The Rights of Mongolia's Internal Migrants under International Law: Climatic, Domestic and Commercial Responsibilities

Author:Benoît Mayer
Pages:197-219
SUMMARY

Over the last decade, 350,000 people have moved from Mongolia’s countryside to the suburbs of its capital, Ulaanbaatar, where they live in abject poverty despite the rapid economic development of the country. This article proposes three complementary international legal analyses of this internal migration. First, because this migration is partly and indirectly induced by the adverse impacts of... (see full summary)

 
FREE EXCERPT
Mongolias Internal Migrants
197
VII JEAIL 1 (2014)
Benoît Mayer
Over the last decade, 350,000 people have moved from Mongolias countryside to the
suburbs of its capital, Ulaanbaatar, where they live in abject poverty despite the rapid
economic development of the country. This article proposes three complementary
international legal analyses of this internal migration. First, because this migration
is partly and indirectly induced by the adverse impacts of climate change, States
have a common but differentiated responsibility to assist the Mongolian government
to address climate migration. Second, Mongolia should bear its own responsibilities
to take steps to realize the social and economic rights of its population without
discrimination. Third, Mongolias commercial partners should be warned against
 
international law on State responsibility and to States extraterritorial human rights
obligations. While each narrative reveals an important dimension of a complex
phenomenon, this article argues that all policy levers must urgently be pulled to
guarantee the rights of Mongolias internal migrants.
Keywords
Mongolia, Migration, Narratives, Climate Change, Development,
Geopolitics, Environment, Human Rights.
The Rights of Mongolias
Internal Migrants under
International Law: Climatic,
Domestic and Commercial
Responsibilities
Ph.D. candidate at National University of Singapore. LL.M. (McGill), M.A. (Sciences Po). ORCID: http://orcid.
org/0000-0002-0669-7457. This article follows a month-long country visit conducted in 2013, undertaken with the
financial support of the Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law at McGill University and
the logistical support of the local office of the International Organization for Migration in Ulaanbaatar. Opinions and
mistakes remain the author’s sole responsibility. The author may be contacted at: bmayer@nus.edu.sg / Eu Tong Sen
Building, 469G Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259776.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14330/jeail.2014.7.1.10
STUDENT CONTRIBUTION
2014-05-23 오후 2:38:12
198 Benoît Mayer
I. Introduction
As a large country with a small population, Mongolia
1
is facing many social issues.
       
done to guarantee a fair and equitable redistribution; inequalities are rapidly
rising. Each year, tens of thousands of people move from Mongolias countryside
to Ulaanbaatar, its capital. There, they settle in the ger districts,
2
insalubrious
suburbs already inhabited by 300,000 migrants from the last decade. Isolated from
the economic growth of the city center, the dwellers of the ger districts often have
no running water, sewage or electricity, and strive to access public services such
       
communal heating system available in the central districts) is the main cause of
extremely high levels of air pollution in the valley of Ulaanbaatar during the long
winters.
3
To understand this migration, one needs to first explore the historical
        
international law.
This research will analyse three different political narratives on Mongolias
internal migration from the viewpoint of international law. This paper is composed
     
      
     
Mongolia
  s international trade and development partners.
These narratives are not only explanatory, but also normative. By attributing
migration to a cause, each of them ascribes responsibility to specific actors and
  
for all States to recognize their responsibility vis-à-vis Mongolian climate migrants
in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in
international environmental law. The political narrative underscores Mongolias
own responsibilities under international human rights law, in particular with regard
to social and economic rights and the prohibition of discriminations. The geopolitical
1 By ‘Mongolia,’ the author refers to the sovereign State of Mongolia (Outer Mongolia).
2 The ‘ger’ (yurt) is the traditional tent in which the Mongolian nomads live. Many destitute internal migrants settle
around Ulaanbaatar in their ‘ger,’ hence the name ‘ger districts.’
3 Other internal migrants become artisanal miners, often living in drastic conditions. Interview of Coralie Grielle,
volunteer in international cooperation, in Ulaanbaatar (Apr. 1, 2013).
10-student-Benoit Mayer(197-220).indd 198 2014-05-23 오후 2:38:12

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL