17/10/2013 Press release on the International Day for Eradication of Poverty

16/10/2013 Initiative to pardon citizens of municipality Beranselo submitted to the President of Montenegro
23/10/2013 Media Self-Regulation Council accepted HRA complaint on the conduct of daily “Pobjeda”

17/10/2013 Press release on the International Day for Eradication of Poverty

On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Human Rights Action reminds that this year:

1) the rate of value added tax was increased from 17 to 19%, which led to higher prices and further jeopardized the situation of the poorest population groups of Montenegro;

2) the right to basic social aid (material benefit) of unemployed parents with work ability was limited to 9 months a year, i.e. shortened by 3 months, which further jeopardized their children, bearing in mind that the amount of child benefit for a child who is a beneficiary of social aid was increased by only 4 euros;

3) the amount for social aid is not aligned with economic indicators, but is many times lower than the amount required for survival: minimum consumer basket for August 2013 in Montenegro was 800.4 euros, of which 235.8 euros were necessary for a family of four to buy only food, while the amount of social material benefit for a family of four is half that amount – only 108 euros!

4) in especially difficult position are persons with disabilities, given the amount of personal disability benefit per month of 108.8 euros, and benefit for care and assistance of 63 euros, which is absolutely not enough to survive and provide monthly paid assistance;

5) although the homeless are defined in the law as socially vulnerable category who have the right to social protection, and although the State or local self-government may establish shelters, the homeless in Montenegro will welcome this winter with only one shelter in Pljevlja.

Again this year, the Constitutional Court has not ruled on the Request for review of constitutionality and legality of the Decision on the forms of social and child protection of the Capital City of Podgorica Parliament, which provides that the right to use the soup kitchen (charity kitchen) in Konik only pertains to citizens of Montenegro, contrary to international standards on the right of every person to be free from hunger, without discrimination, which was filed by the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro, thus supporting the HRA initiative filed to this court in August 2011, i.e. more than two years ago.

Human Rights Action has been urging for years to enhance the control and review the justification for granting the right to social aid on one hand, and to increase the benefits on the other hand, to allow those in need to survive with this government aid, as is the case in other countries.