Child protection

UNICEF is working with a wide range of partners to ensure every child is afforded full protection of his or her rights, focusing on the most vulnerable and at-risk children and families.

UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2017

The challenge

Child safety through protection and inclusion

UNICEF is focusing on strengthening the social and child protection system to reach the most deprived children and their families in a timely manner, and to provide targeted and coordinated support to the most disadvantaged groups.

A mum with a daughter in her arms

Strengthening vulnerable families  

Our activities focus on supporting vulnerable families so they can stay together through strengthening their access to quality family support and community-based services.

A girl on the stairs

Violence against children

UNICEF is supporting the country to eradicate violence against children, neglect and dysfunctional parenting and to increase awareness of preventing violence against children, especially the most vulnerable children.

A boy with a hood and a baseball bat

Justice for children

UNICEF is working to ensure equitable access to justice for all children and to support the country to establish a child-friendly justice system which works in the best interest of the child, focusing on the most disadvantaged children and families.

The solution

We are focusing on strengthening the social welfare system to reach the most deprived children and their families in a timely fashion, and to provide targeted and integrated support to the most disadvantaged groups, through services and cash benefits.

We are working to develop an overall justice system that protects the rights and needs of all children, including those who are involved as witnesses, victims or relevant dependents, in criminal, civil or administrative proceedings.  Our focus is to increase the percentage of courts, prosecutors’ offices, police and administrative bodies that use child-friendly procedures. The other key goal is to ensure that children are equipped with the knowledge and information of how to access justice and to use the Free Legal Aid service.

UNICEF is working with its partners to prevent and respond to violence against children. UNICEF has been supporting the Government to align its legislation with international standards. UNICEF is also striving to break the silence and stigma surrounding this issue, including by launching the #EndViolence campaign in Montenegro in 2016. UNICEF is supporting its national and local partners in Montenegro in promoting positive parenting practices by supporting the introduction of positive parenting programmes (please see our section on Early Childhood Development), the SOS Parent Line, which has made it possible for all parents and caregivers throughout the country to receive advice on successful child rearing, and by assisting the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to pilot the Family Outreach Worker programme helping vulnerable families to develop capacities to adequately care for children and to prevent child separation.
UNICEF is also working to reduce harmful practices, like child marriages. Collaboration between UNICEF, the CSO Centre for Roma Initiatives and the Ministry of the Interior has led to the development of guidelines for the relevant institutions to address cases of child marriage, as well as recommendations for future work.
UNICEF is working with civil society organizations and the NHRI to strengthen capacities to monitor treatment of the most disadvantaged children.
In 2017, Montenegro became a path-finding country in the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children.

Valerija, a foster mother

Valerija opens her home and heart for children without parental care

Sixty-year-old Valerija Tomić from Bar is boldly opening the door to her home to children who need parental care.

A Roma girl with a baby in her arms

Too young to marry

Nadira’s experience warns and instructs girls to get educated and not to marry too early

Judge Milena Brajovic

Child-friendly justice

Montenegro’s judges now more easily hear authentic children’s voices in court proceedings


These resources on violence against children represent just a small selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the region. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information.