Montenegro is a state which Constitution says it is the state of social justice (Art. 2), and responsible for the establishment of social justice (Preamble). The Constitution also says the state provides material security to the person who is unable to work and without means of living (art. 57, para. 2). However, the reality is far from the Constitution.
In practice, much more citizens of Montenegro barely survive than 53,772 people (8.6%) which formally fall below the poverty line, according to official MONSTAT estimates worked for the last time in 2013, based on estimates that an adult consumes up to 186,45 euros per month.
The amounts of social aid are still several times lower than the costs of survival and the amount of average wage cannot provide for minimal costs of living for a family of four. In Montenegro, the average wages without taxes and contributions amounts to 502 euro, the value of the minimum consumer basket for a family of four is superficially and very restrictively estimated at 807 euro (December 2015), while social aid – material benefit for a family of four amounts to just 108 euro, and therefore does not ensure bare survival, let alone material security in accordance with the Constitution.
Montenegro has not done anything to fulfill recommendations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from December 2014 in order to increase the amount of social benefits and provide an adequate standard of living for the socially vulnerable people, especially the unemployed, the elderly and persons with disabilities, to establish shelters for the homeless and properly solve the problem of people living in a psychiatric hospital in Kotor because they have nowhere else to go.
Inappropriate spending of funds from the budget continued this year as well. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare in just over a year (up to 22 October 2015) transferred almost one million euros to the Montenegrin Tourist Organization and for the purposes of resolving housing issues for their employees, and then the Ministry of Education followed suit and in April 2016 donated 800,000 euros to Budućnost sport club. Out of 36 million euros expected to be available for rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities and hence reduce poverty of that population, only less than 2 million was spent for the purpose.
HRA supports the proposal of the Food Bank that the Government should adopt the Strategy for Combating Poverty and urges for immediate implementation of recommendations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.