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Respect for basic human rights and the protection of national minorities are fundamental factors in the stability and socio-economic development of any state. The principle of respect for uniqueness within unity and unity within diversity is defined at the level of the European Union as a clear integration condition, which manifests the degree of protection of minority rights and preservation of their identity, and thus the degree of democracy in a country.
According to the Constitution, Montenegro is a civic, ecological state of social justice, inhabited by different ethnic groups characterized by their identity, culture, religion and artistic heritage. Despite the differences between these ethnic groups and the fact that no ethnic group makes up the majority of the population, Montenegro has developed a model of coexistence based on general interethnic tolerance and constitutional guarantees for the protection of minority rights.
However, such ethnic heterogeneity, along with differences in religion, gender, politics and other, carries a certain risk of conflict and affects the existence of discriminatory attitudes and practices that may disavow the application of adopted legal standards and jeopardize political and social consensus on essential issues of democratic country development. Therefore, continuous monitoring of the phenomenon of discrimination and perception of the degree of discrimination on various grounds, as well as monitoring the implementation of regulations and assessing their impact on the creation of an equal society are an integral part of minority policy.
With this in mind, CEDEM regularly conducts research that seeks to point out certain changes in the political, legal and social field, but also persistent challenges and shortcomings that affect the protection of the rights of minority peoples and minority national communities. The research conducted by CEDEM within the said project included the following segments: a) analysis of the domestic legal framework for the protection of the rights of minority peoples and minority national communities, with reference to international legal documents and comparative practice; b) secondary data analysis through which new hypotheses are set based on the same data sets; and c) a meta-analysis that combined and synthesized different mutually independent studies, integrating their results into a common, unique result. Methodological objectives and instruments have been set to provide an adequate volume of data in relevant areas to make the research epistemologically valid.
Relevant indicators used for the research show that the position of minority peoples and communities has improved (both in terms of quantitative indicators and in relation to the implementation of measures of competent institutions), but that there are still legal shortcomings related to the implementation of multiethnicity policy. and multiculturalism, as well as problems in exercising constitutionally guaranteed rights. This primarily refers to the absence of legal solutions that elaborate the application of affirmative action measures, especially in the field of political representation of the Roma community, as one of the smallest, but socially and economically most vulnerable minority communities in Montenegro.
Namely, in the normative-political sense, Montenegro is undertaking efforts in terms of establishing a normative-legal framework for the protection of minority rights and the implementation of the policy of multiculturalism. The relevant legal framework consists of international agreements, the Constitution guaranteeing the protection of the rights and freedoms of minority peoples and other minority national communities and a set of legal regulations in certain areas: health, education, social and child protection, housing.
The Constitution also contains a provision on supremacy and direct application of international legal norms in relation to domestic legislation. It should be noted that there are numerous provisions in international documents that refer to minorities, but not generally accepted international standards, nor universal rules according to which the rights of minorities are clearly regulated, except for the prohibition of discrimination and the generally formulated right to preserve ethnic and religious identity. When it comes to the protection of minority rights within the EU, the norms related to this area of ​​human rights do not have their direct basis in EU legislation, which sets certain limits in assessing the degree of realization of these rights, especially in countries aspiring to EU membership.
Although the analysis did not reveal major legal shortcomings, ie collisions with international standards, but more needs for certain constitutional - legal concepts and guarantees to be operationalized and concretized through appropriate legal norms, field research indicated the need for more efficient application of minority policies in practice. The reasons for this are multiple: vagueness / indeterminacy of formulations of certain legal standards, socio-cultural environment in which minority policy is implemented, but also the influence of economic factors, and the effect of individual characteristics of citizens on ethnic distancing.

