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Statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

MURDER OF WOMEN AND INJURY OF CHILDREN UNDER THE RADAR OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO

Today we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of the Campaign “16 Days of the Fight against Violence against Women”.

In the year in which the four-year deadline for fulfilling the legally binding recommendations of the Expert Body for Monitoring the Implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence – Istanbul Convention expires:

! Two women were killed, and a girl and the father of one of the victims were seriously injured in the presence of minor children.

! There is no concrete action to establish the responsibility of the competent institutions that failed to protect the victims who reported their lives were under threat.

! The President of Montenegro, at the suggestion of the Acting Minister of Justice of Human and Minority Rights, pardoned a convicted abuser who grossly abuses parental rights and does not allow children to come into contact with their mother, whom he had previously abused in their presence.

! Verdicts are brought against women victims of violence, while effective punishment is not imposed on perpetrators.

! Children remain unprotected from sex offenders and forced marriages.

! Member of the Parliament of Montenegro publicly relativizes sexual violence against women without any responsibility for publicly expressed discriminatory attitudes.

! The state does not provide a sufficient number of specialized services for women and children who have survived violence.

! No crisis centers and clear protocols for victims of sexual violence have been established.

! Roma women, women with disabilities, LGBT women, women living in rural areas suffer multiple discrimination and do not have access to appropriate social services.

We ask the Government of Montenegro to show a clear political will to comprehensively address this burning issue by:

analyzing the existing inefficient system for protection and support of victims and developing guidelines for the establishment of a new coordinated system that will place the rights and best interests of victims at the heart of all measures.

provide adequate human and financial resources for the implementation of all measures, policies and legislation aimed at preventing and combating violence against women.

Provide specialization in institutions working on the prevention and suppression of violence against women and domestic violence – police, prosecutors, centers for social work, judiciary, health services, court experts.

Ensure continuous supervision and evaluation of the work of competent institutions and determine the responsibility of all those who do not act in the best interests of victims.

Improve the legal framework and harmonize it with the standards of the Istanbul Convention.

Provide political and financial support to civil society organizations that run specialized services for women and children, while respecting their autonomy and working principles.

Provide programs for social integration of victims of violence, such as social housing, employment programs, child care, etc.

NGO Women’s Rights Center

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