UNCT Mongolia Statement on the International Day of the Girl Child 2023
11 October 2023
11 October 2023 is International Day of the Girl Child. This year’s theme is Invest in Girls' Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.
On the International Day of the Girl Child, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Mongolia reaffirms its commitment to promoting the full spectrum of girls’ rights. It is a day to recognize the rights of girls and mobilize our joint efforts to end discrimination, violence, and economic disparities and to change the negative social norms and gender stereotypes that disproportionately affect girls.
We are proud of Mongolian girls, who have demonstrated resilience, creativity, and leadership in the face of obstacles. We also recognize the efforts of the Mongolian government, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to realize girls’ rights to education, health, safety, and empowerment.
Nevertheless, we are gravely concerned about the pervasive and persistent forms of violence against children, especially against girls in Mongolia, including neglect, sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse in their families, schools, communities, and online.
Our studies reveal that violence against children remains high, with 49 per cent of children aged 1-14 having experienced violent discipline at home. With increased access to the Internet, children face dangers online, such as exposure to inappropriate content, conduct, and contact, including emotional and sexual abuse, grooming, and exploitation. In a 2017 survey of gender-based violence prevalence, 10.7 per cent of women reported experiencing sexual abuse before turning 15, with family members often being the perpetrators.
Achieving gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment is integral to the Sustainable Development Goals. We believe investing in girls and young women is investing in our future.
Under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other international human rights instruments, we urge the Government of Mongolia to take immediate and comprehensive action to prevent and tackle all forms of violence against girls and young women. The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women recommended Mongolia accelerate the effective enforcement of laws and policies addressing violence against women and girls. We also appeal for providing adequate resources and support services for survivors of violence, including sexual violence, and for the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators.
UNCT Mongolia stands ready to support government and civil society organizations in their efforts to stop all forms of violence against girls and young women and to create a safe, inclusive, and enabling environment for them to realize their full potential.
On this International Day of the Girl Child, we invite all stakeholders to join us in unleashing the potential power—economic, political, ICTs, and social—of girls for a more peaceful, prosperous, just, and violence-free Mongolia.