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International Day of Persons with Disabilities | Mongol Identity SCIO

A member blog post by

Uuganaa Ramsay

Founder and Director of Mongol Identity SCIO, Member of SIDA Diaspora Group

Mongol Identity SCIO shares with you our latest panel discussion at the UN HQ, New York organised by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to The UN and Down Syndrome Association Mongolia DSAMmn.

Mongol Identity panelists requested the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider a resolution on the use of the word ‘mongol’ and its variations referring to Down syndrome in health and medical fields. Mongol Identity is a Scotland based non-governmental organisation with a mission to campaign for and advance a greater understanding of the word “Mongol” as it refers to an ethnicity and culture with its own history and language, in order to end the historical misuse of the term. 

Mongol Identity is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations made up of activists and campaigners from over 20 countries who are campaigning and raising awareness about the word ‘Mongol’

 Some examples of our campaigns and activisms include:

  • Oxford University Press – 2021: Mongol Identity dictionary campaign influenced the Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary to remove the negative connotations of mongol, mongoloid and mongolism from their definitions and keep the authentic meanings of these words in relation to people and culture of the Mongols.
  • UDEMY – Jun 2021: The campaign removed an educational course which had misleading and inappropriate content regarding Mongolia and the connection with the derogatory term ‘mongol’. 
  • German clinics – Feb 2021: The campaign corrected 10 German medical clinic websites and online publications, removing the term “mongolismus” describing people with Down’s syndrome.
  • Formula One – Oct 2020: The campaign challenged Max Verstappen, Formula One driver on the derogatory use of the word ‘mongol’.
  • New Zealand/ Australia – Nov 2017: – The campaign challenged Dr Libby Weaver on the use of the word mongol in her book referring to people with Down’s syndrome. 20,000 books were recalled. 
  • TEDx Youth London – Dec 2016: Resilience – TEDx talk highlighting the importance of resilience in campaigning and social change.
  • United Nations and the World Health Organization – Mar 2016: Changing stereotypes against people with Down syndrome side event – “The meaning of Mongol” with the Mongolian UN Representatives.
  • United Nations World Down Syndrome Conference – Mar 2016: “Changing stereotypes against people with Down syndrome” – presentation.
  • United Nations Radio – Mar 2016: Radio interview with the founder regarding the Language Matters campaign.
  • BBC World Service – Mar 2015: “Reclaiming Mongol” – news feature – our campaign regarding Rueben Ostlund, Swedish filmmaker on his film ‘Guitar Mongoloid’.
  • BBC World Service & Radio 4 – Jan 2015: “The meaning of Mongol” – a radio documentary was presented and aired.
  • BBC Mundo – Dec 2014: “Por qué mongol se usa despectivamente como sinónimo de síndrome de Down” – article became the most shared item on BBC Mundo and Twitter in Spanish.
  • BBC News – Nov 2014: “The meaning of Mongol” – article became the most shared and read item on BBC News website. 

Uuganaa Ramsay, Founder and Director of Mongol Identity SCIO, Member of SIDA Diaspora Group

Uuganaa Ramsay is the founder and director of Mongol Identity. She is an award-winning author, campaigner and advocate. Born in Mongolia and now living in the UK, she started writing and campaigning in 2010 after the death of her son, Billy, who had Down’s syndrome. Uuganaa won the Scottish Asian Women’s Award for Achievement Against All Odds in 2014. Her memoir Mongol won the Janetta Bowie Chalice Non-Fiction Book Award from the Scottish Association of Writers and following Mongol’s publication, BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service produced a documentary, The Meaning of Mongol. She spoke at the UN in New York (2016, 2023), in Geneva (2023) and UNESCO (2023). 

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