Mongolia has been a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) since 1968 and has ratified 20 international conventions of the ILO, including all eight Fundamental Conventions, 2 of the 4 Governance Conventions, and 10 of 77 total Technical Conventions. Of the 20 Conventions ratified by Mongolia, 19 remain in force while 1 has been rescinded.
Through its ratification of all eight of the ILO’s fundamental conventions, Mongolia has recognized the following four fundamental principles and rights of the worker:
- Ensuring freedom of association:
- Eliminating child labour
- Abolishing forced labour
- Prohibiting non-discrimination in employment.
Recently, Mongolia hosted a National Workshop on International Labour Standards for members of the judiciary and lawyers. The workshop focused on application of labor rules by the courts domestic courts, and was organized in cooperation with the Mongolian Bar Association, the International Training Center of ILO and the ILO Country office for China and Mongolia (CO-Beijing).
Judges, attorneys and government officers participated in the training for 5 days. The training consisted of review of the ILO and international labour standards system, the use of the work of ILO’s supervisory bodies; and discussions as to when and how domestic judges and lawyers can use international labour law to effectively resolve labour disputes. Of key importance was ensuring the relevance of international labour standards in key situations with widespread practical application.
The workshop found that in practice, the international labour standards set out in the various conventions were not widely referred to or implemented by Mongolian lawyers and courts. This is determined to be primarily due to lack of knowledge of many of these professionals as to Mongolia’s ratification of these conventions, and the fact that due to inadequate translation into Mongolian, many professionals were not certain of the actual contents of the conventions.
The workshop focused on the importance training in strengthen participants’ knowledge and skill to effectively utilize these international labour sources to resolve employment and labor issues within Mongolia. All participants noted that these international labour standards may be used directly to resolve the labour disputes or to interpret a relevant domestic provision to fill a gap and resolve ambiguities in the domestic law.
Proper awareness of and application of these international standards are vital for both Mongolian employees and expatriates working in Mongolia. Expatriate employees in Mongolia are granted equal legal rights and protections, and should never feel their foreign employer has the upper-hand in cases of unfair termination or discrimination in Mongolia.