Main Menu
Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                            

State of Mongolia

Economic activity in Mongolia has traditionally been based on herding and agriculture. Mongolia has extensive mineral deposits. Copper, coal, gold, molybdenum, fluorspar, uranium, tin, and tungsten account for a large part of industrial production and foreign direct investment.

Severe winters and summer droughts in 2000-02 resulted in massive livestock die-off and zero or negative GDP growth. This was compounded by falling prices for Mongolia's primary sector exports and widespread opposition to privatization.

Description: Description: Description: Mongolia

Until late 2008 Mongolia experienced a soaring inflation rate, with year-to-year inflation reaching nearly 40% - the highest inflation rate in over a decade.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Mongolia is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Mongolian women and girls are trafficked to China, Macau, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea for both forced labor and sexual exploitation. Mongolian men and women are trafficked to Kazakhstan and Turkey for labor exploitation. There is also concern about involuntary child labor in the Mongolian construction, mining, and industrial sectors, where they are vulnerable to injury and face severe health hazards, such as exposure to mercury. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Mongolia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


U.S. Customs Commissioner Issues Detention Order on Clothing Produced in Mongolia with Forced Child Labor

U.S. Customs Service, Public Affairs Office, Press Release, Washington DC, November 28, 2000

[accessed 7 September 2014]

[accessed 3 May 2020]

Evidence obtained by Customs investigators suggests that factory managers are forcing employees, some of whom are minors, to work 14-hour days, 7 days a week. In addition, it has been reported that factory management is deducting unreasonable amounts of money from the workers' salaries without paying overtime. It has also been reported that minor age children are being treated as adult age workers, which is a violation of Mongolian law. In addition, working conditions at both factories are said to be poor and employee housing is substandard.

Study: Mongolia Must Battle Increase in Human Trafficking

B.Bulgamaa, The UB Post, January 22, 2009

[accessed 2 September 2012]

GEC also interviewed 16 victims of trafficking who returned to Mongolia. Half of the women were 20-22 year-olds and one was an under-age girl who had dropped out of school. More than half had secondary educations and one had higher education. 69 percent of the women sought employment abroad to earn more money than they could in Mongolia, 37.5 percent to provide for their families, 50 percent to gain money for their education and 50 percent to gain money to start a small business in Mongolia. Women had paid US$ 100-500 to brokers, they thought they owed their brokers about US $1,000-3,000, they were promised US$2,000-3,000 per month, but 60 percent of them returned with nothing as they never received any salary and only worked to service the debt. About 20 percent had earned US$200-300 per month, but all the money had been spent on bare necessities.

NGOs have also reported on the increasing scope of domestic trafficking and organized criminal networks in Mongolia that kidnap girls from the streets or lure them through their peers, relatives or acquaintances, keep them locked in hotels and force them into prostitution. In February, 2008, during the Mongolian New Year, half a dozen girls were reported to have been kidnapped from the streets and forced into prostitution in Ulaanbaatar and Darkhan city. One of the cases involving a 17-year old girl, a daughter of a poor single mother of three, caught significant media and public attention. Victims and NGOs also reported that girls are often trafficked abroad after having been ‘tamed’ and sexually exploited in Mongolia.


*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: mongolia

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 17 June 2021]


There were isolated reports of forced labor, including forced child labor such as forced prostitution and begging.


Child labor, including forced child labor, occurred in many sectors, including in hotels and restaurants, vehicle repair, manufacturing, petty trade, scavenging, forced begging, event or street contortionism (a local art form), and the illicit sex trade (see section 6, Children).

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


The government has struggled to cope with economic inequality, particularly as large numbers of rural Mongolians migrate to cities that lack sufficient housing and infrastructure. New housing continues to be constructed, but many existing residents have reportedly been left homeless by urban redevelopment projects.

Women, children, people living in poverty, and other vulnerable segments of the population are at some risk of becoming trafficking victims, and are compelled to engage in sex work, forced labor, or begging. Workers in the mining industry are subject to exploitative conditions, as are contract workers from China. The government has taken efforts to better prosecute trafficking cases, but corruption and a lack of will to address the issue impedes progress.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 19 April 2019]

[accessed 3 May 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 694]

Mongolian children are generally trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation in saunas, bars, hotels, karaoke clubs, and massage parlors. (4; 22; 3) Children also work as horse jockeys and face a number of health and safety hazards, including exposure to extremely cold temperatures, risk of brain and bone injuries, and fatal falls. (14; 15; 1; 23) Participation in pre-training and horse racing during the November 1-May 1 racing season may also negatively impact children’s school attendance, particularly when children as young as age 7 can participate in horse racing. (14; 15)

During the reporting period, the Family, Child, and Youth Development Agency (FCYDA) collected data on exploitative child labor in Mongolia. The agency identified 99 children engaged in various forms of child labor in Ulaanbaatar, and registered 10,453 children in a nationwide database for child horse jockeys. (4).

