Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Completes Concluding Comments for Serbia and Montenegro
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:40 AM

On 2 and 3 May 2005, Serbia and Montenegro presented its initial report on the implementation of the International Covenent on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The concluding observations on the report were adopted by the Committee on 13 May 2005. In the concluding comments, the Committee noted the lack of representation of women in parliament, as well as the absence of a gender equality law. The comments indicated concern for the high incidence of domestic violence, reportedly due to the psychological effects of high unemployment, as well as an increase in trafficking in women for sexual exploitation and forced labor.

The Committee recommended the establishment of an office for gender equality. To combat trafficking, the Committee encouraged Serbia and Montenegro to take steps to enforce the recently enacted legislation by prosecuting those who violate the law. They are urged to provide training for public officials and protection and support for victims. A National Action Plan on trafficking should be adopted.

The physical and sexual violence experienced by women as a result of armed conflict also needs to be addressed. The committee requested information about the number of victims of such violence and encouraged the state party to provide information about mental health services and offer appropriate counselling services.

Compiled from: "Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Serbia and Montenegro." United Nations Economic and Social Council, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,  E/C.12/1/Add.108. 13 May 2005