U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Montenegro
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||12 June 2007|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Montenegro, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3c9c.html [accessed 19 September 2014]|
Montenegro (Tier 2)
Montenegro is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked within the country and transnationally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls from Ukraine, Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, and Serbia were trafficked to Montenegro for commercial sexual exploitation.
The Government of Montenegro does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Montenegro became independent in 2006, dissolving the former State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. In past years, Montenegro's activities were reported separately from that of Serbia, but the State Union was ranked as a whole on the aggregate level of its efforts to combat trafficking. The government should make additional efforts to identify, arrest, and prosecute traffickers and police officers who protect trafficking operations. The government should continue educating law enforcement officers on recognizing trafficking cases, since the special anti-trafficking team was eliminated in early 2007 as part of an overall plan to reorganize the police. The government plans to name a senior police officer to assume responsibility for coordinating anti-trafficking activities. The government should make greater efforts to prosecute and convict police officials who are involved in trafficking.
The Government of Montenegro demonstrated some discernable progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Montenegro prohibits sex and labor trafficking through Article 444 of its criminal code. Penalties for trafficking are sufficiently stringent, and penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. The government routinely provided data on arrests, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences in trafficking cases in 2006, both periodically (including press releases) as monthly reports, and as an annual summary. Eight persons, in two cases, were convicted of trafficking in persons offenses in 2006. Three persons were convicted of attempting to traffic Bangladeshi nationals to Western Europe through Montenegro for labor exploitation. Sentences imposed on the three were: three years' imprisonment; two years and eight months' imprisonment; and two years and six months' imprisonment. Law enforcement officials currently are investigating other suspected trafficking cases. The government provides extensive training to police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute trafficking. In cooperation with the Italian government, the Government of Montenegro drafted a Manual for Training Judges and Prosecutors. The government provided training on trafficking to police of all ranks. In 2007, as part of a reorganization effort, Montenegro eliminated the police special anti-trafficking team and its officers were assigned other duties. Low-level corruption among police and customs officials who unofficially provide security to nightclubs or bars that serve as trafficking outlets allows some traffickers to evade law enforcement efforts.
The Government of Montenegro demonstrated increased efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking. The Montenegrin government did not demonstrate use of a systematic effort to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as foreigners found in prostitution or detained for immigration violations. It did, however, encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes, though few cases were actually developed in the last year. Occasionally this encouragement may amount to excessive pressure on victims. Victims may file civil suits against traffickers, but this has not yet occurred. Montenegro issues temporary residence permits for foreign victims of trafficking for up to one year at a time; if necessary, victims are resettled to third countries. Victims are not detained, prosecuted, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The Government provides adequate protection, shelter, and care for victims. There are two shelters for victims of trafficking, one run by an NGO and the second by IOM. The Government of Montenegro fully funds the NGO shelter and provides police security.
The Government of Montenegro continued support activities aimed at the prevention of trafficking in persons. The government maintains an informative Web site on its anti-trafficking efforts. A government-funded NGO maintains a hotline for potential victims of trafficking. Montenegro collaborates with international organizations in raising awareness of trafficking. The government also supports anti-trafficking educational programs in the public schools.