21 June 2019 - The U.S. State Department's 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report states that Montenegro is continuously making significant efforts to meet the standards for the elimination of human trafficking fully.
The U.S. State Department, led by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, has recently published the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report. The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue.
Within the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, it was concluded that Montenegro is a country whose Government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. "The government demonstrated significant efforts during the reporting period by undertaking awareness-raising efforts and reaffirming its commitment to enact anti-trafficking legislation. However, the government did not demonstrate increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. The government did not show evidence of overall progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders and identifying victims of trafficking," it is stated within the Report.
The U.S. State Department recognized the efforts of Montenegro in regards to the establishment of a multi-disciplinary task force to proactively investigate trafficking and changed case referral procedures to decrease the chances of trafficking cases prosecuted under other offenses and thus praised the country for drafting and adopting a national anti-trafficking strategy for 2019-2024 and a national action plan for 2019.
Prioritized recommendations for Montenegro in relations to the prevention of trafficking include the focus on vigorous investigation, prosecution, and conviction of traffickers under Article 444 of the criminal code, increasing proactive screening of potential victims, especially for women in prostitution, migrants, seasonal workers, and children engaged in begging, providing advanced training to judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement on trafficking investigations and prosecutions and incentivizing and encouraging victim participation in investigations and prosecutions in a victim-centered manner.
The U.S State Department also highlighted the great need for Montenegro to create and finance an accessible compensation fund and inform victims of their right to compensation during legal proceedings and to ensure the Office for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons has adequate independence, capacity, and impact on implementing anti-trafficking efforts.
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