Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women considers report of Montenegro

Committee on Elimination
of Discrimination against Women

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today considered the initial report of Montenegro on how that country is implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Introducing the report, Sabahudin Delic, Deputy Minister for Human and Minority Rights, said that since Montenegro's independence in 2006 the Government had focused policies on domestic matters and the reform of its constitution and legal systems, including the right of its citizens to live in freedom and democracy, with respect for their human rights. The Constitution declared total equality between men and woman, and transferred responsibility for implementing gender equality to local Government departments. Direct or indirect discrimination was prohibited under the General Law on Discrimination and punishable under the criminal code, while a new Law on Gender Equality prohibited violence based on gender and sexual harassment. On reform of employment rights, the Law on Labour prescribed equal status of men and women. Gender equality training was being implemented in public institutions, and offered guidelines on actually implementing gender equality in practice. Several educational and media campaigns had been started on issues including protection of women from domestic violence and the prevention of violence against women in general.

Questions and issues raised by Experts during the discussion concerned the new 30 per cent quota for women candidates to parliament and other temporary special measures to achieve equality, along with prevailing gender stereotypes and patriarchal attitudes in Montenegro. The situation of ethnic minorities in Montenegro, namely discrimination suffered by Roma, Ashkelia and Egyptian women was raised, as was the situation of single mothers. Experts asked the delegation about domestic violence, and commended a new law aimed at prohibiting the practice. In a wider discussion on violence against women, the trafficking of persons was discussed, along with measures taken by the Government to criminalize trafficking and provide services – including shelters – for victims, as well as regional cooperation with neighbouring countries on the issue. The delegation was asked to explain measures taken to help women find employment, provide maternity and paternity leave and affordable childcare – both within the public and private sectors. Healthcare provisions for women were also raised, including access to family planning and gynaecological care, teenage abortions, services for rural women and also sex education in schools. The delegation said the State had a strong will and readiness to improve the practical situation of women's rights in Montenegro.

The delegation of Montenegro included representatives of the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, the Permanent Mission of Montenegro to the United Nations and other international organizations, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Sport, the Police Directorate, the Statistical Office of Montenegro, the Employment Agency of Montenegro and the Bureau for Education Service.

The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday 7 October, to consider the periodic report of Mauritius (CEDAW/C/MUS/6-7).

Report

The initial report of Montenegro (CEDAW/C/MNE/1) recalls that Montenegro restored its independence in 2006 and was admitted to the United Nations as the 192nd Member State in the same year. Montenegro acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women as part of the succession process, along with other international treaties. The Constitution of Montenegro establishes firm commitment of the state in relation to gender equality, prescribing equality between men and women and developing the policy of equal opportunities. The Parliament of Montenegro adopted the Law on Gender Equality on 24 July 2007. The Law ensures and exercises rights based on sex, as well as measures for elimination of discrimination based on sex and creation of equal opportunities for participation of women and men in all spheres of social life. The Gender Equality Office, established in 2003, and now based under the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, conducts activities including general awareness raising on gender equality.

Formally and legally women and men have equal access to legal and political process, health and medical care, education, programmes for literacy development, employment, property ownership and social welfare services. Generally women were less represented in politics, meaning they were not able to participate in decision-making processes. However, the number of women employed in some institutions and public authorities is far greater than the number of men employed. The report states that Montenegro still preserves and cherishes traditional division of domestic tasks and duties between sexes. Therefore women still perform most of the domestic duties, which means that they were two times more burdened since they were also formally employed. Reform of the education sector is planned across the system. Civic education had been introduced as a new, mandatory subject in secondary school; which included modules on gender equality and domestic violence. By law the media is required to promote gender equality in their programmes, and there is noticeable increase in coverage in print and electronic media on domestic violence and measures taken to protect women and children from this.

Under the Criminal Code of Montenegro there were sanctions for the offence of domestic violence and violence within the family community, and the police undertake actions to provide adequate assistance and support to the victims of domestic violence. Trafficking in human beings was the first time defined as an offence and its definition included a wide range of actions. Preventative actions had been taken in order to prevent sexual tourism, in particular with the cooperation of companies operating within the tourism industry. The 2008 Labour Law prohibits any direct or indirect discrimination of persons seeking or in employment. Women were entitled to free healthcare during pregnancy, childbirth and maternity, under the new Law on Health Care.

