United Nations


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Distr.: General

25 August 2017

Original: English

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Seven teenth session

Summary record of the 341st meeting

HeldatthePalaisdesNations,Geneva,on Friday, 18 August 2017, at 10 a.m.



Consideration of reports submitted by parties to the Convention under article 35 (continued)

Initial report of Montenegro (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m.

Consideration of reports submitted by parties to the Convention under article 35 (continued)

Initial report of Montenegro (continued) (CRPD/C/MNE/1; CRPD/C/MNE/Q/1 and Add.1)

1.At the invitation of the Chair, the delegation of Montenegro took places at the Committee table.

Articles 11-20 (continued)

2.Ms. Begović (Montenegro), replying to questions raised by Committee members at the previous meeting, said that the Government was working to improve both the accessibility and the quality of information available on its websites. In consultation with organizations representing persons with disabilities, it had produced guidelines for civil servants on developing materials that were fully in line with international standards and took account of the needs of persons with visual or hearing impairments. The main government web portal and the subportals of the different administrative bodies included audio and video content and were being modified to make it possible to alter screen contrast and font size, and it was recommended that documents for downloading should be made available in Daisy format as well as pdf and Word. The work was already funded and completion was planned by the end of 2017. Website developers were required under article 50 of the Public Procurement Act to take accessibility for persons with disabilities into account in their work, and administrators and other State employees responsible for government websites were to receive training to raise their awareness of the issue.

3.Ms. Đurić (Montenegro) said that the funds produced by the revenue from gambles of chance were allocated by six subcommissions, each with three members, one of whom represented the non-governmental sector. There had been strong consensus among them on the list of programmes and projects approved for 2017. The Komanski most institution was the only place in the country with accommodation for adults with intellectual disabilities. It currently had 110 residents - 61 men and 49 women - and the average length of stay was 18 years. Individuals were admitted there only as a last resort and with a reasoned referral from the guardianship authorities; a person could not be placed there on the simple request of a family member. When an admission was agreed to, an individual care plan was drawn up on the basis of full medical documentation and personal information, with the person’s strengths as well as the risks recognized so that the stay could be made as beneficial as possible. Proper legal provision was made to protect property and income, and support was given to help monitor the person’s spending. There was a special admission path for persons admitted on an urgent basis, for instance, on the death of their carer. The institution had 75 employees, of whom 12 were professional staff, including medical doctors. Other medical specialists — such as neuropsychiatrists and dentists — attended the residents when required but were not full-time staff. Occupational therapy and other activities, including visits to cultural and sporting events outside the institution, were organized and residents were encouraged to attend to their daily needs and hygiene. The residents also enjoyed holidays at centres in the mountains in winter and at the coast in the summer.

4.Staff held monthly meetings with case workers from the corresponding social work centre to discuss individual cases and revise care plans if necessary. The introduction of an electronic social card had made it easier for case workers to follow the situation of each resident on a daily basis. The institution itself was inspected regularly, including by coalitions of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Office of the Ombudsman. Many of the resultant comments had been acted upon and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment no longer had any criticism of Komanski most. There had been one recent case, in March 2017, of a resident being found to have a fractured foot and bruising below one eye. The staff member who had been on duty on the night in question had been suspended immediately and, when the investigation had found him to be guilty, had been dismissed and charged with a criminal offence. The Social and Child Protection Act prohibited any punishment of individuals in a care setting, but staff needed to be properly trained. Training had been given recently to all employees of the institution, both professional and support staff, in how to communicate with persons with severe intellectual disabilities. The expert providing the training had spent an extended period there to give all the employees the opportunity to ask any questions they wanted to.

