At today’s meeting of the Gender Equality Committee of the Parliament of Montenegro a consultative hearing was held of Minister of Education Mr Damir Šehović, Minister of Human and Minority Rights Mr Mehmed Zenka and Director General, Directorate for Organisation of Judiciary, Criminal Legislation and Supervision Ms Marijana Laković - Drašković on the topic "Exercising children's rights in the Roma community in Montenegro with a special focus on girls' education”.
The consultative hearing was organised ahead of International Roma Day.
President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović addressed members of the Committee, representatives of the Government of Montenegro, representatives of the Roma and Egyptian communities and representatives of international and non-governmental organisations. He emphasised education as one of the most important preconditions for economic autonomy and genuine emancipation of members of this community, and that in addition to significant progress in this area, they should work on further increase of their educational level. Problems of the Roma population are problems of the Montenegrin society and awareness of it is growing every day, President Brajović said.
Ahead of the Committee meeting, the President of the Parliament met with the NGO dedicated to improving the position of the Roma minority in the society, stressing that Montenegrin Parliament was an institution open for gathering and talk on the needs of all members of society. During the talk, the representatives of the associations identified the socio-economic status, insufficient information, early and contractual marriages, domestic violence and society as priority issues, and stated that the high percentage of readiness of the members of the Roma community to work on resolving their status as well as high degree of trust in the institutions of the system was encouraging.
Aside from members of the Committee, the meeting was attended by: Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms Mr Halil Duković, Deputy Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro Mr Siniša Bjeković, Deputy Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro Ms Snežana Mijušković, Director General of Directorate for Promotion and Protection of Rights of Minorities and Other National Minority Communities Mr Leon Gjokaj, Head of the Department for Gender Equality at the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights Ms Biljana Pejović, Head of the Directorate for Preschool Education, Inclusive Education and Strategic programming and development Ms Tamara Milić, NGO representatives: Centre for Roma Initiative Nikšić, Young Roma, Women's RAE Network "FIRST”, Civic Alliance, Montenegrin Women’s Lobby, CARE International, Koračajte sa nama (Walk With Us), International foundation Hand of Friendship and members of the Roma and Egyptian communities and representatives of the EU Delegation to Montenegro.