Introduction of the Report

SABAHUDIN DELIC, Deputy Minister for human and minority rights, said after Montenegro gained independence in 2006 the Government had focused policies on domestic matters, while conforming to international law. Montenegro reformed its constitution and legal systems, including the right of its citizens to live in freedom and democracy, with respect for their human rights. The Constitution was adopted in 2007. Direct or indirect discrimination, under any grounds, was prohibited under the General Law on Discrimination, and punishable under the criminal code. The Constitution declared that there should be total equality between men and women. In the last year, three new institutions had been opened: Minority Councils in local governments, a Minority Fund offering financial support and the Centre for the Protection of Cultural Minorities.

Existing legislation made it possible to introduce temporary special measures in order to enhance equality. Local Governments were instructed to help implement human rights in the interest of the local population. The Constitution also transferred responsibility for implementing gender equality to local Government. The Law on Gender Equality prohibited violence based on gender, as well as sexual harassment. When it came to employment rights, the Law on Labour prescribed equal status of men and women.

Gender equality training was being implemented in public institutions, and it offered guidelines on actually implementing gender equality in practice. There were several educational and media campaigns running, on the subject of protecting women from domestic violence and preventing violence against women in general.

Mr. Delic specifically thanked the non-governmental organizations present at the meeting for the good work they had done so far on women's rights in Montenegro, and for their invaluable cooperation with the Government.

Questions from Experts

The legal status of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Montenegro was satisfactory, as was the ratification of the optional protocol, although an expert was concerned about the application of the Convention, and also that the general recommendations had not been translated into national languages. Were there plans to raise the visibility of the Convention, for example on the Government website?

It was noted that there was a lack of core documents accompanying the report and many other documents were missing. An expert asked for elaboration on the long delay in issuing the report. Another said that information submitted to the Committee from non-governmental organizations on their status and work in Montenegro conflicted with the information given in the report; the delegation was asked to comment on that.

Response by the delegation

The department of gender equality coordinated all gender activities of the Government of Montenegro. There was supremacy of international law in the Constitution, and it overrode national law, although there had not yet been any court decisions to cite the Convention. The Convention had been distributed to all Government departments, non-governmental organizations and included in all training packages – including the training of judges and prosecutors. Those training programmes included topics of gender equality, the Convention and implementation in practice. Visits to European countries where the Convention was in practice – probably Germany and Sweden – were being planned, in order to see good case law being applied, and then replicate those methods in Montenegro.

There was a system for making complaints within the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights. The lack of funding for projects was a problem, but there was, for example, a big European Union funded project to help get women into parliament, that would contribute financial assistance.

The Government tried to harmonize their work with the non-governmental organizations that cooperated with them. Objections from non-governmental organizations mainly referred to remarks on how the State implemented the gender equality law, and a lack of sanctions to allow quicker implementation of the law.

The delay in submitting the initial report, which was first drafted in 2004, was mainly due to the recent separation from Serbia. Montenegro had had to wait until it had a new Constitution. Practically, the organizational structure, the collection of data and the actual writing of the report were new processes, and took a longer period of time. Non-governmental organizations were also involved in writing the report.

Questions from Experts

An expert asked how the Gender Equality Office was funded, and also whether there would be an Ombudsman on gender equality. Regarding the collaboration with non-governmental organizations, was there a continuing collaboration, and was there financial support for the work of non-governmental organizations?

Regarding justice, an expert raised the need for awareness-raising for women on the subject of their own rights, and therefore the need for adequate training. It was useful to learn from best-practices in the field. The recent drop in complaints of domestic violence may not be a real decrease, but merely a result of women not having access to the courts.

Montenegro had implemented a 30 per cent quota for women candidates to parliament, which had been lobbied for by non-governmental organizations. It was clearly stated that every third candidate had to be a women. But were sanctions included in the case of non-compliance? There must be unity and equality in the lists. Was there a possibility to have a 50 per cent quota – parity?

With respect to other fields, experts asked whether the State had put in place further temporary special measures to achieve equality, for example in universities to improve women's access to doctorates or grant systems?

An expert asked about the position of minorities, as Montenegro was a very diverse nation. Many Roma were not integrated, and as it was a trans-European issue, what European and regional cooperation was in place?

