On 31st March 2010, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation to member states on “measures for the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity”.

It was a historic decision. Mr. Thorburn Jagland, General Secretary of the Council of Europe, recognized the recommendation as the first international legal instrument that specifically deals with discrimination on this basis, which he further describes as “one of the greatest, most enduring and most severe forms of discrimination”. They emphasize that human rights are universal and that they apply to all individuals, including LGBT persons.

  • The fact that LGBT people have been exposed to discrimination for centuries based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is confirmed.
  • A necessary action to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights of LGBT people is recognized, and measures that should be implemented by the EU Member States are prescribed.

The Recommendation was adopted unanimously by 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Although it's not legally binding, as it is case with the Conventions, the Recommendation is based on the existing legally binding documents adopted by the EU Member States, thus imposing a clear obligation to implement its main elements.

The Recommendation consists of three parts: a preamble, which sets the context of its adoption and the basic principles of this document; the second, operational part, which is very concise and which lists comprehensive measures to be taken; and the third part, which establishes specific measures to facilitate the enjoyment of the rights and fight against their violation in different areas, including hate crimes, hate speech, freedom of association, speech and assembly, the right to respect of private and family life, employment, education, health and housing, sports, the right to asylum and discrimination on multiple grounds. The Recommendation also contains a part about the role of national structures which ensure human rights.

The Recommendation also includes an Explanation, containing information on international human rights instruments and legal precedents, which serve as a basis for specific measures from the Recommendation and the Annex.

NGO Juventas has been selected to be in charge of the process of monitoring the implementation of recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the European Council CM/Rec (2010)5 on measures for the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, implemented since its adoption. The project resulted in a comprehensive report and successful advocacy.

The aim of this project was to contribute to the effective monitoring of implementation of Recommendation by the EU Member States, as well as to increase the capacity of LGBT organizations to implement records based on representation in Europe, especially regarding the implementation of the Recommendation.

Under the project, Juventas performed two key activities:

1.Documenting the level to which the Recommendation has been implemented in Montenegro since its adoption, and the creation of a comprehensive report on it. The purpose of this report is to assess the progress which has been made by Montenegrin authorities in implementing the Recommendation, and to highlight areas which require additional efforts. By documenting the measures that have been implemented and those that have not, this report provides a basis for measuring future progress in implementing the Recommendation in the years ahead. The report has two target groups. Primarily, at the national level, the report is devoted to political leaders and government officials who are responsible for implementing the recommendations and, secondly, to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which adopted a Recommendation, in order to conduct the revision of the progress towards its implementation in 2013. This report was intended to contribute to that revision.

2.Advocacy aiming at motivating a state to fill the gaps identified in the documentation stage.

Methodology

Assessment of the progress contained in the report refers to the specific measures proposed in the Recommendation. The list of measures comes from the Recommendation text and Annexes, complemented by additional details stated in the Rationale.

Data used to assess progress were obtained from multiple sources, including:

  • answers of ministers to Juventas’s questions regarding specific measures implemented in order to fulfil the obligations proposed in the Recommendation;
  • information from the published sources, such as reports about  Montenegro by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, i.e. “Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe”;
  • research and documentation prepared by Juventas and other non-governmental organizations;
  • information and documentation obtained from governmental working groups involved in the development of the National Strategy for the fight against homophobia: the Working Group for the preparation of the program document for the fight against homophobia with the Action Plan, the Working Group for the implementation of the analysis of the representation of the human rights of LGBT people in the educational system of Montenegro, the Working Group for the development of the analysis of legislation regarding LGBT rights;
  • reports from electronic and print media in Montenegro.

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