ICO-Publications

Self-Determination Research: Simply put, self-determination is the right to freedom; the freedom to make your own choices; the right of a set of peoples to choose their form of government. Self-determination is a custom of International Law, it is recognised and protected by the United Nations Charter and International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, as a right of all. Within the concept, it can be divided into internal and external self-determination. Internal refers to various social and political rights, where the people have the right to govern themselves without outside interference, whereas, external self-determination is the right of the people to determine their own political status, including the formation of their own independent state.

Montenegro (2018 Factsheet)

Montenegro Research Conducted and Reported by Christopher Hewinson (MA in Security, Terrorism and Insurgency), ICO Project Worker.

Executive Summary

1.1. General information

Montenegro, formally known as: The People’s Republic of Montenegro,Socialist Republic of Montenegro, and the Republic of Montenegro; is a Parliamentary Republic located within the Balkan region of South-eastern Europe (co-ordinates: 42 30 N, 19 18 E). It achieved independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro on the 3rd of June 2006 and its Its political structure is divided between 23 municipalities with Podgorica as its capital and Cetinje retaining the status of “Old Royal Capital”. Its current constitution was adopted on the 22nd October 2007 and is supported through its civil law system.

 1.2. Demography

 Demographically, Montenegro’s current population stands at around 642,550 with its largest ethnic populations identifying as Montenegrin (45%), Serbian (28.7%) and Bosniak (8.7%). However, according to 2002 estimates, the most ubiquitous spoken language in Montenegro is Serbian which accounts for approximately 42.9% of the population, with Montenegrin, the official language, coming second at 37% and Bosnian third at 5.3%. According to the same statistics, the most pervasive religion in Montenegro is Orthodox Christianity which accounts for approximately 72.1% of the population with Islam second at 19.1%, and Catholic third at 3.4%.

According to 2015 estimates, approximately 98.7% of the population is literate, whilst unemployment figures for those aged between 15-24 stands at 37.7%.

1.3. International Relations, Law and Situation on Human Rights

 As of 2018, Montenegro has ratified all major international Human Rights conventions and treaties stipulated by the United Nations. However, authorities are still to act on establishing disappearance as a separate criminal offence in the criminal code and enabling access to justice and reparations for victims. Additionally, Montenegro has failed to ensure that the continuous nature of enforced disappearance was recognised in the system of criminal law.

Examples of domestic NGO’s working within Montenegro include: Centre for Civic Education, Centre for Democracy and Human Rights CEDEM, Centre for Democratic Transition, Centre for Development of NGO’s, Centre for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations, Expeditio, Foundation Open Society Institute, Foundation for Culture and Tradition of Boka Kotorska “Project Rastko-Boka”, Network for Affirmation of NGO sector and NVO PULS.

1.4. Human Rights Issues

 To date, the human rights situation in Montenegro remains much in the same as other countries within the Balkan region. Whilst the government officially supports human rights defenders and does not officially discriminate against any such group, the presence of deformation campaigns through media channels and threats from extreme-right wing and religious groups on journalists continue to pose a threat to both activists, vulnerable groups and notions surrounding freedom of speech.

1.5. Minority Rights

There remain several reported cases of police brutality made by those whilst in police detention. According to one of the latest judgements of the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR), Montenegro failed to conduct a comprehensive independent assessment after a video surfaced showing a Civil Rights defender being tortured whilst in police custody. To date, the speed at which such cases are prosecuted remains slow and often without explanatory verdicts given. There is also further concern levied towards Montenegro’s prison system as the prisons remain overpopulated and prisoners experience poor living and health standards.

Furthermore, Amnesty International’s statistics suggest that as of 2017, an estimated 1,600 refugees and internally displaced people remain in Montenegro who fled there following the former Yugoslavian conflict. The majority of which identifying as Roma from Serbia/Kosovo, remain in substandard living conditions within camps which lack formal integration programmes. Their lack of formally recognised status, further prevents them from accessing adequate support to acquire formal international protection, citizenship or residency and excludes them from access to essential services such as healthcare and employment opportunities.

ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 

 2.1 Sources of educational funding in Montenegro

The primary source of educational funding in Montenegro is provided either by the government, private agencies or through personal methods such as paid employment. The government currently provides funding for pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher educational institutions such as the University of Montenegro.

Examples of private agencies who supplement educational funding opportunities include Mladiinfo Montenegro, and have been accredited with donating 37,000 euros in 2017 alone.

2.2 Financial literacy Courses

Examples of financial literacy programmes currently in action within Montenegro can be drawn from the programmes run by the central bank of Montenegro’s Global Money Week. In total, the programme reached 600 children directly and a further 20,000 indirectly in 2017.

2.3 Public Education Programmes

At present, the Montenegrin government in association with UNICEF is running a campaign aimed at raising awareness against violence and abuse of children which started in 2017. The “End Violence” campaign seeks to spark a public debate surrounding violence against Children in Montenegro.

2.4 Capacity Building Programmes

 The Montenegrin government is currently undertaking a project aimed at Fighting Ill-treatment and Impunity and Enhancing the Application of the ECtHR Case-law on National Level (FILL). Its primary objective is to strengthen the capacities to more effectively combat ill-treatment and impunity which is recognised as one of the foremost priorities for the country.

At present, the programme is aiming to raise the capacity of judges, prosecutor and lawyers to better apply human rights standards to their daily work and overcome some of the concerns surrounding its judicial sysyem to bring it more in line with EU regulations.

2.5 Financial and Capital Markets Legislation Reform Programs

First adopted between 2015-2017, the Montenegrin Economic Reform Programme consists of two parts. First, an enhanced version of the existing Pre-Accession Economic Programmes (PEP). This seeks to establish a medium-term macro-economic and fiscal policy framework, with increased focus on assessing external sustainability and the main structural obstacles to growth, as well as concrete reform measures to directly support the policy framework.

Part II covers structural reforms which are societal in nature and which are most important for improved competitiveness and growth.

2.6 Financial Court Reform Program

The Republic of Montenegro has continued to improve its legal framework in recent years, with the view of harmonising it with the EU legislation. The Legal Transition Team will continue to support the work of the bank in strengthening companies through corporate governance initiatives and through promoting energy efficiency.

2.7 Stock Exchange Reform Program

Whilst there are no current aims to reform Montenegrin financial markets, USAID is working towards integrating stock exchanges from Eastern and Southern Europe in order to increase their attractiveness to investors and issuers. USAID’s plan, is to implement a special IT system that would allow for more efficient execution of cross-border trades. The involved exchanges, including the MSE, established various working groups, including a legal and regulatory group which is tasked to identify whether any legal or regulatory changes would need to be introduced for the implementation of this project. USAID is discussing possible cooperation on this project with the EBRD

2.8 Corporate Governance Reform Program

According to the ERBD’s 2007 corporate governance sector assessment Montenegro was deemed to be in “very low compliance” with OECD principles of corporate governance, underling an urgent need for reform in all sectors under consideration. The assessment was primarily aimed at the quality of corporate governance currently provided at the time. Since then, there have been corporate governance legal framework has been amended several times in line with the 2011 and 2012 EU progress reports. However, there remain serious areas for improvement, especially in areas such as independent public oversight and quality control systems which need to be clearly planned and established.

Access Facts and Figures on Montenegro:

Executive Summary:ICO Executive Summay – Montenegro

ICO_ General_Research_Montenegro

ICO_Research_Social_Development_Montenegro

 

 

Albania (Human Rights Fact Sheet)

Demographic Info:

