Protecting the Rights of Self-Isolated Individuals, Protecting Human Rights and Supporting Vulnerable Groups, the Civic Alliance Story in Montenegro

Civic Alliance is a civil society organisation (CSO) seeking to make a real and effective contribution to the development of an active civil society in Montenegro, based on the values of democracy, human rights and rule of law. They focus on the protection of human rights, of minorities, refugees, asylum seekers, vulnerable groups, convicted persons and LGBT.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montenegro, Civic Alliance has adapted to new working conditions, shifting their focus of work online. They have undertaken several activities, focusing on the protection of human rights as one of their core values and providing support to vulnerable groups in society.

Among most important activities, the Civic Alliance submitted an Initiative to the Constitutional Court to challenge the constitutionality and legality of the decision to publish the list of self-isolated individuals. Despite all their efforts, the list became public.

“The crisis has shown that CSOs are more adaptable than state institutions and respond faster to crises. It is especially significant that even in times of crisis, CSOs are the watchdogs ready to defend principles and human rights. These are the key lessons we should keep in mind”, said Milan Radović, Civic Alliance Program Director.

The organization has also released a variety of analyses related to the Government’s decision to limit freedom of movement, freedom of speech and the rule of law during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Civic Alliance hosted the webinar “Crisis Communication and Human Rights in the Context of COVID-19″, emphasising the need to protect against the dissemination of fake news and to respect human rights. This was followed by a web-conference named “The Day After COVID-19” during which well-known personalities from Montenegro discussed the challenges the country will face in the post-pandemic period.

“We are still receiving gratitude from people who were victims of violations of the right to privacy, but also support from them for doing what no one else dared”, said Amina Murić CA Deputy Executive Director. 

Civic Alliance has also started implementing the project “Supporting vulnerable groups in time of crisis and public health emergencies“, financed by the Norwegian Embassy, in which frames they are distributing packages of food and sanitation items to disadvantaged categories. A public campaign on the value of solidarity and treatment within this group has also been launched. The assistance is to be provided to 2370 citizens.

Civil Alliance is supported by many donors, including the European Union, which is funding the project “No Impunity for the Past!” dealing with investigation and documentation of war crimes on the territory of Montenegro during the 1990s.