Research had found that Roma, Ashkelia and Egyptian suffered discrimination and marginalization. Roma women lived under strict patriarchal control, for example, suffering domestic violence or Roma girls being made to leave school at an early age. Roma women suffered double discrimination, first for being Roma and secondly for being women. What temporary special measures had the Government taken to protect Roma women?

Response by the delegation

The issue of financing non-governmental organizations involved in protecting women victims of violence had been raised in a meeting with the President, and the Government did now provide funding. Experts were needed, including assistance from the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, to help in training. Financial support from the Government for equality projects was extremely limited.

The new law on election quotas was only adopted a month ago. It stated that every political electoral list must include 30 per cent of under-represented sex. The Ministry for Human and Minority Rights had requested a better measure, which would provide that 30 per cent of MPs were women; as the new provision doesn't guarantee that the women candidates will all be elected.

A census conducted in 2011 found 6,200 women were Roma. Much had been done to integrate that highly vulnerable ethnic group into Montenegro society, beginning with a strategy adopted in 2007, and a programme for the period 2005 to 2015 to assist Roma persons with housing, healthcare and employment etcetera. In 2005 there were 500 Roma children attending school. In 2010 the figure had increased to 1,270 Roma children attending school. The children benefitted from free textbooks, Roma teaching assistants to help children and parents, additional classes to help Roma children overcome learning difficulties, factual literacy training programmes for elderly Roma and scholarships for all Roma secondary and university students. There were now eight Roma at university in Montenegro. This year three Roma women graduated from university. There were two Roma women employed as Government advisors. Those were big indicators of success in Montenegro.

Questions from the Experts

Stereotypical ideas of women and men, and expectations of their roles in Montenegro should be tackled by the Law on Equality in line with legislation of the European Union. For example, the Labour Code needed to be reformed.

Montenegro continued to be a patriarchal society, with gender stereotypes even influencing the discourse of persons in positions of power. Traditional attitudes, whereby women remained subordinate to or less worthy than men prevailed. How was the State addressing stereotypes, not only in language but through laws, practices, the justice system, media and communication, community interventions and education? For example, did community interventions take measures to empower women and promote their proactive role?

Regarding accession to the European Union, had the delegation consulted with civil society, and with non-governmental organizations? Had there been contact with the different ministries working on the accession to the European Union process?

It seemed prosecutors didn't really understand the issue of gender-based violence. Did the delegation have specific examples of rulings on gender-based violence, which could be useful in improving the situation?

An expert wanted to know whether less value was attached to girls than boys, and how did that relate to abortion? Was there an issue regarding selective abortion of female foetuses?

The new law on violence was to be commended. However, despite the new law, the criminal justice personnel, police and public prosecutors did not always act with due diligence to investigate cases of domestic violence. That sometimes was an extension of persons not taking domestic violence seriously. An expert asked what measures were in place to change that?

Figures showed that there was a relatively high incidence of domestic violence - 65 per cent of women reported experiencing domestic violence at the hands of their husbands or partners. It was also reported that only 11 per cent of women thought that men had a right to inflict that sort of violence on women. Most women knew that violence against women by their partners was wrong. Was there any research on the incidence and different dimensions of violence against women in Montenegro? There should be in-depth analysis of the statistics, followed by training based on the results.

Enforced marriage happened only among the Roma, Ashkelia and Egyptian populations, and it also formed a type of violence against women. Also, there were Roma children, living on the streets, exploited for begging, who lived in a form of slavery. Montenegro has several borders with several countries, and the delegation did mention regional cooperation on trafficking – what was the status of that?

Montenegro was one of few countries that had signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing violence against women. What was the timeline for Montenegro to ratify that Convention?

Trafficking of women had not been raised in the delegation's presentation. Did that mean the issue was not a priority? Montenegro was a transit country with good legislation and a dedicated office in respect to trafficking of women. However other UN committees and the Human Rights Council had raised the issue before. What was the composition and resources of the office dealing with trafficking? Concerning exploitation for the purposes of prostitution, the delegation mentioned two shelters available to female victims of domestic violence – were those shelters available to victims of trafficking as well?