Campaign To Be Arranged Against Human Trafficking

[access date unavailable]

Thanks to a help by Gender Equality center, 51 victims of human trafficking were brought back to Mongolia from China, Macao, Kazakhstan and Malaysia in 2007. 70 percent of them are women and young ladies and men who had become victims of labor slavery.

Informal Marriages Hide Human Trafficking

B.Bulgamaa, The UB Post, 2007-04-13

[accessed 7 July 2013]

[accessed 18 February 2019]

The protection of rights and a positive legal environment for the victims of human trafficking who become illegally married to Asian men still does not exist yet, because of a lack of information and knowledge about human trafficking. About 20 days ago, four Mongolian women with three of their children requested from the Mongolian consulate in Erlian, China, to save them from the violence of their husbands.

They were married to Chinese men when they were introduced to each other in Mongolia, but have lived in China for over ten years now. According to reports in the Mongolian media, all of them were living in a half-starved state, they had no right to work for wages and weren’t even allowed to go outside. They were beaten brutally by their husbands and had other physical pressure applied. Some of them were unwillingly forced to have sex by their husbands. But the accused husbands are demanding the return of their wives from the consulate.

Street Children Remain Neglected

Damien Dawson, 06 April 2007

[accessed 7 September 2014]

In a week when the western world celebrates the anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, abducted women and children are being transported across the Chinese border in a modern-day slave trade.  The western world is dimly but increasingly aware of this, but it remains firmly at the back of the minds of those that possess the power to deal with the plight of those who are part of Mongolia’s future.

The Crime of Trafficking of Women and Children in Mongolia:  The Current Situation [PDF]

National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia, Centre for Human Rights and Development, Ulaanbaatar, November 2002

[accessed 21 February 2011]

[accessed 7 February 2018]

2. THE CRIME OF TRAFFICKING AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS IN MONGOLIA - There are circumstances within Mongolian society today that are suited to the trafficking  of humans. These include a direct relationship between negative social phenomena that have arisen as a result of Mongolia’s transition period. Conditions such as increased poverty, unemployment, prostitution amongst women, drug use among youth, illegal emigration of citizens abroad, illegal labor of Mongolian citizen in foreign countries (including the manufacturing of false visas and passports), and an increased interest amongst girls and women to marry foreigners, contribute to an environment in which the crime of trafficking can occur. In addition, a lack of knowledge about life abroad and naive attitudes in trusting different kinds of mediators are some of the factors that affect the crime of trafficking.

Jurist Legal Intelligence - Mongolia

Jurist: The Legal Education Network™, Source: U.S. Department of State - 2001

[accessed 21 February 2011]

[accessed 7 February 2018]

HUMAN RIGHTS - The Mongolian Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens in 2001; however, problems remain in some areas.

Child abuse and child labor also are problems. There were some instances of forced labor, and some women seeking work overseas may have become victims of trafficking schemes.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 June 2005

[accessed 21 February 2011],CRC,CONCOBSERVATIONS,MNG,45377ea12,0.html

[accessed 7 February 2018]

[64] The Committee is deeply concerned at the increasing number of children engaged in prostitution. While noting that trafficking in children is a relatively new human rights problem in Mongolia, the Committee is concerned about certain risk factors, including persisting poverty, the high rate of unemployment, difficult family circumstances leading to run-away from home and a growth in tourism, which may and often does increase sexual exploitation and trafficking in children.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The primary targets of trafficking schemes were middle-class girls and young women, ranging from 14 to approximately 28 years of age, who were lured abroad by offers to study or work. Preventive steps to combat trafficking, such as increased law enforcement measures, remained limited. As a result, it was not difficult to traffic persons across the country's borders. Some NGO experts believed that members of the police sometimes were involved in trafficking young women and helping facilitate their movement across borders.

Protections for victims and witnesses were extremely limited, which discouraged them from coming forward. Furthermore, social stigma inhibited victims from telling their stories. The government had limited resources and divergent priorities, and therefore provided no direct assistance for trafficking victims. NGOs offered support when possible, and the government relied on NGOs to increase awareness and initiate prevention programs. The government worked with the UN on a three-year project for capacity building in the National Council on Gender Equality, which included giving more attention to trafficking and prostitution.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 21 February 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - While comprehensive information about the nature and extent of trafficking in Mongolia is not available, it is reported that Mongolia is a source and transit point for teenage trafficking victims for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Mongolia",, [accessed <date>]