Questionable capacities of competent institutions in fight against all forms of violence and ensuring justice for victims

On the occasion of 22 February – International day of victims of violence, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) assesses that Montenegro has not achieved the improvement needed when it comes to prosecuting, discovering and sanctioning various forms of violence, which is the result of inadequate work of investigative and judicial bodies.

Inadequately investigated and prosecuted cases of violence against journalists and property of media in Montenegro remain an integral part of all relevant international reports, domestic violence or dominant violence against women and children remains at high level, while peer violence in schools dramatically increases, then violence in centres for the execution of criminal sanctions and those forms of violence that directly endanger the citizens on the streets of Montenegrin cities, which directly damages the credibility of police, prosecution and judiciary. Additionally, the Ombudsman remains invisible in Montenegrin society thus rendering its role pointless, on one of the key national mechanisms when it comes to protection of human rights and freedoms.

CCE reminded that the culture of impunity has its roots in Montenegro through its relation towards war crimes in which area Montenegrin institutions still have not shown the readiness of effective dealing with these crimes. All cases of prosecuted war crime in Montenegro, either opened or terminated, are result of pressure from international and regional interested public and civil sector, and not of proactive acting of Montenegrin competent institutions. Precisely because of that, last two European Commission’s progress reports of Montenegro emphasised further improvement in the area of prosecuting war crimes.

CCE urges every competent institution to make serious analysis of former results in the implementation of law and other strategic documents that regulate the area of fight against violence and prosecution of perpetrators, as well as of mechanisms that secure the justice and support to victims. State has to be more dedicated when creating conditions for the establishment of sustainable mechanisms of support to victims of all forms of violence and of their full re-socialisation, in order to contribute to development of culture of tolerance and nonviolence.

International day of victims of violence is yet another reminder of the necessity of decisive action from competent state bodies to assume responsibility for the violation of human rights and secure justice for all victims. CCE will continue with conducting of activities aimed to establishment of culture of human rights. But, in order for civil sector efforts to have full effect, state bodies have to implement the existing legislative framework in a consistent, responsible and professional manner, and to conduct the victim protection policy proactively.

Commemoration of Day of victims of violence was launched by the National association of services of help to victims in Sweden in 1989. The aim was to make the consequences, that victims of crime suffer, more visible to general public and to stimulate society to secure the rights of victims more effectively and comprehensively. European services forum of help to victims rendered a decision in 2001 to declare 22 February as the International Day of victims.

Tamara Milaš, programme associate