Response by the delegation

Education was to be provided to all regardless of ethnicity, race or gender. There were women teachers and it was hoped that more of those teachers could become school principals, offering a role model to girl students. Concerning education on violence against women, Montenegro had a subject called 'Healthy Lifestyles', which prepared young people to develop healthy lifestyles, including prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and prevention of gender-based violence.

The new law on protection from violence was dealt with in civil courts, not criminal courts. Domestic violence was defined under the civil proceedings. Since that law had been adopted, all civil courts had been renamed 'misdemeanour courts', and 330 cases had since been brought. A law on legal aid had been adopted, and victims of domestic violence were entitled to legal aid. In December 2010 Montenegro ratified the Council of Europe ruling on compensation for victims of violence, which provided a framework for the State to pay compensation from a special fund.

Together with the United Nations Development Programme, the Statistics Office planned to conduct a survey with a special section on attitudes towards domestic violence in early 2012.

Police officers had been trained to deal with matters of domestic violence, including specially trained women police officers. The police were aware that domestic violence was a very problematic issue, and agreed that it could not be said to be decreasing. Training was conducted at the police academy, and it was always ensured that women were properly represented. Regarding regional cooperation there were networks of policewomen and police men in operation in south-east Europe.

Early marriages among Roma population were still a problem, and although they were illegal, the marriages could not be officially verified by authorities. It was known that 12 and 13 year old girls were giving birth, and this was a major issue.

Questions from the Experts

The delegation reported that prostitution and soliciting were criminal offences. Was it prohibited to use services from a prostitute? If only the women were prosecuted for offering sexual services for payment, and not the men who were buying their services, it was a form of discrimination. How many prostitutes had been punished? Were there any punishments for pimping or enabling prostitution? Montenegro was becoming an important tourist destination, but what was the situation of sex tourists?

What criminal sanctions had been placed on traffickers? What was the mechanism in place to operate the National Strategy to Fight Against Trafficking of Human Beings, and how were non-governmental organizations involved in the strategy?

Response by the delegation

Trafficking was a priority issue for the Government. In 2010, ten persons were indicted for trafficking. Four of those persons had received prison sentences of three to four years, and other cases were still ongoing. The prohibition of sexual exploitation was a part of the criminal code. The Government had passed a law allowing extraditions for the offence of trafficking, and some extraditions had already taken place

The criminal procedure code provided for special treatment for victims in court hearings, especially in cases of offenses regarding sexual freedom. For witness testimonies the victim was heard separately to maintain their privacy. The court could provide the same facility in discrimination cases.

Prostitution was defined as a civil case, while encouraging or running prostitution was a criminal offence. It was not currently illegal to pay a prostitute for sexual services, but that should be changed by the new pending law on public order. There had been an appeal to the drafter of that law to include a provision for making a civil offence of paying for sexual the services.

Questions from Experts

Have the delegation considered strengthening the women's wings of political parties, where they existed? The number of women voters could be used to encourage political parties to reform. An expert asked whether, under the 'Women in Politics' programmes, support was offered to women once they got into Parliament? Were there any statistics related to women working in the civil service, she also asked?

Questions on the trafficking of women were again raised, especially in regard to the criminal code on prohibition of using services provided by trafficked persons.

Response by the delegation

Currently, 10 out of 81 Members of Parliament in Montenegro were women. All three political parties have internal women's organizations, and should also have appropriate women's representation. The Ministry for Human and Minority Rights has been working on the issue with the United Nations Development Programme through a project aimed at strengthening women's political presence. Under that project, agreements have been signed with two commercial TV companies, who were broadcasting TV shows about the political representation of women. The public broadcaster of Montenegro was already obliged to cover the topic and had been doing so in an appropriate way. There were sexist prejudices about women in politics that needed to be overcome. The Ministry was working on raising awareness among male politicians, in addition to lobbying them on making changes. The delegation would endeavour to follow all of the Committee's recommendations in that regard.

In response to an expert requesting civil service statistics, the delegation said out of 137 State bodies, local authority bodies, judicial offices, there were over 14,000 employees. Data was available for 13,900 civil service employees. There were 8,151 men and 5,539 women employed in the public sector. A certain number of people refused to answer that anonymous survey.

Request for the ratification of the Council of Europe convention had been filed, and the delegation said it would attend regional training on that topic later this year.

