European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

First report on Montenegro [en] – [fr] - [mne]

Press Release – 21.02.2012

Montenegrin version

Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission publishes new report on Montenegro

Strasbourg, 21.02.2012 - The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its first report on Montenegro. ECRI’s Chair ad interim, François Sant’Angelo, said that, while there are positive developments, there are also issues of concern, such as the extreme poverty and hardship faced by a substantial part of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian population and the legal status of “displaced” and “internally displaced” persons.

Montenegro has ratified the vast majority of international legal instruments relevant to ECRI’s mandate, including Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights which provides for a general prohibition of discrimination. Comprehensive protection of national/ethnic minorities is enshrined in the Constitution and the Law on Minority Rights and Freedoms. The Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination establishes the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms as the anti-discrimination body. The Government adopted the Strategy for the improvement of the position of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian population.

However, the legal status of “displaced” and “internally displaced” persons remains problematic. The procedure established to resolve this issue is complex and many people will not be able to meet the requirements. Some risk de facto statelessness. There is no authentic representation of national/ethnic minorities in Parliament and no proportionate representation in public services, state bodies and local self-government. Many Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians are not legally registered and do not have any personal documents, which hinders access to their rights, and their children suffer discrimination in access to education and in the school environment. The Konik camp constitutes de facto segregation and living conditions there are inhuman and hazardous.

In its report, ECRI has made a number of recommendations to the authorities, two of which require priority implementation and will be revisited by ECRI in two years’ time:

  • Strengthen the initial and in-service training provided to police and judiciary on issues related to equal treatment and non-discrimination, relevant criminal law provisions and on how to recognise the racist motivation of an offence.
  • Close down the Konik camp and find for its inhabitants standard accommodation all around the town or the country, following consultations with the people concerned.

The report, including Government observations, is available here. It was prepared following ECRI’s contact visit to Montenegro in February 2011 [Press Release – 08.03.2011] and takes account of developments up to 22 June 2011.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language, as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI:

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28,