law that Covenant rights shall have superior
status and shall prevail over domestic law in case of any conflict.
8. Many areas of concern remain
in relation to discrimination against women and the inability of women
fully to enjoy Covenant rights (arts. 3 and 26 of the Covenant). In particular,
attention has been drawn to:
(a) A general deterioration
in the status of women in society, especially in the political sphere,
despite their high standard of competence;
(b) The acute problem of
maternal mortality, due in part to unsafe abortions, and the unavailability
of family planning advice and facilities;
(c) Discrimination against
women in private sector employment, with effective impunity of employers
in the face of court judgements;
(d) Failure to prosecute
persons engaged in organizing prostitution or to adopt effective measures
to combat trafficking in women;
(e) The growing incidence
of domestic violence and the failure to prosecute perpetrators under the
relevant article of the Code of Criminal Procedure;
(f) The necessity to prove
violence in order to obtain a conviction for rape;
(g) The failure to make marital
rape an offence.
The next report should provide
in much greater detail statistics concerning the position of women by
way of their participation in public life, private employment and in other
relevant respects. It should also include details on the "National Programme
on Improving the Status of Mongolian Women" and on other actions taken
to combat all the above violations of human rights by administrative,
medical, educational and legal measures. Prosecution for violations, where
they constitute offences, should be sought and civil remedies properly
9. The Committee regrets that
it has been largely precluded, through lack of information in the report
and in the delegation's response to oral questions, from examining compliance
of the State party's judicial procedures with the rights guaranteed under
article 14 of the Covenant.
The next report should provide
information, in detail, on:
(a) Any threats to the independence
and impartiality of the judiciary, including those that may result from
(b) Practical means of guaranteeing
all aspects of due process spelt out in article 14 (3) of the Covenant
and article 16 (14) of the Constitution;
(c) The right to review of
a conviction in every case, including trials at first instance by the
Supreme Court under article 50 (1) (1) of the Constitution (art. 14 (5)
of the Covenant).
10. The Committee is deeply
concerned that the General Department for Implementation of Judicial Decisions,
within the Ministry of Justice, has not been able to ensure that victims
of human rights violations obtain in practice the benefit of remedies
that have been granted by the courts (art. 2 (3) of the Covenant).
The Committee reminds the
State party of its obligation under article 2 (3) to ensure that all victims
shall have effective remedy for violations of Covenant rights; the State
party should ensure that the General Department for Implementation of
Judicial Decisions provides such remedies.
11. The Committee is deeply
concerned about all aspects of detention before trial; neither the report
nor the delegation's answers give adequate details about:
(a) Grounds for detention
(b) Conditions of detainees'
confinement by the police;
(c) Remedies for violations
of a detainee's rights by the police;
(d) Means of ensuring that
a detainee is promptly brought before a judge or judicial officer;
(e) Statistics on the length
of detention within the 26-month maximum;
(f) The extent to which,
in practice, the Procurator-General exercises supervision over the necessity
for, length and conditions of detention (art. 9 of the Covenant).
The State party should urgently
implement its proposal to set up an adequate mechanism to oversee all
such matters, to provide individual remedies to detainees whose Covenant
rights are violated and generally to review the operation of the Detention
Law (1999), in accordance with article 9 (3, 4) of the Covenant.
The State party should give
details in its next report on the grounds for which persons may be detained
by administrative action and the remedies available to such persons.
12. The Committee is seriously
concerned by information it has received that a number of prisoners died
of starvation during the reporting period. In this regard, it welcomes
the recent changes in law and practice by which food is provided to all
prisoners. However, the Committee retains its concern for the lack of
other humane conditions of detention, such as timely medical care, sanitation
and adequate space for prisoners (art. 10 of the Covenant).
Steps should be taken to improve
prison conditions to ensure that imprisonment does not damage prisoners'
health and to introduce alternative forms of punishment other than imprisonment;
the next periodic report should indicate by what means prisoners may make
complaints about their treatment and the effectiveness of the only existing
remedy, namely recourse to the courts.
13. The Committee notes the
limitation of the categories of persons on whom, and crimes for which,
the death sentence may be passed and welcomes the commutation of many
death sentences by the Supreme Court or the President to life imprisonment
(art. 6 of the Covenant).
The State party is urged to
reconsider the necessity to maintain the death penalty.
14. The Constitution or the
Law on Emergency Situations, or both, should be amended to protect fully
all non-derogable rights enumerated in article 4 of the Covenant.
15. The Committee is concerned
about the problems confronting the population of remote regions of the
territory described by the delegation (art. 26 of the Covenant).
Efforts should continue to
ensure that persons throughout rural areas of the country have access
to education and to medical treatment and other public facilities that
are available to those who live in urban areas.
16. The Committee regrets
the absence of specific information on freedom of religion and beliefs
and notes that, in its decision of 12 January 1994, the Constitutional
Court considered that certain aspects of the Law on the Relationship between
the State and the Church were unconstitutional.
In its next report, the State
party should provide specific information on the effect of the decision
of the Constitutional Court, on the consequences resulting from the dominant
character of Buddhism, and generally on the legal regime and practices
with regard to freedom of religion and beliefs as well as on full compliance
with article 18 of the Covenant.
17. The Committee notes that
the State party recognizes only the Khazakhs as an ethnic, religious or
linguistic minority whose members are entitled to the rights specified
in article 27, despite the existence of numerous other such minorities
The State party should ensure
respect for the rights of all persons belonging to such minorities in
accordance with article 27 of the Covenant.
D. Dissemination of information about the Covenant (article 2)
18. The texts of the Covenant
and of the Optional Protocol should be made more widely available to the
public, together with an explanation that the former may be relied on
in the courts in order to obtain remedies and that the latter provides
recourse to the Human Rights Committee.
The State party should emphasize
the importance of human rights education and should seek to impart such
education and information to the population who live outside urban areas
and to the illiterate by appropriate means such as radio and other media.
19. Attention of the State
party is drawn to the new guidelines of the Committee on the preparation
of reports (CCPR/C/66/GUI/Rev.1). The fifth periodic report should be
prepared in accordance with those guidelines and submitted by 31 March
2003. It should pay particular attention to indicating the measures taken
to give effect to these concluding observations. The Committee requests
that these concluding observations and the next periodic report be widely
disseminated in Mongolia.