The statistics that provide data at the municipal level, which were also analyzed during the survey, provided an additional look at the factors influencing ethnic distance. For this purpose, the so-called intraclass correlation coefficient which showed that municipalities, as specific environments, have a strong effect on ethnic distancing. To obtain valid data, each indicator was controlled via key demographic variables, using hierarchical linear modeling. According to the obtained data, the municipalities that are characterized by the highest degree of ethnic distancing are Plav, Savnik, Andrijevica and Berane.
This effect is most pronounced when it comes to ethnic distancing from those who declare themselves as Serbs, more precisely, almost 25% of distancing in relation to this ethnic group depends on the municipality in which people live, and not on their personal characteristics. A high percentage in this regard was also recorded when it comes to Montenegrins, while in relation to Albanians and Roma, it was determined that no municipal characteristics affect the degree of ethnic distancing towards members of these minority communities. When it comes to ethnic distancing from Croats, it was concluded that the increase in cultural capital in the municipality can, as expected, lead to a decrease in ethnic distance towards members of this community. Indicatively, the increase in the economically active population in the municipalities reduces the ethnic distance towards Montenegrins and Serbs, but increases it in relation to Bosniaks and Muslims.
In the second part of the research, a qualitative analysis of the content of 54 published documents on national minorities and issues of discrimination was conducted. The total extension of this material included over 1200 pages of various formats, from which 20 focused codes were obtained by applying the open coding procedure.
Most of the narratives concerning minority rights are, in fact, the protection of minorities. In the narrative itself about the protection of the rights of minorities, the rights that minorities have are most often spoken of in general, and conventions that need to be insisted on in order to respect those rights.
The analysis of available reports and materials indicated normative shifts in terms of protection against discrimination, but also from the point of view of the application of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Namely, the Advisory Board noted the general progress in the legislative and institutionalized sense, as well as in terms of collecting data on persons with unresolved civil status and strengthening the system of financial support to minority councils and communities. The practice of using the language and script, as well as the education of members of minorities in their script, was assessed as correct.
Also, the efforts of Montenegro aimed at strengthening intercultural relations and social cohesion were noted. According to the relevant institutions, there is a good legal framework, including the institution of the Ombudsman, as well as legislation that prohibits and sanctions discrimination on various grounds. Funding for cultural projects and consultative mechanisms of minority communities (together with various state sources of funding open to national minorities) has been raised to a higher level compared to the previous period.
One of the most common codes is the one related to Roma and Egyptians and which includes a large number of contents related to the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro and other strategic approaches and documents aimed at improving the position of members of the Roma and Egyptian communities. These findings are in line with the results of the legal analysis and indicate the need to create normative conditions for the political representation of Roma.
Based on the results of all three research segments, two priority areas for action have been defined. The first area includes employment (citizens clearly indicate that discrimination is very present in this area), ie adequate representation of members of minority peoples and minority national communities in the public sector, but also in other sectors. The second priority, ie a problem that requires urgent solution, is the problem of discrimination against political dissidents, which is present in Montenegrin society, as well as the possibility of facilitating the representation of all ethnic communities in bodies that make the most important political decisions. in Parliament). This requires certain applications at the normative level, primarily through appropriate changes and adjustments to the Law on the Election of Councilors and Deputies.
In addition, it is necessary to work on strengthening the underdeveloped political and general habitus of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro, which is conditioned by an underdeveloped political organization, which prevents this community from articulating and effectively representing its rights, nor from exerting appropriate pressure on functionally functioning institutions in charge of protecting their rights. In that sense, enviable progress has been made in recent years in the formation and operation of various NGOs that bring together members of the Roma and Egyptian communities and actively advocate for the protection of their rights, but these organizations still lack adequate visibility and support of Montenegrin society and state, neither materially nor professionally.

A significant shortcoming is the fact that the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptians in Montenegro 2016-2020, adopted in March 2016, does not prioritize the political representation of this community and the inclusion of its members in public affairs (res publica). On the other hand, NRIS, as a strategic framework of the EU until 2020, recommends that the social inclusion of Roma and Egyptians include, among other things, the active participation of the Roma and Egyptian communities in the public life of countries.
In the end, we conclude that for the full affirmation of the rights of minorities, a systemic approach is necessary that will enable more efficient realization and protection of the rights of minority peoples and minority national communities, and which goes beyond the normative efforts undertaken by the state. It is especially important that local governments take greater responsibility for the implementation of local public policies, and that they promote a democratic culture and develop a proactive approach to multiethnic governance.

