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Mongolia’s children and adolescents are a ‘transition generation’ having to cope
on various levels with the challenges of ongoing political, economic and social
changes. It is at such times when youth are highly vulnerable in coming into
conflict with the law. Crimes involving juveniles have significantly increased in
recent decades, rising from 733 in 1991 to 1,080 in 2008. Most of these recorded
crimes are for theft. How the State responds to these youth can determine
whether they successfully make the transition to law-abiding citizens, or become
embroiled in a life of crime. Unfortunately, even for first time offences or minor
crimes, children too often face harsh consequences: deprivation of liberty at
various stages of the justice process.
Since September 2006, the Government of Mongolia with UNICEF support has
established Juvenile Justice Committee (JJC) pilot projects in two districts and one
province – Bayangol, Baganuur and Khentii respectively. Government officials,
children and families, and communities have voiced deep appreciation for the
pilot initiative in these three locations. Discussions are underway regarding the
expansion of this pilot initiative to other provinces. Meanwhile, broad legislative
reform efforts are in progress to amend existing criminal, administrative, labour,
child rights protection and other laws relevant to juvenile justice.
Prior to legislative reform and replication, however, a comprehensive evaluation
was necessary to better understand the impact, relevance and effectiveness of
interventions undertaken thus far. In March 2009, two independent consultants
conducted a comprehensive evaluation to assess the impact and effectiveness
of the pilot JJCs. Across three locations – , Bayangol and Baganuur districts of
Ulaanbaatar and Khentii - more than 100 stakeholders were interviewed, from
youth and their parents, community leaders, social workers, legal experts, UNICEF
and JJC staff to police, prosecutors, judges, governors and ministry officials. This
summary report outlines major findings of the evaluation, highlights key lessons
to inform the future replication of JJCs and proposes recommendations to assist
the Government of Mongolia (GoM) and UNICEF to strengthen the country’s
justice system for children.
Utilizing a participatory and mixed method approach, this evaluation addresses the following key questions:
(1) To what extent have the strategies and activities supported by UNICEF achieved their goal and objectives?
(2) What have been the impact/outcomes of the project – intended, positive and negative? Have there been any unforeseen impacts/outcomes?
(3) What challenges were confronted by UNICEF and partners and how were these addressed? Which opportunities were capitalized?
(4) What are the good practices and lessons learned by UNICEF and partners? (5) What recommendations can be made on the future direction of this project?
(6) Would you recommend replicating this project in additional locations and/or taking this project to scale (e.g. linking to advocacy for legal or policy
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