You are reading: Strengthening Mongolia’s online investigations capacity: RSO and IOM lead counter-trafficking workshop in Ulaanbaatar Strengthening Mongolia’s online investigations capacity: RSO and IOM lead counter-trafficking workshop in Ulaanbaatar
22 January 2024 | Event
Strengthening Mongolia’s online investigations capacity: RSO and IOM lead counter-trafficking workshop in Ulaanbaatar

Officials from five Mongolian government agencies came together last week alongside trainers from the Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO) for three days of training to strengthen Mongolia’s cybercrime investigative capacity into trafficking in persons cases.

The training, co-organised alongside the Coordination Council of Crimes Prevention of Mongolia (CCCP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mongolia built specialised knowledge for proactively investigating trafficking in persons cases online. Mongolian government officials requested the training in response to the rise of online trafficking in recent years, including growing numbers of sex trafficking victims and the trafficking of Mongolian citizens into cyber scam centres in Southeast Asia.

Meeting Member State needs

“The success of this training exemplifies the Regional Support Office’s commitment to addressing the specific needs of Bali Process Member States. By enhancing Mongolia’s cybercrime investigative capabilities, we are equipping officials with essential skills to proactively combat trafficking in persons in the digital realm.” said Ryan Winch, the RSO’s Transnational Crime and Technology Programme Manager. “This collaboration with the Government of Mongolia and IOM underscores the importance of a united front against the evolving landscape of cybercrime. We look forward to further collaborating with law enforcement agencies in Mongolia as they investigate trafficking cases and in their efforts to counter transnational organised crime.”

To support the training, the RSO worked with an open-source intelligence (OSINT) expert to develop a new curriculum on online investigations. The training is expected to enhance capacity across Mongolia’s counter-trafficking in persons, cybercrime, forensics, and intelligence agencies to collect online information and evidence utilising OSINT.

Skills developed included advanced techniques for using search engines, ensuring the privacy and safety of officers while conducting online investigations, digital footprint analysis and passive and active information collection methods. Each investigative technique was applied directly to case studies related to trafficking in persons during the workshop.

“The training was very practical and provided tools and skills officers can use in their daily work,” said Serd-Yanjiv Munkhchuluun, IOM Mongolia’s Senior Project Assistant. “There were a lot of gaps in knowledge prior to this training, from personal security while working online, to using available open-source information to investigate cases, this training has meaningfully brought up the capacity of those handing human trafficking in Mongolia.”

Responding to a rise in cybercrime

Mongolian police have reported a significant rise in cybercrime in recent years, with the increasing use of social media, messaging platforms and false job advertisements to recruit and exploit victims, as well as to commit related crimes such as money laundering. Despite this, convictions in cases related to trafficking have largely held steady in recent years with just 27 convictions in 2021 and 35 in 2022.

The training is part of the RSO and IOM’s ‘Strengthening Mongolia’s Cyber-Crime Investigations on Human Trafficking’ project and is the first in a series of three trainings to be held this year in Mongolia. Throughout the training series, the same set of participants from across law enforcement and intelligence agencies will be provided an opportunity to build their online investigation skills, while also being able to consult with experts between workshops, and to work with IOM and the RSO to develop strategies for applying the skills they’ve learned within their existing workflows.

The training and curriculum will also be rolled out to additional Bali Process Member States this year, maximising the reach and impact of the materials developed. For more information, please email