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Draft Law on Social and Child Protection presented to the public

© UNICEF Montenegro / 2012
Head of Operations Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro Mr. Nicola Bertolini, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr. Suad Numanović and UNICEF Montenegro Representative, Mr. Benjamin Perks (left to right)
PODGORICA, 15 February 2012 – Children are the most valuable resource that any country has and ensuring that they achieve their full potential is the best investment a country can make for its future.

UNICEF Montenegro has been supporting the Government to cope with the key challenges related to the promotion and protection of children’s rights. The new Law on Social and Child Protection which reflects the reform of the Social and Child Protection System is of paramount importance for the advancement of child rights and human rights in Montenegro.

The first round table discussion on the Draft of the new Law on Social and Child Protection for central Montenegro was held in Podgorica.

The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr. Suad Numanović said that the Draft Law is meant to contribute to the protection of the most vulnerable groups and to build the institutional framework and capacity to further implement the reform process.

Among the key innovations in the draft Law, Minister Numanovic emphasized that a child under three years of age cannot be placed in an institution. “Placement of a child in an institution shall be provided only when all other possibilities such as family support and foster care have been exhausted” he said.

In his opening remarks, the Head of Operations Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro Mr. Nicola Bertolini welcomed the Government’s efforts to reform the social and child protection system, but pointed out to a number of issues that could jeopardize the implementation of the Law in its present form.

„The Draft Law does not facilitate the development of fostering. There is no provision for the reform of centres for social welfare. The establishment of the Institute for Social Welfare is removed from the Draft Law. There is no provision granting access to benefits to all children, regardless of citizenship“.

For a country aspiring to join the European Union, Mr. Bertolini concluded that “we should not forget that social inclusion is a pillar of the European Union Constitution”.

© UNICEF Montenegro / 2012
Participants of the first round table discussion on the Draft of the new Law on Social and Child Protection.
UNICEF Montenegro Representative, Mr. Benjamin Perks said that the Draft Law should enable a reform of centres for social work and allow for the provision of child-friendly services especially fostering, which should be regulated in a way that promotes its development and encourages families to foster a child.

“We are all aware of the detrimental effects of the financial crisis on the entire population of Montenegro but we must not allow that the most vulnerable groups in society pay the highest price. Just as poverty alone should never be the reason for a child’s placement in an institution, the effects of the financial crisis should not impede the Government’s efforts to provide all children with a family environment”, said UNICEF Representative Benjamin Perks. Two more round tables will be organized within the one-month public debate on the new draft Law on Social and Child Protection in the southern and northern regions of Montenegro.

Drafting of the Law on Social and Child Protection is supported through the project “Social Welfare and Child Care System Reform: Enhancing Social Inclusion”, implemented by the Government of Montenegro - the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Sport with technical assistance of UNICEF and UNDP and with financial support from the European Union.

The goal of the Project is to improve the status of the most vulnerable groups in Montenegro, including children, as well as to ensure their active participation in society.

 

 

 

 

Crnogorski

Predstavljanje Nacrta Zakona o socijalnoj i dječjoj zaštiti
PODGORICA, 15. februar, 2012 god. – Djeca su najvredniji resurs koji jedna zemlja ima, te stvaranje uslova da ona do kraja ispune svoje potencijale najbolja je investicija u budućnost zemlje.
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