The strategy to prevent domestic violence included measures to target men and schoolchildren in awareness-raising, particularly non-violent communication. Police, social welfare centres and the judiciary were involved in that strategy. A protection order could be issued under the criminal offence of domestic violence law, despite not being specifically stated in the legislation. The court may decide, following a proposal from the prosecutor or at the victim's request, to issue a protective order. The court decides the duration of that order.

There was no data about prostitution and no accurate survey had been conducted. Prostitution was increasing during the tourist season, in particular in coastal areas and cities, but no relevant data in that regard, nor on the users of services offered by prostitutes. Non-governmental organizations had many times flagged the issue up and approached international donors for financial support to run a survey in that field.

There were three shelters for trafficked women, which were mainly funded by international donors. This year the Government was directly involved in funding those shelters. In each case the shelter was given its plot of land free by the local authority, along with other services. The number of vacancies in shelters was very small, and alternative solutions were found for victims when the shelters were full. Non-governmental organizations were somehow managing to find alternative solutions.

Question from Experts

An expert pointed out that figures for enrolment rates at school would be preferable, and could they be provided? Contrary to the report, figures showed there had been a decline in women students at university, down seven per cent in the past six years.

Primary and secondary school teachers were primarily women, but approximately only 10 per cent of principals at both levels were women. What opportunities were there for women to be promoted to the top positions in schools? How could the same issue be addressed at tertiary level? The delegation's opening address said that reform was under way in education – were there more details of that reform?

Response by the delegation

Schools were required to immediately report any girl students who stopped attending, as parents were required to send their children to school until the age of 15. The State was able to assist parents who could not meet their child's educational needs, such as providing free text books, so practical issues could not be a reason for children to not attend school. Parents were informed of the need for children to be educated. A proper analysis of the reasons for drop-out would be conducted.

All educational options were equally available for girls and boys. However there was a goal to analyze teaching materials – text books and curricula - in order to eliminate any gender stereotypes. That activity had been aligned with European Union standards. New subjects had been introduced to raise awareness of gender equality, minorities, healthy lifestyles and domestic relationships – it was hoped that ongoing approach would influence and change traditional attitudes.

The Ministry for Science provided scholarships for doctoral studies in the field, but there were no special funds or measures to favour women to help them study at a post-graduate level. That is something the new Ministry for Science must help on.

Questions from Experts

The problems in Montenegro's labour market related to the implementation of the 2008 Labour Law. The extensive use of fixed-term employment contracts for women was a problem. Those contracts were used to circumvent the right to have maternity leave, and the right for women to return to their job after maternity leave. The right to maternity benefits therefore becomes an empty right for women in Montenegro. Similarly, the right to enjoy annual leave was difficult for women.

What had been done to promote Paternity Leave for fathers, which was important for achieving equality? How was it ensured there were enough affordable day-care centres for young children to make it possible for mothers to work?

Women constituted around 45 per cent of the unemployed in Montenegro, although it was commendable in 2008 that the Government adopted a national strategy and evaluation for employment. What had been the outcome of that strategy and what measures had been taken to increase women's employment, especially within the private sector? Women's employment potential was restricted by stereotypes.

Response from the delegation

It was true that in Montenegro, regardless of legislation regulating employment, there was an abuse of fixed-term employment. Under the new Labour Law proposal, concepts of fixed-term work would be improved - fixed-term work could last no longer than two years, with exceptions for project work.

Women were now more present in employment measures, for example professional information, which allowed all unemployed persons to get help. As regards training, 74.4 per cent of persons taking advantage of Government training were women, and 73.9 per cent were taking advantage of Government-funded career advice. Intern salaries had been funded for 441 women, and entrepreneurship had been encouraged by granting favourable loans for start-up companies. In the first half of 2011, 42.4 per cent of all loans and grants were taken out by women, the total value of those grants being 2.5 million. Women make better use of those loans and were better at repaying them. Work had been done to improve the employability of Roma women, many of whom were illiterate. There had been good take-up of free training and literacy course by Roma women. There had also been projects to improve the employability of persons with disabilities.

The right to annual leave was mostly denied in the private sector. Current amendments to the law provide for paternity leave for the first time. Women now have three months maternity leave, and another nine months 'care for child' leave. There had been many media campaigns on maternity leave. Women's entrepreneurship was being promoted, although currently it was a less attractive option for women.