5.Ms. Medojević (Montenegro) said that equal recognition before the law was a fundamental principle guaranteed in the Constitution. There was a clear procedure to be followed before a person could be deprived fully or partially of legal capacity. The professional in charge held an interview during which the process was explained and information was given on other forms of guardianship. Evidence and documentation had to be provided to show that the individual was unable to make use of his or her rights or meet normal obligations. Where deprivation of legal capacity was agreed to, the social welfare centre responsible would draw up an individual plan in collaboration with a representative of the guardianship authority and the individual concerned. The appointed guardian — who could not also be the case manager — was required to submit regular, and at least annual, reports. Between 31 December 2016 and 31 March 2017, the courts had decided on full deprivation of legal capacity in 32 cases and partial deprivation in 3, while 3 cases had been withdrawn and 2 were pending. Persons with disabilities were entitled to free legal aid and if a person who was hard of hearing was not able to communicate with the court in writing or otherwise, an interpreter would be provided. As concerned access to employment, there was no ban on persons with disabilities becoming judges or notaries, the only criterion for such positions being the necessary qualifications. In respect of automated teller machines, while the machines themselves were accessible, the services offered had not been adapted to cater for persons with disabilities. An appropriate solution would be sought. Article 67 of the Family Act provided for free expression of opinion for children on all matters concerning them and the courts had to provide the proper conditions for them to do so. Measures to be taken in humanitarian emergency situations fell under the remit of the Ministry of the Interior; in such situations, the necessary information was provided through the public media with the use of sign language and subtitles.

6.Ms. Klikovac (Montenegro) said that Montenegro had capacity at all levels of the health-care system to address psychiatric disorders and help persons affected live with dignity. The 18 health-care centres and numerous health-care facilities in the country offered primary care and the country’s seven general hospitals each had a psychiatric department. There was also a renowned psychiatric clinic, with 20 beds, which formed part of the university medical faculty in Podgorica. It had recently been renovated, but there were plans to replace it with a new, purpose-built clinic. Lastly, the specialized psychiatric hospital in Dobrota had 240 beds to care for the most severe cases; it was currently functioning at 100 per cent of capacity and even accepted individuals with less severe symptoms over the weekend, when some of its weekday patients were allowed to go home.

7.One of the problems was that up to 70 persons convicted of criminal offences who had psychiatric conditions were serving their sentences in the Dobrota hospital rather than in the nearby prison, which was not equipped to deal with such prisoners; it currently had only an infirmary, although construction on a general hospital with a psychiatric unit was to begin in the coming months. In general, the length of stay in psychiatric hospitals or units depended on the severity of an individual’s condition. In less severe cases, a stay might range between 3 and 15 days until a final diagnosis had been made and certain therapies had been administered, after which the patient would continue treatment at home, with daily consultations and home visits. However, approximately 100 patients stayed for longer periods. In much more severe cases, particularly if patients showed signs of aggression or were a risk to themselves or others, involuntary stays could last for several years.

8.In the field of biomedicine, blood tests could not be carried out without the permission of the Minister for Health and the certified, signed consent of the patient seeking a diagnosis.

9.Mr. Kuševija (Montenegro) said that psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers were employed in the country’s seven centres for mental health, working in accordance with the mental health strategy. Individual plans were drawn up for patients to support them in moving back to their communities, where they would be provided with adequate care and services. Such services were currently being developed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, based on a mapping of needs at the local level, and there were plans for the social inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities. Programmes were also being developed to provide home care for older persons, and 14 municipalities in the northern region had been supported through such programmes. Community day-care centres and services were also being developed for older persons so as to support their families and avoid institutionalization.

10.When it came to budgeting for persons with disabilities, in 2016 the Government had allocated some €3.3 million to fund the personal disability allowance, €12 million to cover the personal care and assistance allowance and €4.5 million in compensation to guardians or carers, as well funding other allowances and the salaries of personnel in State institutions. The children’s allowance for children with disabilities had been increased by 20 per cent. Personal assistance services were provided for in the Social and Child Protection Act.

11.Mr. Moračanin (Montenegro) said that the Employment Agency provided personal assistance services based on an assessment of the beneficiaries’ needs. The Agency had organized a competition and hired 844 personal assistants to provide support for basic everyday tasks for persons with disabilities, with priority given to persons who had difficulty finding a job because of their disability. The Government had spent €87,000 in 2016 and €65,000 in the first part of 2017 on subsidizing personal assistance services.

