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In their own words: Selected writings by journalists on Mongolia, 1997-1999: Part 1f

In their own words: Selected writings by journalists on Mongolia, 1997-1999: Part 1f

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Published by David South
Publisher: UNDP Mongolia Communications Office
Editor-in-Chief: David South
Research Editor: Julie Schneiderman
ISBN 99929-5-043-9
Printer: Admon Company
Part 1f of 250 pages.

Women and Children Chapter: In their own words compiles by theme the vast number of stories and features by journalists on Mongolia's transition experience from 1997 to 1999. A rich and unusual resource for a developing country, this book offers the reader a one-stop snapshot of how a country handles the wrenching social, political, cultural, economic and environmental challenges of changing from one political and economic system to another.
Publisher: UNDP Mongolia Communications Office
Editor-in-Chief: David South
Research Editor: Julie Schneiderman
ISBN 99929-5-043-9
Printer: Admon Company
Part 1f of 250 pages.

Women and Children Chapter: In their own words compiles by theme the vast number of stories and features by journalists on Mongolia's transition experience from 1997 to 1999. A rich and unusual resource for a developing country, this book offers the reader a one-stop snapshot of how a country handles the wrenching social, political, cultural, economic and environmental challenges of changing from one political and economic system to another.

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Published by: David South on Feb 24, 2010
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1 8 5
W O M E NA N D C H IL D R E N
P h o to by E. C H IM G E E
T h e ym ay lo o kh e a lth y ,b u t o n e in fiv eM o n g o lia n c h ild re ns u ffe rs fr o m
s tu n tin g ,o n e in
1 0 iss e v e r e ly m a ln o u ris h e d , 4 0
p e rc e n t a rea n e m ic a n d th en a tio n 'sin c id e n c e o fric k e ts
isa m o n gth e h ig h e s t in the
w o rld .
1 8 6
IP S
6J u ly
1 9 9 8
M O N G O L IA : E C O N O M IC T R A N S IT IO N G IV E S R IS ET O
S T R E E T C H IL D R E N
ULAN
BATOR,
Jul.
6
(IPS)
-
Nyamochir's
family
lives
200
km
away
from
the
capital,
but
the
scrawny
14-year-old
is
never
far
from
home
these
days.
That's
because
he
prefers
to
live
on
the
streets,
specifically
inside
a
six-meter
deep
hole
that
actually
holds
part
of
Ulan
Bator's
heating
system.
Nyamochir
shares
the
much
coveted
shelter
with
14
other
boys,
most
of
whom
are -ol d e r
than
he
is.
C ardboard
p l a c e d
close
to
the
water
pipes
for
warmth
serves
as
beds
during
the
night.
For
food,
they
scavenge
the
garbage,
although
an
occasional
handout
provides
them
some
sustenance
as
well.
"My
stepmother
beat
me
everyday
after
my
father
died,"
says
Nyamochir.
"So
I
left
my
home
t hre e
months
ago."
He
wound
up
in
Ulan
Bator,
where
a
group
of
older
boys
took
him
in.
They
are
now
teaching
him
how
to
survive
the
harsh
conditions
of
city
street
living,
including
fending
themselves
against
rival
street
gangs.
Streetchildren
are
perhaps
the
last
sight
a
visitor
might
expect
in
a
country
with
only
2.3
million
people
and
where
many
still
have
to
go
on
horseback
to
get
from
one
point
to
another.
But
ever
since
Mongolia
embarked
on
a
free
market
economy
almost
a
decade
ago
and
then
formally
renounced
socialism
in
1992,
social
workers
say
the
country's
number
of
children
living
on
the
streets
has
been
rising.
According
to
a
survey
by
the
National
Center
for
Children
(NCC),
there
are
at
least
1,028
Streetchildren
across
Mongolia's
few
cities
-
the
result,
say
social
w o r k e r s ,
of
the
social
u pheaval
stemming
from
the
country's
painful
economic
transition.
Under
the
socialist
system,
there
had
been
a
safety
net
that
had
taken
care
of
the
people's
education
and
medical
needs,
and
had
provided
jobs.
But
government
subsidies
are
no
longer
available,
a
change
that
has
had
a
heavy
toll
on
the
weak
--
particularly
the
children.
Social
workers
say
more
and
more
youngsters
are
being
driven
out
of
their
homes
by
desperate
parents
who
are
now
unemployed
and
can
\u2022no
longer
feed
them.
"During
the
socialist
times,
the
gap
between
the
rich
and
the
poor
was
not
wide,"
say
Uranbileg
Bergen,
a
project
officer
at
the
NCC,
which
gets
support
from
the
United
Nations
C hildren's
Fund
(UNICEF).
"The
transition
has
created
man y
social
problems
and
the
numbers
of
children
living
under
the
poverty
line
is
growing,"
she
adds.
