Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF


Monday, 28 January 2013 (morning)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is intended for use of the information media and is not an official record.  The note provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review and does not cover all points addressed.  An official summary of the meeting can be found in the Working Group report.)

State under review

Represented by 29-member delegation headed by Suad Numanović, Minister for Human and Minority Rights.


To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Montenegro page on the UPR website.

Troika *

Mauritania, United States of America, Estonia.

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on the Montenegro page on UPR Extranet )

  • Since is first UPR in 2008, Montenegro has achieved significant progress in the area of human rights issues, in particular with regard to the independence of the judiciary, combatting defamation, the fight against corruption, improving the prison system, anti-discrimination, domestic violence, trafficking in persons, the rights of persons with disabilities, child rights. LGBT rights and social inclusion for Roma and Egyptian minorities, among other issues; 
  • Since 2008, Montenegro acceded to several international human rights instruments, among them the OPCAT, the CRPD and the OP to the ICESCR, all in 2009, the Convention on enforced disappearances in 2011, and the OP to the CRC on communications, in 2012;
  • Significant progress was also made to strengthen the independence and the efficiency of the judiciary, access to justice, the reduction in the length of court proceedings, and cooperation with NGO and civil society;
  • On 6 June 2012, the Parliament of Montenegro appointed the Deputy Ombudsman for the prevention and protection of persons deprived of liberty; 
  • Greater attention was being paid to increased participation of women in politics, economic empowerment of women and combatting violence against women; a new Action Plan for the achievement of gender equality for 2013-2017 was also in place;
  • The Council for the Rights of a Child was established and the National Action Plan for Children was in its final stages; it was expected to be adopted this year;
  • The Council for Persons with Disabilities was established consisting of Government and NGO representatives and the implementation of the Strategy for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (2008-2016) was underway;
  • New institutions have been created to advance minority rights and measures undertaken to ensure their social inclusion; 
  • One of the major challenges facing Montenegro was to find a lasting solution to the situation of refugees and IDPs from former Yugoslavia during the 1990s; in October 2011, the Government set up the Coordinating Committee for monitoring the implementation of the Strategy for Durable Solution to the Issue of Displaced and Internally Displaced Persons with special emphasis on the Konik site (Roma population);
  • Montenegro adopted the Strategy for the Fight against Trafficking for the period 2012-2018 focusing primarily on education, victims assistance, protection, reintegration and prosecution; 
  • The Law on Protection from Domestic Violence was adopted in 2010 and provided a number of measures for the protection of victims;
  • As regards the freedom of expression, the Criminal Code amendments of June 2011 decriminalized insult and defamation and national courts were now aligned with the case law of the European Court for Human Rights in this issue; moreover, the Agency for Electronic Media was set up under the 2010 Electronic Media Law as an independent media regulator.


In total 54 States participated in the dialogue:  19 HRC members and 35 observers  (Statements available on the Montenegro page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The ratification of seven international human rights instruments;
  • Measures to advance the rights of disabled persons and the ratification of the CRDP;
  • Steps taken to increase the participation of women in political life;
  • Progress made in combatting human trafficking;
  • Measures taken to reform the prison system;
  • Steps taken to combat corruption.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Steps to improve social services and address cases of discrimination, particularly against children, minority groups, refugee children and children with disabilities;
  • Measures to uphold the freedom of expression and of the press;
  • Efforts to integrate displaced persons and IDPs into society and uphold their rights;
  • Steps to curb domestic violence and violence against women;
  • The functioning of the Office of the Ombudsperson;
  • Measures to fully respect the right of the Roma and other minority groups.


States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Montenegro.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To expand efforts to register, document and integrate displaced persons and IDPs into society, including the Roma, Ashkalis and Egyptian minorities; 
  • To ensure the full integration of the Roma population and other minorities; to improve the living conditions in Roma camps; to raise awareness of the needs of the Roma population; and to strengthen minorities’ language training for teachers;
  • To conduct public awareness campaign within the refugee community on the importance of registration; to pursue the implementation of the regional refugee housing programme;
  • To fully implement the Law against Discrimination; to fully implement adopted legal measures against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • To prohibit corporal punishment of children; to adjust the Criminal Code to criminalize criminal conduct enshrined in the OP of the CRC on child prostitution and pornography;
  • To ensure the effective investigation of all reports of domestic and sexual violence against women and girls and ensure perpetrators were punished; 
  • To ensure equal access to education and health care to all children, irrespective of their immigration status;
  • To increase efforts to ensure the inclusion of disabled persons, with a particular focus on access to education for children;
  • To sustain the fight against corruption by instituting legal measures and practices; to ensure adequate funding and resources for the effective reform of the judiciary; to ensure that appointments and promotions in the judiciary were fair and transparent;
  • To guarantee the freedom of expression and protect journalists from all forms of intimidation; to effectively address and investigate attacks against journalists and human rights defenders and ensure perpetrators were brought to justice, including the prosecution of old cases;
  • To ensure the integrity and independence of the Ombudsman as an NHRI in full compliance with the Paris Principles and to ensure it was provided with sufficient resources;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: Convention on the rights of migrant workers, ILO Convention 189 (domestic workers), the 1961 Convention on the reduction of Statelessness, and the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Montenegro is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 31 January 2013.

The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. 

Media contact: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org.