Government
Capital Tirana
Government Type Parliamentary Republic
Administrative Division 12 counties: Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore
Population
Total Population 3,038,594 (July 2016 est.)
Ethnic Groups (2011 est.) Albanian 82.6%
Greek 0.9%
Other 1% (including Vlach, Roma, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Egyptian)
Unspecified 15.5%
ethnic group albania.png
Languages (2011 est.) Albanian 98.8% (official)
Greek 0.5%
Other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Roma, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian)
Unspecified 0.1%
Religions (2011 est.) Muslim 56.7%
Roman Catholic 10%
Orthodox 6.8%
Atheist 2.5%
Bektashi (a Sufi order) 2.1%
Other 5.7%
Unspecified 16.2%
Religions (2011 est.) religions albania.png
Literacy Rate Total population: 97.6%
Male: 98.4%
Female: 96.9% (2015 est.)
Unemployment
(youth ages 15-24)
Total: 30.2%
Male: 32.5%
Female: 26.1% (2013 est.)
Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Stateless Persons: 7,442 (2015)
Bibliography: CIA. The World Factbook. Albania. Web page: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/al.html

Albania ratified both the ICESCR and the ICCPR on 04.10.1991; published their last periodic report on the ICESCR and get their recommendations by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Please click to read the complete respond.

The UN has presented its recommendations on Albania’s second ICESCR report. Among its target issues for the State are:

  • Access of Egyptians and Roma to procedures for birth registration and personal identity
  • Prohibit forced evictions in domestic legislation
  • Eliminate the high dropout rates of girls from primary education, in particular of Roma children
  • Ensure access to education in minority languages in public schools as well as to preserve, protect and promote minority languages and cultures as part of cultural diversity and heritage
  • Strategies to address extreme poverty faced in particular by members of marginalised groups including minorities
  • Develop specific preventive programmes focusing on the families, which are at risk of engaging their children in trafficking and to provide adequate assistance to child victims, including re-enrolment in school and adequate shelter
  • Recognise communities with specific identities, especially Bosnians and Egyptians as national minorities, in accordance with applicable international standards, so that their members can benefit from the enjoyment and protection of minority

Download our full report in which ICO links the related rights: ico-report-to-summarise-the-un-committee-on-economic-social-and-cultural-rights-concluding-observations-on-the-combined-second-and-third-periodic-reports-of-albania-together-with-icos-huma

To see our summary infographic:

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Data is taken at:  UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), Concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of Albania, 18 December 2013, E/C.12/ALB/CO/2-3, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/52d3d949a.html [accessed 1 November 2016]

 

Bosnia and Herzogovina (2017 Factsheet)

Bosnia and Herzogovina’s total population is 3,867,055. Of these, Bosniaks comprise 50.1%, Serbs 30.8% and Croats 15.4%. At present there are two governments entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina(FBiH), composed mostly of Bosniaks and Croats and the Republika Srpska, composed of Serbs.

There are three officials languages: Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. Forty percent are Muslim, 31% are Orthodox and 15% are Catholics.

The country’s capital is Sarajevo.

Development Issues

Political and ethnic tensions in the country from the Bosnian war and the Srebrenica genocide are reflected in present times. They affect aspects of daily life community development, as well as relationships among the different ethnic groups.

The Bosnian war displaced a huge percentage of the population. At present there are an estimated 100,400 internally displaced from the conflict. There are an estimated 26,777 refugees at present.

Access to basic services are limited. There have been reports of discrimination in accessing social protection in the population. Despite a high literacy rate, there is a high rate of unemployment in the country, which particularly affects young people. In 2012, it was estimated that  62.8% of the young (from 15-24) were unemployed.

Minorities

The country’s minorities are less able to access basic services and to participate in the political life.

Roma people comprise the biggest minority population in the country, with an estimated 50,000 people. Their literacy rate, particularly for women Roma (68.9%) is significantly lower than the national average of 90+.

Almost fifteen percent of women Roma marry before the age of fifteen, making them more susceptible to abuse within domestic households.

Information taken from:

The World Factbook

The World Bank on Bosnia and Herzogovina

UNICEF Office for Bosnia and Herzogivina

Forum on Cities in Transition – Sarajevo

 

OTHER Country Background, Human Rights And Development Research

 

ICO_ General_Research_Cyprus

ICO_Cyprus_Research_Development

ICO_ General_Research_Kosovo_Edited

ICO_Kosovo_Research_Development_

ICO_General Research on Albania