The publication is available at this link https://www.cedem.me/publikacije/studije-i-javne-politike/send/69-studije-i-javne-politike/1977-pravna-analiza-zastita-prava-manjinskih-naroda-i-drugih-manjinskih-nacionalnih-zajednica-u-crnoj-gori  and was published as part of the project "Strengthening the system for a society of equal rights", which is supported by the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights.


"Young people in Montenegro must believe that their activism creates a better future for themselves and the community to which they belong. The responsibility for improving the position of young people does not lie exclusively with the state and its institutions, but also with young people who need to mobilize, unite, show solidarity, and strive to contribute to solving many challenges they face every day. This project and the young people who are here today are just an example of how socially responsible young people of Montenegro behave, "said Nenad Koprivica, director of the Directorate for Youth, at the opening of the school" Youth as active citizens "which CEDEM realized from 22 to June 25 at the Bianca Hotel in Kolasin.

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In his introductory address, CEDEM Program Manager Marko Pejović stated that “bearing in mind that one fifth of the Montenegrin population is young people, it is very important to emphasize the importance of their participation in the process of creating and implementing public policies and that it represents the principle of democratic organization. and a basic precondition for responsible and transparent work of the government ”, adding that“ young people often criticize the system, saying that it is not adaptable to them, ie that they cannot use their right in the decision-making process, because there are no good mechanisms ”.

During the four-day school, young people acquired skills and knowledge through four modules: "Youth policies and the development of a culture of participation", "Civic and political participation of young people", "Economic participation of young people" and "Participation and mobility in formal and non-formal education", which are contribute to encouraging young people to participate in civic, political and economic participation.

The first module was led by Aleksandra Gligorović and Andrea Mićanović, during which young people acquired knowledge and skills about the conditions and development of a culture of youth participation, prescribed and self-initiated mechanisms for participation at national and local level, and key competencies necessary for participation in decision making.

Dr. Olivera Komar analyzed the state of youth activities and why young people are (in) active, presented a set of recommendations for improving youth participation and encouraged discussion with young people, while Božena Jelušić emphasized the traditional legacy of manipulative strategies and new opportunities in the digital environment and cognitive-psychological conditions receiving information and misconceptions that may affect decision-making and civic participation in the digital environment. She paid special attention to checking information and false news (especially in the environment of social networks), as well as the importance of raising awareness of the problem and critical thinking among young people.

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On the third day, Jevrosima Pejović and Uroš Bulatović taught young people about economic participation of young people, with a special focus on career orientation, economic independence and job search, analyzing professional goals and personal representation on the labor market.

Vanja Rakočević talked to young people about the role and ways of participation in formal education, with the presentation of opportunities and examples of good practice for youth mobility in formal and non-formal education. At the end of the day, a survey of the needs of young people in the field of formal and non-formal education was conducted and ideas for improving youth participation were defined.

The closing of the school was attended by Edin Koljenović from the Regional Office for Cooperation with Youth, who spoke about the need for young people to participate in the decision-making process and presented the importance of this office in several aspects, with special reference to the cooperation of various organizations and institutions that contribute to greater participation and activism of young people.

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The school "Youth as active citizens" was realized within the project "Strengthening the competencies of young people to participate in the decision-making process", which is financially supported by the Ministry of Sports and Youth.

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The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) informs the public that data concerning the ratings of political parties, circulating on social networks and private messages, are not the result of our research.

CEDEM always publishes all its findings publicly and informs citizens and the general public through the media. This was also the case with our latest research, the findings of which we presented at a press conference on Thursday, August 13th.

It is understandable that the results of the research can be useful to political parties during the election campaign, however, the misuse of our name and falsification of data, with the aim of collecting political points, are really not the way.

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The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) held a two-day seminar "Multiculturalism in Montenegro: Status Quo and Future Perspectives" aimed at encouraging full equality and raising public awareness of the rights of minority peoples and other minority national communities and the importance of multiculturalism.

The seminar was held at the Bianca Hotel in Kolasin, and was attended by representatives of minority peoples and other minority national communities, as well as representatives of the civil sector, with the aim of including actors working in this field. The lecturers at the training were the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms in Montenegro, Siniša Bjeković, MA, and a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, doc. Dr. Danijela Vukovic Calasan.