12.Mr. Kuševija (Montenegro) said that, in 2017, approximately 90 children — mostly children with disabilities who had not been chosen for foreign adoption — were housed in the municipal children’s homes, compared to 187 previously. In cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), work was under way on the development of small group homes so as to ensure that children could remain in their communities. A transitional group home had been established in the northern region of Montenegro to accommodate young adults once they could no longer stay in children’s homes. Further community-based services would continue to be developed to promote independent living. Day-care centres for children with disabilities were being established in accordance with European Union guidelines to ensure that parents could continue to work. In the past, such children had been stigmatized and remained in their homes, but successful awareness-raising campaigns had been conducted to change attitudes in that respect. The services provided were social in nature rather than educational. Such day-care services were not available in every town in the country, but the objective was to ensure that they were available to all children who needed them.

13.Ms. Milić (Montenegro) said that some of the former special education schools had been transformed into resource centres, one of which was focused on providing resources for children with visual impairments. The staff of the centre had in recent years provided training in all of the country’s kindergartens for approximately 360 educators, psychologists and representatives of NGOs and associations of parents of children with disabilities, focusing on early intervention, Braille and pre-reading skills. Training sessions on the use of Braille had been organized in eight elementary schools for 108 participants. The resource centre also had a mobile unit that visited schools attended by children with disabilities to devise individual educational programmes for students. Textbooks were made available in Braille, as well, and students who needed them were provided with two copies — one to keep at home and one to keep at school — bearing in mind the weight of books in Braille. In cooperation with UNICEF, work had begun on translating textbooks into easy-to-read format for children with intellectual disabilities and conditions such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. The relevant training had been provided to 109 teachers, including teachers of the Montenegrin language, in 50 schools.

14.Mr. Milošević (Montenegro) said that, when it came to the accessibility of air and maritime transport, his country applied the relevant international conventions to which it was a party and had fully harmonized its system. Some challenges remained with respect to rail transport, as older trains could not be brought in line with international accessibility standards. However, accessibility criteria were taken into account when purchasing new trains and the three purchased in recent years were all fully accessible. New rail transport regulations would be drawn up by 2019 and persons with disabilities would be consulted during the drafting process. Road transport posed the most complex challenge to accessibility, as services were provided by the private sector. However, efforts were made to raise awareness and ensure that service providers fulfilled accessibility standards. For example, under a new law on road transport, bus stations that did not meet accessibility standards would not be issued with an operating licence. Progress had also been made with respect to transport by taxi; local governments determined the minimum number of taxis that needed to be made accessible to persons with disabilities. At the municipal level, public transport services were put out to public tender and local governments were encouraged to make compliance with accessibility standards one of the criteria for selection. Two local governments had already done so.

15.Ms. Medojević (Montenegro) said that the Government provided financial support for the publication and distribution of magazines in accessible format for persons with visual impairments. The Library for the Blind also had a postal service that delivered books in audio or Braille formats to persons with visual impairments. When it came to the physical accessibility of buildings, none of the buildings of the Ministry of Justice were technically fully adapted to persons with disabilities, although ground-floor offices were accessible. By law, witnesses who could not appear in court because of a disability had the possibility of being heard in their home. The short-sentence prison was fully accessible to wheelchair users, with the exception of the sanitary facilities. The Supreme Court was accessible to persons with disabilities. As for the buildings of the Ministry of the Interior, ramps had been installed in police stations and rooms had been specially adapted for the detention of persons with disabilities.

Articles 21-33

16.Mr. Langvad, said that he wished to ask some follow-up questions relating to article 9 on accessibility. Since 2001, European Union member States had had a mandatory obligation to provide accessible buses in municipalities. However, it seemed that in Montenegro the Government was negotiating with the private sector in asking them to meet that commitment: was there no mandatory legislation providing for accessible buses in cities? He wished to know how the Government measured the standard of living, income and disability-related expenses for persons with disabilities and their families who did not receive State support. He would be interested to know how persons with disabilities were being involved in international cooperation with other countries in the region and with European Union member States. Lastly, the delegation should indicate whether the State party had a strategic plan for the full incorporation of the Convention into national legislation and regulations and, if so, what kind of indicators would be used to measure progress in that regard.

17.Mr. Martin said that he would like to know whether persons with intellectual disabilities in Montenegro had the right to vote and to marry and, if not, why not. He wondered whether there were any plans to make information available in easy-to-read format for persons with intellectual disabilities, including non-nationals who did not speak the Montenegrin language. The delegation should clarify whether forced sterilization was still permitted and, if so, explain the justification for the practice. It might also describe how persons with disabilities participated in the media.