"If
we
dsn't
tackle
the
problem
soon
we
will
have
as
many
as
70,000
children
living
on
the
streets."
The
political
and
economic
changes
are
also
having
a
profound
impact
on
the
children's
heal th,
Among
the
children
under
Bergen's
care,
mal nu trition
and
serious
diseases
such
as
tuberculosis
are
common.
But
with
the
NCC
providing
the
needed
care,
they
are
still
lucky.
One
of
Nyamochir's
friends
has
a
wracking
cough
but
has
not
sought
medical
help.
"I
sometimes
cou gh
up
blood,"
says
the
tough-looking
youth.
Almost
40
percent
of
the
state
budget
is
spent
on
social
development
but
experts
say
more
than
half
of
that
sum
goes
towards
heating
expenses
and
transportation
leaving
very
little
for
education
and
health.
Many
M ongol ians
complain that
the
government
is
not
paying
enough
attention
to
their
basic
needs,
and
prefers
instead
to
pour
in
money
into
business
and
industry
at
the
risk
of
cre at in g
social
unrest
in
the
country.
Last
year,
though,
the
government
for
the
first
time
allotted
a
150
million
t u g hrik
($174,000)
budget
for
Streetchildren.
The
money
is
spent
on
a
prevention
and* rehabilitation
programme
that
includes
feeding
and
teaching
the
children,
as
well
as
counselling
d e stitu te
parents
who
have
abandoned
their
children.
A
sponsorship
program
seeking
foreign
foster
parents
who
will
give
a
$20
monthly
support
per
child
has
been
started.
Social
workers
say
alcoholism
is
a
major
problem
in
poor
families,
making
it
difficult
to
gu arantee
the
safety
of
chil dren
who
run
away
and
then
are
brou ght
back
to
their
parents.
One
social
(Seenextp ag e )
1 8 7
*
worker
here
says
a
boy
t he y
rescued
had
his
hair
burnt
by
his
mot he r
who
was
under
stress
because
of
f a m i l y
problems
resulting
from
alcoholism.
Programs
should
thus
also
be
geared
toward
providing
safe
shelters,
say
social
workers.
But
convincing
streetchildren
to
live
in
such
homes
poses
yet
another
difficulty.
As
Bergen
points
ou t ,
m a n y
p r e f e r
the
streets,
where
they
have
all
the
freedom
to
do
as
they
please
and
the
opportu nity
to
make
quick
money.
It
is
also
hard
to
cre ate
a
family
atmosphere
in
government
or
p r i v a t e l y
run
homes.
"There
is
the
concept
that
children
h a v e
been
sacrificed
for
the
economic
transition
policies
of
the
government,"
she
says.
"(But)
as
the
numbers
of
poor
children
grow,
people
are
worried
about
growing
crime
and
feel
at
a
loss."
N yamochir
and
his
friends,
for
instance,
avoid
the
police
most
of
the
t ime
for
they
beg
pr
steal
for
a
living.
Often,
they
also
deal
w it h
unscrupulous
men
who
use
the
boys
for
cheap,
sometimes
illegal,
work,
t akin g
advantage
of
Mongolia's
juvenile
laws
that
rarely
slap
long
prison
sentences
on
child
criminals.
The
NCC
says
80
children
are
now
being
charged
for
serious
crime
such
as
rape
and
murder.
Many
young
girls
who
l iv e
on
the
streets,
meanwhil e,
work
as
sex
workers.
Some
as
young
as
13
suffer
from
venereal
disease.
Bergen
also
notes
that
the
new
economic
system
is
causing
a
new
kind
of
stress
on
children
as
they
have
begun
to
crave
for
material
goods
such
as
fashionable
clothes
and
electronic
goods.
"During
the
socialist
times
children
wore
uniforms
to
schools
and
there
was
not
much
difference
between
rich
children
and
children
from
poor
homes," she
says.
"Now
we
are
hearing
of
many
cases
where
children
are
refusing
to
go
to
school
because
their
clothes
are
not
good
enough."
For
his
part,
Nyamochir
would
probabl y
be
only
too
glad
if
he
could
h a v e
clothes
that
are
not
as
threadbare
as
what
he
is
wearing
now
and
which
can
hardly
keep
out
the
cold
of
the
winds
blowing
throu gh
Ulan
Bator's
streets.
Nyamochir,
who
says
he
polishes
boots
for
a
living,
says
he
wants
to
learn
how
to
read
and
write.
But
the
big
boys
he
hangs
around
w it h
will
not
allow
him
to
go
to
a
center
where
he
can
attend
classes.
He
figures
his
future
is
bleak,
and
t hat
he
will
probably
end
up
in
prison.
For
now,
though,
he
and
his
coughing
friend
are
trying
to
focus
on
where
to
get
their
gang's
next
meal .
Says
his
friend,
"We
don't
have
enough
money
to
buy
even
candles
for
our
hole."
C opyright
1998
IPS/GIN.
The
contents
of
this
story
can
not
be
duplicated
in
any
fa
SuvendriniK a k u c h i ,MONGOLIA:ECONOMICT R A N S I T I O N
GIVESRISET O
STREETCHILDREN
.,I n t e rP r e s s Service EnglishN e w s Wire, 07-06-1998.
C o p y r ig h t
\u00a9
1 9 9 8I n fo n a u tic s
C o r p o r a tio n .A ll r ig h tsr e s e r v e d . -T erm s a n dC o n d itio n s

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