21 Jul GRETA’s report on Montenegro 2021
In a new report on Montenegro published on 02.06.2021 the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking group calls on the authorities to improve trafficking victims’ access to justice and compensation, and to ensure that perpetrators are punished.
GRETA acknowledged 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.
The report notes that none of the victims of trafficking who filed property claims in criminal proceedings have been awarded compensation from the perpetrators, and there were no human trafficking cases in which the defendant’s property was seized or confiscated. GRETA urges the authorities to make concrete efforts to guarantee effective access to compensation for victims of trafficking, including by bringing into force without further delay the Law on Compensation for Damages for Victims of Violent Crimes, which would enable victims of trafficking to claim compensation from the State.
Effective final sentences have been handed down in two cases of human trafficking since 2014. GRETA stresses that the requalification of human trafficking offence into other offences carrying lighter penalties, as well as failure to convict traffickers engenders a feeling of impunity and undermines efforts to support victims to testify. GRETA urges the authorities to take measures to strengthen the criminal justice response to human trafficking and encourage specialisation of prosecutors and judges to work on human trafficking cases.
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.
Here you can find the report: https://rm.coe.int/evaluation-report-on-the-implementation-of-the-council-of-europe-conve/1680a2aefc
References from the official website of the Council of Europe