18.Mr. Ishikawa, following up on his question on article 5, said that, while he acknowledged the Government’s efforts to prevent discrimination, the Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act, the Act was not fully in line with the Convention. The delegation should confirm whether the denial of reasonable accommodation was considered a form of discrimination under the Act. He also wished to know whether blind students could take the exams for admission to higher education in Braille and whether sign language interpreters and note-takers were provided for students who were deaf or hard of hearing.

19.Mr. Buntan said that he would welcome clarification concerning whether any provision of the Public Procurement Act required accessibility. According to reports, such a provision had existed since 2011 but had been repealed in July 2017. He asked what the legal status of sign language, Braille, easy-to-read and other accessible formats was in the State party. Information from civil society, especially organizations of persons with disabilities, indicated that most persons with disabilities did not progress beyond secondary education. Were there any well-established support systems in place for students with disabilities in tertiary education? The delegation had repeatedly referred to the role played by NGOs, but the Convention specifically stated that organizations of persons with disabilities should be consulted and actively involved in relevant legislative, policy and decision-making processes. He asked whether the State party had specific legal requirements in that regard and whether financial, technical or other steps were systematically taken to enable persons with disabilities, through their representative organizations, to participate in such processes.

20.Mr. Chaker said that he would like information on the employment rate of persons with disabilities in the public and private sectors and on the legal protection for their labour rights, including protection against dismissal on the grounds of disability.

21.Mr. Rukhledev said that he would welcome clarification concerning the extent to which education for persons who were hard of hearing involved the use of sign language. He asked whether universities in the State party had lecturers trained in sign language and in working with young people with hearing disabilities. Were such staff able to improve their qualifications, including in the use of modern assistive technologies? He also asked how many students with hearing impairment were enrolled in secondary and tertiary vocational education programmes, whether sign language interpretation services were provided for such students and, if so, how they were funded.

22.He asked whether persons with disabilities or their organizations participated in the political and social life of the State party, whether polling stations and political information were accessible, whether televised political debates were signed, and whether any members of parliament had disabilities. He also wished to know about the accessibility of sporting facilities, the existence of State programmes for adapted sports and the sports regularly practised by persons with disabilities. Lastly, he wondered what measures the State party took to encourage persons with disabilities to develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential.

23.Mr. Basharu asked whether blind people had access to texts in Braille, whether they were trained in its use and whether sufficient teachers were available. He wished to know what proportion of time was given over in the media to providing accessible information, such as programmes with signing and how far health care provision was accessible. In addition to making polling stations accessible, he wondered what other measures were taken to enable persons with disabilities, particularly hearing impairments and intellectual or psychosocial disabilities, to participate in the electoral process before, during and after elections. He would also be grateful for clarification concerning the designation of the State party’s focal points for implementation of the Convention, its independent monitoring mechanisms and the role of organizations for persons with disabilities. In that connection, he asked what financial resources were available for such focal points and independent monitoring mechanisms.

24.M r. Al Saif said that he would welcome information on fines levied under article 29 of the Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act. He also asked whether a comprehensive, accessible database on persons with disabilities was available.

25.Mr. Ruskus asked whether legislation provided for specific support for persons with disabilities to exercise parental rights, including through adoption and fostering. With regard to education, he asked how the State party was monitoring the inclusive education strategy introduced in 2008, how successful it had been in terms of enrolment and performance of students with disabilities, how many such students were still in segregated education and how reasonable accommodation was made in mainstream schools. Given that rehabilitation was apparently still being provided on the basis of predetermined criteria, he asked what steps were being taken to move to a model based on individual needs. Lastly, he asked how athletes with disabilities were supported to participate on an equal basis with others at municipal and higher levels and how they were rewarded for their achievements.

26.Mr. Tatić asked what deadlines had been set for the removal of barriers at bus stations and what percentage of intercity buses and buses in major cities were accessible; what budget would be allocated to improving the accessibility of websites and whether any deadlines were planned for making publicly managed websites accessible; and whether hard-of-hearing persons were permitted to refuse to make initial statements in judicial proceedings in written form and use the services of a sign language interpreter instead. If not, were there plans to change the relevant procedural legislation? He would also welcome information on the accessibility of tourist and cultural venues in the State party. He wondered whether hotels advertising themselves as accessible were monitored to ensure compliance and whether organizations of persons with disabilities were involved in the process.

