Montenegro—Human Rights Committee—Domestic Violence—January 2020

The Advocates for Human Rights, along with the SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence, submitted a List of Issues Prior to Review domestic violence to the 128th Session of the Human Rights Committee.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognizes that certain basic rights are guaranteed regardless of a person’s race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion, nation or social origin, birth or other status, and men and women have an equal right to enjoy those rights.  Domestic violence is a violation of women’s rights recognized by the ICCPR, and it remains a serious problem in Montenegro.  According to a 2018 survey, about one in five women in Montenegro has experienced violence by a partner or non-partner after age 15. 

The government of Montenegro has taken critical steps toward protecting victims from violence by adopting the Law on Domestic Violence Protection (LDVP) and amending the Criminal Code.  Problems persist with implementation, however; law enforcement does not use best practices to resolve and redress cases of domestic violence, which is the product of both policy and the attitude surrounding domestic violence issues within the judiciary.

The authors of this report propose the following suggested questions for the government of Montenegro

  • Will the State adopt the proposed amendment to the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence to include persons who were, or are still in an emotional or sexual relationship?
  • What steps will the State take to immediately prohibit the harmful practice of confrontation in domestic violence cases?
  • What steps will the State take to immediately cease the use of mediation and reconciliation in cases involving domestic violence?
  • Will the State require regular training on domestic violence, in consultation with or led by NGOs serving victims, for all systems actors with responsibility for domestic violence cases?
  • What steps will the State take to commit to providing ongoing and sufficient funding to NGO-led shelters and counseling centers that provide services to women and children victims of domestic violence?
  • Will the State amend criminal laws to provide for measures of protection to protect victim safety during criminal proceedings
  • Will the State amend the law on legal aid to allow and compensate NGOs to provide free legal aid for victims of violence against women and if so, on what timeline?
  • What steps is the State taking to eliminate stereotypes and harmful misperceptions by systems actors and service providers toward Roma and Egyptian women seeking help?