The same rights for all children, the Ministry to make a needs assessment

Recommendations of Deputy Ombudsman Snežana Mijušković for the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare

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Mijušković, Photo: Assembly/I. Šljivančanin
Mijušković, Photo: Assembly/I. Šljivančanin
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Children with developmental disabilities do not have equally accessible support services on the territory of Montenegro, which is not in accordance with the guaranteed standard in this area or with strategic documents, assessed the Deputy Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms Snezana Mijušković.

Therefore, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare should make an assessment of the needs of children with developmental disabilities for the services of day care centers in relation to the existing capacities of this service..

The Department of Naida Nišić should still, in accordance with that assessment, cooperate with municipalities and initiate the expansion or strengthening of the capacity of existing licensed day care centers, but also establish a mechanism for the most effective and purposeful use of the services of those institutions in order to provide services to a larger number of children.

Mijušković recommended this after the investigative procedure based on the complaint was carried out, and in that specific case it was established that there was no violation of rights.

"Welcoming the efforts of the competent authorities to make this service available to as many children as possible, we must be aware of the fact that the existing capacities do not guarantee the realization of this type of support for everyone who needs it and that the capacities of the existing centers are quite limited. This state of affairs leads to the conclusion that the rights of children from a very vulnerable category are limited and unequally available, which is not in accordance with the guaranteed standard in this area or with strategic documents", Mijušković states in the opinion.

She emphasizes that many municipalities in Montenegro do not have an established day care center service, nor any other service that would provide support for the child and/or his family, which puts them in a disadvantageous position compared to other children in areas where these services are available.

"The protector believes that it is necessary to strengthen the capacities, but also to make efforts to use the existing capacities in the most efficient way, so that as many children/users as possible can use the services of the day care center", she specified.

Mijušković adds that day care centers at the local level are social and child protection institutions that contribute to the deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities, and the intention of their activity is to provide all children with equal opportunities to progress in their environments.

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