Members of the Parliament of Montenegro respond: How can child poverty be reduced?

The young reporters talked to the representatives of the caucuses in the Parliament of Montenegro and asked them to answer in one minute the question of how to reduce child poverty in Montenegro.

UNICEF Montenegro
UNICEF Crna Gora / Duško Miljanić
30 November 2020

PODGORICA, 27 NOVEMBER 2020 – Every third child in Montenegro is at risk of poverty, and that number is expected to increase due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, on the occasion of World Children’s Day, UNICEF’s Young Reporters, together with the President of the Parliament of Montenegro, Aleksa Becic, has launched a campaign to reduce child poverty in Montenegro.

The young reporters talked to the representatives of the caucuses in the Parliament of Montenegro and asked them to answer in one minute the question of how to reduce child poverty in Montenegro.

Branka Bosnjak from the Movement for Change emphasized the importance of education in the eradication of poverty.

UNICEF Montenegro

It is important that the system lends a hand to these children, to get them out of the vicious circle, and education plays a big role in that, because children who are poor usually lag behind their peers in education, and we must not allow that.

Branka Bosnjak, the Movement for Change

Ervin Ibrahimovic from the Bosniak Party pointed out that poverty is not just a lack of income and that it is a more pronounced problem in certain parts of our country.

Let me remind you that one-third of our children live in the north, but the frightening fact is that close to 60 percent of poor children live in the north. I think this will be one of the priorities – balanced regional development of our country.

Ervin Ibrahimovic, the Bosniak Party
UNICEF Montenegro

Milos Konatar from the Civic Movement URA believes that support should be provided to all children, but that it should be higher for those children who are more affected by poverty.


UNICEF Montenegro

Our intention, in addition to every child in Montenegro receiving a child allowance, is that those children who are in a state of material and special need will receive a level of benefits up to 10 percent higher than they are today.

Milos Konatar, the Civic Movement URA

Social Democrat MP Boris Mugosa said that the budget for social and child protection should not be reduced during the current crisis..

An important message must be that we must not reduce budget allocations for social and child protection. On the contrary, I think that there will be a need to increase those funds, because a significant number of families have lost their jobs or their incomes have been reduced due to the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boris Mugosa, Social Democrat
UNICEF Montenegro

Marko Kovacevic from the Democratic Front emphasized the importance of providing support to families during early child development, and pointed out the need to help parents by providing free books and school supplies for children.

UNICEF Montenegro

The state should provide subsidies for those products that are necessary in the first year for raising a newborn. We also know that, especially in the private sector, it is easy for private entrepreneurs to decide to dismiss pregnant women, women who have children or women who plan to have children.

Marko Kovacevic, the Democratic Front

Danijel Zivkovic from the DPS believes that everyone can contribute to reducing child poverty and especially emphasizes the creation of opportunities for the active participation of young people in this

Poverty in Montenegro will be reduced if all actors in the socio-political life on the public scene give their maximum and if we ensure, in a quality way, that young people can give their maximum contribution in this field through the creation of youth policies.

Danijel Zivkovic, DPS
UNICEF Montenegro

Democratic Montenegro MP Danilo Saranovic stressed the importance of providing greater support for young parents who are facing challenges such as employment and debt burdens and of solving their housing issues.

UNICEF Montenegro

Therefore, in the fight against poverty, one of the concrete moves would be to design incentives in order to solve the economic and social problems of young married couples.

Danilo Saranovic, Democratic Montenegro

Draginja Vuksanovic-Stankovic from the SDP believes that it is crucial to invest in achieving the full potential of every child.

Poverty reduction in Montenegro is possible if the government and the civil sector, the media and especially families work together by investing in the potential of children and influencing the creation of a democratic environment, so that all the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are fully implemented.

Draginja Vuksanovic-Stankovic, SDP
UNICEF Montenegro

Dragan Vukic from the SNP announced new legal solutions that will aim to reduce child poverty in Montenegro.

UNICEF Montenegro

Reducing child poverty is possible through new legal solutions, such as the Law on Mothers with Three or More Children, which we will return to the parliamentary procedure, as well as the Law on Child and Social Protection, through which we will help children through child allowance, so that all children in Montenegro receive a child allowance, and not, as before, granting the allowance only to children from socially vulnerable families or whose parents are not working.

Dragan Vukic, SNP

UNICEF’s Young Reporters will continue the campaign by seeking one minute answers to the same question – How can child poverty be reduced in Montenegro? – of the representatives of the new government when elected, academia, the international community, the civil sector, relevant institutions, young people, parents, etc. They will share the answers with all the media, but also on social networks in order to enable greater participation of citizens in this debate.

The Rapid Assessment of the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19, conducted by the UN system in Montenegro in April this year, shows that every third family with children under the age of 6 cannot afford all the basic products for babies and children. Similarly, one-third of families with children aged 6 to 18 state that they cannot afford clothing and footwear for their children. Therefore, reform of the social protection system, in order to ensure an adequate standard of living for every child in Montenegro, should be an urgent and essential part of the overall strategy of the country’s social and economic development.