OSCE Mission facilitates discussion on local action plans for inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities in Montenegro
The importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to the prevention of early forced marriages was the main topic discussed at a workshop organized by the OSCE Mission to Montenegro on 18 April 2017 in Podgorica.
Given that the issue of early forced marriages affects mainly women from vulnerable groups, the overall aim of the meeting was to share information and best practice on the existing local action plans (LAPs) for the inclusion of Roma and Egyptians.
Nine municipalities presented the LAPs and mechanisms available to promote social inclusion in their areas
Opening the event, the General Director for the Protection and Advancement of Human Rights in Montenegro’s Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Leon Gjokaj, emphasized that the integration of minorities should be a priority at the local and central levels. “LAPs are an important tool for inclusion,” said Gjokaj.
The Secretary of the Union of Municipalities' newly established Social Affairs Committee, Ivana Lalevic, stressed that in designing the LAPs, municipalities needed to include the requisite financial and human resources for their adequate implementation.
The Head of the Democratization Programme of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Lia Magnaguagno, recalled the mapping exercise conducted in 2016 in six municipalities. “Our findings highlighted that in order to provide an effective response to the complex issue of early forced marriages and its connection with child human trafficking, we need to take a multi-disciplinary approach to working on the existing documents and mechanisms.”
The event brought together more than 20 participants from the Human and Minority Rights Ministry, the Union of Municipalities and municipalities. It was part of an extra-budgetary project funded by the Government of France, which began in September 2015.
A three-day workshop will follow this event, to develop further a model Local Action Plan for inclusion of Roma and Egyptian and further support the efforts of the municipalities in this regard.