Penal policy for criminal offenses against minors to be stricter

At the session of the Council for the Rights of the Child, which Šćekić convened with representatives from the judiciary in order to jointly assess the situation in this highly important area, comparative legal solutions and compliance with EU regulations were analyzed. The session also discussed the verdict for the rape of a minor, which, as Šćekić stated, upset the public and caused concern.

10444 views 59 reactions 2 comment(s)
Photo: Government of Montenegro
Photo: Government of Montenegro
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The penal policy for perpetrators of crimes committed against minors must be stricter, it was assessed at a special session of the Council for the Rights of the Child, which was attended by representatives of judicial authorities.

As announced by the Government, the Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Council for the Rights of the Child Dragoslav Šćekić convened a thematic session of the Council for the Rights of the Child in order to analyze the situation and consider proposals for measures aimed at protecting children from perpetrators of crimes against minors.

Šćekić pointed out that children are exposed to various forms of violence every day, most often online violence, domestic violence, physical violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, and peer violence.

"Children as witnesses or victims in criminal proceedings are always a sensitive topic, and in these cases one should act very cautiously with the cooperation of social services and the judiciary," Šćekić said.

He pointed to the verdict for the criminal offense of rape of a minor, which, as he stated, upset the public and caused concern in terms of penal policy.

"Respecting the independence of the judiciary and respecting the Constitution of Montenegro, as a father and as someone who has been in politics for many years, I express a high degree of concern," emphasized Šćekić.

He explained that he convened a meeting with representatives from the judiciary in order to jointly review the situation in that highly important area, analyze comparative legal solutions and compliance of regulations with the European Union (EU).

"Only by working together can we prevent our children from being victims," ​​pointed out Šćekić.

council for the rights of the child
photo: Government of Montenegro

The Acting President of the Supreme Court, Vesna Vukčević, pointed out that the Supreme Court is motivated by the public's interest in the safety and protection of children and minors.

"I believe that it is necessary to consider the issue of toughening the punishment for criminal acts committed to the detriment of a minor. At the same time, I call on the courts to pay more attention to the aggravating and mitigating circumstances when sentencing, as well as that in the case of criminal offenses against sexual freedom, a person "from the circle of trust" of the victim should be evaluated as an aggravating circumstance, said Vukčević.

According to her, the Supreme Court will organize a meeting of the president of the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court with the presidents of the criminal divisions of all courts in order to discuss criminal policy.

Supreme State Prosecutor Milorad Marković praised the initiative and recognition of this important topic that shakes society.

"Certain legal solutions must be analyzed, all with the aim of tightening the penal policy. I believe that the Council will make concrete conclusions and monitor their implementation through the institutions," said Marković.

council for the rights of the child
photo: Government of Montenegro

Acting Director of the Police Administration, Aleksandar Radović, said that it is necessary to make a maximum effort to protect the rights of the child, especially when the child is the victim of a criminal act.

"We need to be aware that the security sector is only one step in solving these problems, so it is necessary to apostrophize the importance of the family, community and school," pointed out Radović.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Danilo Saranović, pointed out that the Police Directorate makes every effort to process every reported case in the manner prescribed by law and that they approach cases involving violence with great care.

UNICEF representative Nela Krnjić pointed out that the protection of every child from violence, abuse and exploitation is the core of UNICEF's mandate, both globally and in Montenegro.

"UNICEF will continue to provide support to the competent authorities of Montenegro in the field of capacity building for the provision of systemic and multi-sectarian support (in the sectors of health, education, social and child protection, police and justice) in order to effectively prevent and protect every child from violence, abuse and exploitation", said Krnjić.

She emphasized that the strengthening of prevention, early intervention and protection services, as well as the establishment of Barnhouse services for children, victims of sexual abuse and the most severe forms of violence and exploitation should be a priority for Montenegro.

Bojan Jušković, who deals with security and cyber violence against minors, said that the cohesion of a complete system that would defend children/victims of sexual abuse is a necessity.

"First of all, through preventive action through education, both for children in primary and secondary schools, and for all those in the institutions of the system who have contact with children in such cases," said Jušković.

Commenting on the repressive action, he appealed to the Police Directorate to form a special team that would investigate sexual abuse, act both preventively, but also for technical-technological and personnel empowerment.

Jušković pointed out the importance of passing a law or by-law that would allow the police to disclose information about sexual abusers of children in certain cases, and the same would, as he stated, rely on the register of pedophiles.

The representative of non-governmental organizations in the Council for the Rights of the Child, Kristina Mihailović from the Association Parents, pointed out that it was the first time that the representatives of all institutions dealing with the subject had the same conclusions and evaluations.

"That there are failures in the protection of children from sexual abuse without the need to justify anyone. It is important that the Council for the Rights of the Child draws conclusions on what needs to be done and commits itself to their implementation," Mihailović pointed out.

As stated in the announcement, the Council will deal with this important topic at the next sessions and monitor the implementation of all the conclusions reached at the previous sessions.

Bonus video: