How loudly is the state of Montenegro spreading the message of non-violence?

On the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence (2 October), the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) reminds of about importance of application of non-violent forms of communication and mechanisms that are reducing violence, as well about obligation of the competent authorities to sanction most severely the behavior of those who promote and deepen any form of violent behavior.

There are numerous examples of peer violence and violence in schools, domestic violence, street violence, violence at sporting events, but also the violence that occurs in institutions or by institutions. In contrast, little is spoken regarding mechanisms of prevention and sanctioning of violence, and even less regarding causes of the same. It is particularly important to establish an effective system of sanctions, in which there will be no examples that cases of torture remain unsolved and unpunished, as is the case with the police torture against late Aleksandar Pejanović. Certainly, there are also attacks on journalists and media property, by which Montenegro, unfortunately, is more often found in the relevant international reports and whose lack of elucidation only encourages further violence and attempts to intimidate opponents.

One of the most disturbing examples of violence from our recent past is the violence that was depicted by hostility towards members of ethnic minorities, attacks on the citizens of other nationalities and religions, during the post-Yugoslav wars of the 90s. Trials for war crimes resulting from violence have demonstrated all reluctance of the ruling political structure in Montenegro to punish originators and perpetrators of these acts.

CCE believes that education on human rights, peaceful and non-violent resolution of problems through dialogue, negotiations, arbitrations or judicial settlement, is of crucial importance in establishing a culture of non-violence. Long-term and sustainable overcoming of manifestations of violence requires coordination and work of numerous social stakeholders, in addition to what is the primary obligation of system institutions, primarily educational institutions. CCE has, since its establishment, been dedicated to promotion of universal human rights, and consequently through its programs it is continuously working to educate citizens on tolerance and non-violent means of resolving conflicts.

The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) has, in 2007, established 2 October as the International Day of Non-Violence and the opportunity to “spread the message of non-violence” by resolution that reaffirms “the universal importance of the principle of non-violence.“ The International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated on the birth date of Mahatma Gandhi, one of leaders of the movement for independence of India and initiator of the philosophy and strategy of non-violent resistance. Gandhian principles of non-violent struggle for exercise of civil, political and economic, and all other rights guaranteed, have inspired many people to contribute by their actions to development of freedom and democratic society.

Tamara Milaš,
Programme Associate