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CEDEM Director, Milena Bešič stated in her introductory speech that although Montenegro has developed a model of coexistence based on general interethnic tolerance and constitutional guarantees for the protection of minority rights, there is ethnic heterogeneity that carries a certain risk of conflict and affects discriminatory attitudes and practices. Besic also pointed out that the relevant indicators show that the position of minority peoples and communities has improved (both in terms of quantitative indicators and in relation to the implementation of measures of competent institutions), but that there are still normative and legal shortcomings related to realization of the policy of multiethnicity and multiculturalism, as well as problems in exercising the rights guaranteed by the constitution.

During the first lecture, on behalf of the Ombudsman Siniša Bjeković, his Advisor Milena Krsmanović spoke on the topic of protection against discrimination and the rights of members of minorities, with an emphasis on practice. Considering that discrimination is treated as a difficult social phenomenon that is difficult to prove and that especially affects certain social groups, she emphasized that the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination introduced numerous procedural reliefs when it comes to the protection procedure. She also spoke about the Montenegrin legal order and the specifics of protection against discrimination, referring to the rights provided by the Montenegrin legislator to national minorities.

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During the second day, doc. Dr. Danijela Vuković Ćalasan introduced the participants to the concept of identity and emphasized the importance of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, with special reference to Articles 1 and 2 which prescribe the value of ethnocultural pluralism. Vukovic Calasan emphasized the importance of achieving social cohesion, and approached this concept by referring to the strategies within the Council of Europe, but also the UN. In this regard, she especially emphasized how much this concept depends on the social context and pointed out the most important causes of the fluidity of social cohesion.

The training was held within the project "Strengthening the system for a society of equal rights", which was financially supported by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.

 


The Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) held a two-day training "Multiculturalism in Montenegro: Status Quo and Future Perspectives" aimed at promoting full equality and raising public awareness of the rights of minority peoples and other minority national communities and the importance of multiculturalism.

The training was held at the Bianca Hotel in Kolasin, and was attended by representatives of minority peoples and other minority national communities, as well as representatives of the civil sector, with the aim of covering the actors working in this area. The lecturers at the training were the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms in Montenegro, Siniša Bjeković, MA, and a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, doc. Dr. Danijela Vukovic Calasan.

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In her introductory speech, Milena Bešić, Director of CEDEM, stated that CEDEM regularly conducts research that seeks to point out certain changes in the political, legal and social field, but also persistent challenges and shortcomings that affect the protection of minority rights and minority national communities. She pointed out that field research indicated the need for more efficient implementation of minority policies in practice, citing: vagueness / vagueness of formulations of certain legal standards, socio-cultural environment in which minority policy is implemented, but also the influence of economic factors and the effect of individual characteristic of citizens on ethnic distancing.

During the first lecture, the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, Siniša Bjeković, MA, referred to universal legal standards in protection against discrimination, and in that sense reminded of the most important international instruments for human rights protection with special reference to minority rights. He also spoke about human rights in the context of general principles, implementation of international standards and equal treatment clause, where he pointed out that even today there is a problem of defining human rights, especially in terms of defining the victim of human rights violations.He specifically highlighted four criteria that must be met in order to meet the legitimacy requirement of any restriction on human rights and freedoms. These are: 1. legitimacy (if prescribed by law), 2. legitimacy of the goal for which a certain right is limited (public interest in the protection of goods) 3. necessary social need and 4. proportionality.

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On the second day of the training, doc. Dr. Danijela Vuković Ćalasan introduced the participants to the concept of multiculturalism and identity, where she emphasized that building a common political identity is an integral part of successful management of ethnocultural pluralism. She emphasized the importance of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, with particular reference to Articles 1 and 2, which prescribe the value of ethnocultural pluralism. She also stated that a stable multicultural society successfully integrates two key principles: respect and recognition of ethnocultural diversity at all levels and strengthening of a common political identity.

The training was held within the project "Strengthening the system for a society of equal rights", which CEDEM is implementing with the support of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.


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