Podgorica, 15th October, 2018
Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence – GREVIO published its first report on assessment of the situation in Montenegro when it comes to implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as Istanbul Convention. GREVIO findings are based on state reports and communication with state and nonstate actors, but also on independent information submitted to the committee in July 2017 by NGOs Women’s Rights Center, Women’s Safe House, SOS Hotline Niksic and SOS Hotline Podgorica.
GREVIO in its report supports the improvement of legal framework in the area of family violence and violence against women, however, they point to a whole spectrum of structural problems which are the result of an insufficient level of preventing family violence as well as protection of the victims of family violence. Reflecting on the actions of institutions, GREVIO states that “there have been frequent attempts to lessen the severity of violence, referral to the alternative dispute resolution, delays in solving cases of family violence and unwillingness to issue orders for protection measures”. Regarding the perception and attitudes which are traditionally rooted in the public, GREVIO states that there’s need for more long-term and on a regular basis campaigns to tackle the existing taboos revolving around rape and sexual violence, but also campaigns to raise awareness in general about the forms of violence that women in Montenegro, including RE women, are subjected to by men.
GREVIO calls for Montenegrin authorities to establish sufficient referral centers for rape and/or sexual violence, to ensure adequate training of professionals and to develop enough possibilities for financing women NGOs who have specialized services to support victims.
GREVIO experts point to a number of other areas in which harmonization of the national legislation with the Istanbul Convention is necessary, those include the necessity for complete elimination of discrimination that Roma and Egyptian women face when they’re seeking protection against violence, strengthening measures which insure safety and needs of children victims and witnesses of family violence, terminating the practice of alternative dispute resolution in cases of family violence, introducing the overall risk assessment and efficient implementation of multidisciplinary approach in providing safety and protection to all victims.
GREVIO demands from Montenegrin authorities to apply disciplinary measures to end the impunity of officers who do not perform their duties.
We ask that the government of Montenegro approaches the intensive promotion and affirmation of GREVIO recommendations among institutions in charge of implementing Istanbul Convention and to be committed to its realization, with obligatory provision of sufficient human and material resources.
Translated summary of the report with priority recommendation is available on the web page of the Council of Europe: https://rm.coe.int/summary-mne-final-montenegrin…/16808e5639 , while the overall report in English language is available on the following link: https://rm.coe.int/grevio-report-montenegro/16808e5614
NGO Women’s Rights Center
NGO Center for Roma Initiatives
NGO Women’s Safe House
NGO SOS Hotline for women and children victims of violence, Podgorica
NGO SOS Hotline for women and children victims of violence, Niksic
NGO Young Roma