Round table about the Strategy on protection from violence in family 2016-2020Oct 13, 2015
The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in cooperation with the UN Thematic Group for Gender Equality and Human Rights organized a round table discussion on the draft Strategy on Protection from Violence in Family (2016-2020), attended by the representatives of line ministries, centres for social welfare, judiciary, police and NGOs.
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Zorica Kovačević and UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro Fiona McCluney emphasized the importance of adequate institutional response to the violence in family and reiterated that violence is not a private matter, but a social issue which requires long term commitment in order to be efficiently and effectively addressed.
Minister Kovačević said that the Strategy on Protection from Violence in Family represents a document which will define overall country's policy in this area for the period from 2016 to 2020, thus ensuring continuity of the strategic approach instituted by the previous Strategy (2011-2015). She underlined the need for better coordination among institutions, data collection and exchange, and building a comprehensive system of social protection, which will be one of the priorities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro, Ms. McCluney looked back at some of the disturbing data revealed in the survey about citizens' perceptions and attitudes towards domestic violence, conducted in 2012 by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights. Namely, the survey showed that there is a high level of tolerance towards different forms of violence against women, as every fourth respondent, predominantly male, believes that the victim is responsible for the violence, and that there are situations in which physical violence was acceptable. However, she pointed out that there are no circumstances that can justify violence and reiterated that the protection of victims and prevention of violence in family is one of the important goals on the agenda of the UN System in Montenegro. This is why the UN System strongly supports the Government of Montenegro and other national partners in prevention and elimination of violence against women and children, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), UN Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (UN CEDAW) and the Council of Europe's Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). Ms. McCluney congratulated national partners for recognizing domestic violence as a priority area in their work and thanked them for their active participation in activities related to this matter.
The Strategy will be considered in the fourth quarter of the year by the Government of Montenegro, which will contribute to the fulfilment of the obligations taken by ratifying the Istanbul Convention, that entered into force in August 2014.