Mongolia: NHRC advocates right of return for citizens stranded abroad
Commissioners have raised concerns about Mongolians stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioners Enkhbold and Narantuya, representing the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (NHRCM), held an online meeting with Mr. Y. Sodbaatar, Chairperson of the State Emergency Commission (SEC) and Deputy Prime Minister, on 7 January 2021 to discuss matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commissioners raised the issue of the right to return home of Mongolians who have been stranded abroad, especially those in South Korea, and proposed to evacuate those with justifiable reasons as a priority.
The Commissioners noted that the NHRCM had received a high number of complaints about to cancellation of flights between Seoul and Ulaanbaatar, which had been scheduled in November.
Among those stranded abroad are people with serious health conditions, pregnant women and people with infants who living in difficult circumstances. This gives rise to serious human rights violations, the Commissioners said.
Mr Sodbaatar said the SEC takes human rights considerations into account to the greatest extent possible but there is also the necessity for certain decisions to be changed or modified, in accordance with changing situations.
He also added that the SEC is taking necessary steps, within resource limits, to address the issue of Mongolian citizens stranded in South Korea, which included evacuating 34 people in December.
Although, the pandemic is challenging and causing human rights concerns, Mr Sodbaatar emphasised the importance of collaborating to promote human rights, including through the exchange of information.
Date: 13 January 2020
- National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia