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Mongolia: Victims of the Bankrupt Credit Cooperatives will be Compensated

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After an extended serious of protests, the Parliament of Mongolia passed a law to compensate the victims of the bankrupt credit cooperatives. This law is a welcome development for those struggling for economic, social and cultural rights.
On Friday, 3 August 2007, the Parliament of Mongolia adopted a law to compensate victims of the bankrupted credit cooperatives. In accordance with this law, 8903 victims will collectively receive 28 million US dollars as compensation, totalling 50% of the damage.

In Mongolia, 29 Credit Cooperatives went bankrupt as a result of charges against leaders in 2002-2006 for the illegal use of their members’ savings. The damages incurred total over 50 million US dollars and approximately 10,000 members of these savings cooperatives face loss of their property and many of them have fallen into poverty.

The victims were blaming the government for poor management, a lack of monitoring and regulations on credit cooperatives activities by the government. Victims demanded compensation from the state and organised a series of protests to protect their rights including several hunger strikes over the course of one and a half years.

After the victims continued their strong protest, the parliament of Mongolia adopted the new law on Compensation for Damages. Although the civil society groups of Mongolia welcome this measure as move of accountably and responsibility for the restoration of infringed rights of the citizens, some people see this measure as violation of the right of the taxpayers and an attempt to hide the corruption and inequity related to the some high officials of the state. T.Ochirkhuu, head of the Parliamentarian Working Group said, “It should not violate the rights of the taxpayers because the state can get the money which is given as compensation from the detrained property of the bankrupted Credit Cooperatives”.

FORUM-ASIA applauds the aspiration of the Mongolian State to protect and promote human rights within the country and welcomes this development as a new chapter for the protection of economic, social and cultural Rights.