In a new report on Montenegro the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking group GRETA calls on the authorities to improve trafficking victims’ access to justice and compensation, and to ensure that perpetrators are punished.
GRETA acknowledges that progress has been made in some areas since the publication of GRETA’s second evaluation report on Montenegro in September 2016, such as adopting standard operating procedures for the identification of victims of trafficking and setting up a multi-disciplinary identification team. Further, with a view to strengthening the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases, the authorities have set up an operational team for combating trafficking in human beings. At the same time, GRETA urges the authorities to make further steps to guarantee access to justice for victims of trafficking, including by ensuring that the lawyers providing legal aid to victims of trafficking undergo the necessary training and specialisation. The Montenegrin authorities should take steps to guarantee child-sensitive procedures when investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating cases of human trafficking, including measures to ensure a sufficient number of child-friendly interview rooms across the country.
Montenegro is a country of origin, destination and transit of trafficked persons. Until the end of 2019, the number of identified victims, mostly women and children from Montenegro, was low. Since November 2019, following the detection of a large-scale case involving victims from Taiwan, the number of identified victims has increased, reaching 52 by the end of 2020. The data for 2020 indicates not only an important increase in the number of identified victims, but also a shift to more male victims and primarily labour exploitation.