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In order to increase the capacity of local non-governmental organizations dealing with the rule of law and human rights, a three-day training on monitoring, reporting and promoting human rights in Montenegro was organized from April 19 to 21, 2023.
The activity is part of the project “No impunity for violations and breach of human rights in Montenegro”, supported by the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro.

During the training, the participants had the opportunity to find out more about the methods of monitoring, reporting and promoting human rights in Montenegro. In addition, the current challenges in the protection of human rights in the country and the ways in which they can be overcome were discussed. The lectures were held by representatives of the Institution of the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms, the Agency for the Protection of Personal Data Council, the media and the non-governmental sector. The lectures were accompanied by interactive discussions where ideas and experiences were exchanged between the participants.

The training was opened by Siniša Bjeković, the Ombudsman, who pointed out what are the main problems faced by members of vulnerable categories in society, but also how the Institution of the Protector considers the complaints received at their address. Milan Žugić from the MINA agency spoke about the role of the media in reporting on human rights. He recalled the risk of reporting from earlier mass protests while the journalists did not have accreditation, and how important it was that they later received the “press” badges assigned exclusively to media representatives.

On the second day of the seminar, the Deputy of the Ombudsman, Mirjana Radović, referred in particular to the procedure of deprivation of liberty and highlighted civil rights in the stages of detention. She reminded on the treatmet of the police officers that represents violations of basic human rights, and how we can seek protection for them. Through practical applications of personal data processing, Zoran Vujičić and Pavle Ćupić highlighted the line between the right to freedom of information and the right to privacy. They pointed out a recent example of violation of human rights during the candidacy of Milojko Spajić for the President of Montenegro through the inadequate acting of the State Election Comission. Bearing in mind that torture is a current topic of the project, Vojo Đuranović and Meliha Murić, caseworkers engaged in the project “Provision of free legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees and persons at risk of statelessness in Montenegro”, spoke about the treatment by police officers at border crossings towards asylum seekers. The second day ended with a presentation by the representative of the media union – Dražen Đurašković, who spoke about the position of journalists today, where we are when it comes to professional and independent journalism, as well as the importance of establishing the truth of the facts we use.

The third day started with a workshop in which the groups were divided, so that each of them would give their recommendations for improving the situation in certain areas of human rights, taking into account the challenges we talked about during the previous two days.
The training ended with a presentation by Milena Bešić, director of the NGO CEDEM, who emphasized the methods of proper conducting of research and the importance and use of the results in the field of human rights.

This event was an opportunity to draw attention to the importance of protecting human rights and promoting tolerance in society, as well as to highlight the role of the media in that process. Also, the participants were familiar with the mechanisms for the protection of human rights and the possibilities for their promotion.

The training represents a significant contribution to improvement of knowledge and skills of the participants in the field of human rights, as well as that they will be able to apply the acquired knowledge in their further work.