Questions from Experts

An expert said that as a new country Montenegro had many priorities, and often in new countries women came at the bottom of the list of priorities. However, as women formed 50 per cent of the population, it was vital to ensure they were healthy. But access to healthcare for women in Montenegro was severely lacking. Did the Government have any assistance from the international community to implement the Millennium Development Goal for health?

The State party presented a list of mortality rates, and measures planned to reduce women's mortality, including cancer. It also showed the Government strategy to combat HIV/AIDS. According to the shadow report presented by the Montenegro non-governmental organization coalition, health care provision was severely lacking. A minority of women visited a gynaecologist regularly, and only 32 per cent of women regularly used contraception. A shadow report submitted by the NGO coalition showed that women with disabilities could not undergo gynaecological care as facilities in hospitals didn't exist for them. Additionally, what humane mental health services were provided for women?

It was reported that abortion was used for family planning, and that in some parts of Montenegro women aborted female foetuses because of societal pressure that preferred male children. Was that accurate, and if so, what steps were the Government taking to overcome the problem? There had also been rising abortion rates among schoolgirls. Was there sex education on the school curriculum? There was no data available on abortion.

Single mothers were still viewed in a very negative light, and there were cases of fathers refusing to accept paternity. Social security for single mothers was very low – one figure cited was 70 Euros per month.

Could the delegation elaborate on the joint ownership of property by spouses?

Response by the delegation

The Government had recently introduced the concept of the protection of rights of patients, and persons were trained to protect patient's rights. In healthcare centres there were counselling sectors for sexual and reproductive healthcare advice for women. There had been new maternity facilities, as well as information for parents-to-be, including for fathers, and promotional material on breastfeeding and child-raising.

There were counselling offers for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Healthcare centres have special rooms with gynaecologist tables designed for women with disabilities – such facilities will be installed in all healthcare centres, including in rural areas. There were mobile weekly health checks available in rural areas which did not yet have facilities, which included screenings such as mammograms. A special annual programme to promote women having mammograms to check for breast cancer ran every October, which had had exceptional turn-out and results. Furthermore, in 2010 the Government adopted a national programme of cancer prevention.

With the support of UNICEF a baby-friendly campaign had been launched, which promoted the importance of breastfeeding for the first year of a child's life. An annual breastfeeding week had been established. In the last year an ontological clinic had been opened in Montenegro, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations and pharmaceutical company Roche.

Abortion was not used as a family planning measure. Whether there were families who planned the gender of their children through abortion, it could not be said. Montenegro's law on abortion identified circumstances under which abortion could be conducted. If abortion was done for illegal reasons it was a criminal offence, defined in the criminal code. Furthermore there was a new law on reproductive health with two new reproductive health projects which started in 2011. Finally, schools did offer sexual education in Montenegro. HIV/AIDS and mental health were topics dealt with within that sexual education curriculum.

That Montenegro took family security very seriously was marked by the fact that one of the first laws passed after independence was the Family Law. That law focused on the child, its rights and parental responsibility. It was a very modern law aligned with all international covenants. Principals included in the Family Law were a guarantee of the right for a woman to decide on childbirth, and the right for the development of children, and the obligation for a mother and a father to jointly care for their child.

Regarding joint property ownership, if it was purchased during the marriage, even if the property was registered with just one party, it was considered joint property. Single parents were protected under the law for child protection, and there were allowances aimed at protecting vulnerable groups. In Montenegro around 42,000 families were receiving family support, of which 22,000 were women beneficiaries.

Concluding Remarks

In concluding remarks, SABAHUDIN DELIC, Deputy Minister for Human and Minority Rights, expressed his deepest gratitude to the Committee for their understanding during the presentation of the first report of Montenegro. He said the State had a strong will and readiness to improve the practical situation of women's rights in Montenegro, and said that the next periodic report would have new results and innovations to present to the Committee. Mr. Delic said his Government remained open to advice and recommendations from the Committee.

SILVIA PIMENTEL, Chairperson of the Committee, commended the State party for its efforts and encouraged Montenegro to take all necessary measures to address the various concerns of the Committee for the purposes of a more comprehensive implementation of the provisions of the Convention throughout the territory of the State party, for the benefit of all women and girls in the country.

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