Victim Assistance

Last updated: 18 July 2018

Victim assistance commitments

The Republic of Montenegro is responsible for landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW). Montenegro has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty and has victim assistance obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Montenegro ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 2 November 2009.

The total number of survivors living in Montenegro is not known; in 2004, 260 mine/ERW survivors were recorded as living in Montenegro.[1] The Monitor recorded another 10 mine/ERW survivors from incidents since 2004.[2]

Victim assistance coordination and participation

Montenegro designated contacts within the ministries of health, and labor and social welfare as victim assistance focal points for the implementation of Article 5 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions; there is no specific victim assistance coordination mechanism.[3]

Montenegro has a Strategy for Integration of Persons with Disabilities 2016–2020,but NGOs reported that it was not being implemented effectively. Persons with physical disabilities had difficulty obtaining high-quality medical mobility devices as well as other orthopedic aids through health and social insurance.[4]

The ministries of health, labor and social welfare, education and sports, science, culture, and human and minority rights all have responsibilities for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. The Ministry of Health adopted a rulebook on indicators and methods of using medical rehabilitation in health institutions that performed specialized medical rehabilitation.The Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities regulated the manner and procedure for exercising the right to the professional rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, measures and incentives for their employment, the way of financing, and other issues of importance for their employment.[5]

Montenegro had a Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, with six million euro for active employment measures. Montenegro has reported that mine/ERW survivors, including survivors of cluster submunitions, along with all victims of war, are entitled to free medical care and physical rehabilitation, including prosthetic limbs, through the national health insurance system. The law regulating the national health insurance system recognizes the category of victims of cluster munitions.Rehabilitation services are possible only for certain types of disability and mostly only provided as one-time assistance, immediately after the injury or treatment. A small number of persons with disabilities are able to access appropriate rehabilitation services for a longer period of time. Survey of persons with disabilities shows that more than half (as many as 57%) do not use physical rehabilitation services due to limited availability or because they are not entitled to it by law.[6]

According to the Association of Youth with Disabilities, the right to medical and technical assistive devices is limited for persons with disabilities in Montenegro. The Association reported that procedures are problematic and take too long as do the times between devices being granted. The list of state-approved devices is very restricted and persons with disabilities are not able to choose suppliers because the medical fund solely maintains a contract with the company Ruda Montenegero, but without public tender procedures.[7]

Survivors may be entitled to a monthly pension and other benefits, based on the degree of their disability, on equal terms as other persons with disabilities.[8]

[1] Serbia and Montenegro, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 25 October 2004.

[2] According to data in the Monitor’s global casualty database for 2004–2014.

[3] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form H.

[4] United States (US) Department of State, “2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Montenegro,” 20 April 2018.

[5] Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), “Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities considers the initial report of Montenegro,” 18 August 2017.

[6] Report on harmonization of legislative and institutional framework in Montenegro with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) with recommendations (Izveštaj o usklađenosti zakonodavnog i institucionalnog okvira u Crnoj Gori sa UN Konvencijom o pravima osoba sa invaliditetom i preporukama o harmonizaciji), Savez udruženja paraplegičara Crne Gore, 28 May 2014.

[7] “Barometar: Minus,” Monitor (Magazine), Podgorica, Issue 1249, 26 August 2016, p. 6.

[8] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2014), Form H.