Mongolian parents gathered en masse outside parliament on Saturday to demand tighter laws and preventative measures to combat child abuse following the recent rape of a minor.
After the crime was reported earlier this month in the southeastern province of Dornogobi, concerned mothers created a Facebook group announcing the Saturday protest and it had soon garnered more than 400,000 members.
"We want to show child abusers that we are strong in order to protect our children," said Davaa Baatar, 41, a father of three who was attending the protest.
The campaigners – who held aloft placards bearing slogans such as 'Stop child abuse,' 'No child rape' and 'Our children, our future' – are also calling for greater social awareness and the establishment of public services for survivors.
"We will give our policy demands to the parliament, government and the president's office on Monday," said Odontuya Tsolmon, one of the protest organizers.
The government responded by saying that the cabinet will discuss the issue as soon as an organized list of proposals is received.
Some advocates have proposed that the punishment for sex offenders be increased to the death penalty, but the organizers of Saturday's rally said they are opposed to capital punishment.
President Khaltmaa Battulga formed a commission to reinstate capital punishment for such crimes last year, after similar incidents of child sexual assaults provoked a public outcry.
Between 2015 and 2016, 298 child rapes were reported, the state prosecutor's office said. However, the real figure is believed to be much higher.