Round Table “Combating racial discrimination and intolerance in Montenegro”
Podgorica, 7 October 2013
Organisers: ECRI in co-operation with the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms (National Ombudsman)
Participants discussed the follow-up given to the recommendations contained in ECRI’s 2011 report on Montenegro.
The round table was divided into three sessions:
- The general situation in Montenegro as reflected in ECRI’s report;
- The legislative and institutional framework for combating racism and racial discrimination;
- The integration of Roma.
The event was opened by Eva Smith, Chair of ECRI, and Šućko Baković, Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms. Opening speeches will be given by Ranko Krivokapić, President of the Montenegrin parliament and Suad Numanović, Minister for Human and Minority Rights. ECRI’s first report on Montenegro was presented by Eva Smith and Baldur Kristjansson, ECRI member in respect of Iceland.
In addition to central and local authority officials, the round table brought together representatives of the justice system, international organisations, NGOs, minority groups and civil society. This event aimed at contributing positively to the national debate on combating racial discrimination and intolerance in Montenegro, as well as raising awareness among the general public about these issues.
In its first report on Montenegro of December 2011, ECRI expressed its concern about some issues, 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. ECRI also made a certain number of recommendations to the Montenegrin authorities, among which the following two will be revisited by the end of next year:
- strengthen the initial and in-service training provided to police, lawyers, public prosecutors and judges on issues related to equal treatment and non-discrimination
- find standard accommodation all around the town or the country for the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian (RAE) inhabitants of Konik, and close down the camp.