27.Mr. Parra Dussan, highlighting the challenge of achieving fully inclusive education, asked how long the Government envisaged that transition period would be.

28.Mr. Kim Hyung Shik asked to what extent the State party had been successful in implementing its by-laws and ordinances to promote the employment of persons with disabilities. In his view, the special legal protection preventing persons with disabilities from being reassigned to duties away from their place of residence in fact violated the Convention by restricting freedom of choice and he enquired what justification the State party had for such a provision. He asked what progress had been made in ensuring respect for the principle of equal pay for work of equal value; he would welcome data in that regard. He also asked for figures to indicate whether special conditions and quotas for the employment of persons with disabilities were achieving the desired objective and what penalties were imposed on employers who failed to abide by the rules.

29.Article 32 of the Convention stressed the importance of partnership with international and regional organizations, in particular organizations of persons with disabilities. He therefore wondered whether, in the State party, the latter were directly involved in the process of international cooperation. How was international cooperation used as an instrument for achieving objectives such as the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Target 10.2?

30.Mr. Kabue asked whether the Government planned to ratify and apply the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. He was surprised that the Ministry of Justice had professed to be unaware of the fact that a different ministry had resolved the issue of marriage by those under guardianship by removing the relevant prohibition and he would be grateful for clarification. Drawing attention to the statement made in paragraph 117 of the State party’s initial report to the effect that education for persons with disabilities was oriented towards vocational training, he asked whether support was available if students with disabilities wished to progress further. Concerning discrimination in employment, he asked whether anyone had been prosecuted for such offences and what the outcome had been. He would welcome information on the operation of the fund for employment creation financed by contributions levied from employers that did not meet quotas for employing persons with disabilities and he would be interested to learn how the fund created employment. Lastly, he asked what criteria were used to determine whether persons with disabilities were provided with housing by the State and whether it was possible to live adequately on the disability allowance of €111 per month.

31.The Chair said that she had some follow-up questions relating to articles 10, 14, 15 and 19. Since institutionalization seemed to present the greatest challenge to implementing the Convention in the State party, she asked whether any specific procedures existed for dealing with allegations of abuse in hospitals, especially if a death occurred. There had been reports of persons with disabilities dying of suffocation in hospital and she wondered whether autopsies were compulsory when an institutionalized person with a disability died. In view of the fact that the use of chemical and physical restraints might amount to torture or ill-treatment, she asked what steps were being taken under the State party’s national mechanism for the prevention of torture to eliminate their use. With regard to the State party’s reported plans to build a hospital with a dedicated ward for convicted persons with disabilities, she highlighted the incompatibility of such a practice with the Convention, as explained in the Committee’s guidelines on article 14. Convicted persons with disabilities should enjoy all the same rights as other arrested or convicted persons. She also urged the State party to heed the Committee’s forthcoming general comment No. 5 on article 19: no matter how dangerous a person was perceived to be, institutionalization per se was not in line with the Convention. Investment in deinstitutionalization was the best means of preventing further human rights violations.

32.Turning to the issue of domestic violence, she enquired what the mandate was of the multidisciplinary teams operating within the State party, how they provided support to women and children, in particular those with disabilities, and what measures the State party took to protect women and children with disabilities from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse. Was the helpline mentioned accessible to all, including persons who were hard of hearing, and if not how did the State party intend to make it so? She also wished to know whether medical services, including gynaecological examination facilities, were accessible to women with disabilities.

33.She asked whether the State party planned to incorporate the questions formulated by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics into its household census. Lastly, she invited the State party to avail itself of the technical cooperation offered by the Committee.

34.Mr. Lovaszy (Country Rapporteur) said that he would welcome information about the reported closure of the commission responsible for allocating lottery funding. Referring to article 21 of the Convention, he asked whether any specific legal obligations were in place to increase the provision of subtitling and captioning in public and private media. With regard to article 24, he enquired how matters stood with regard to adapting educational institutions to make them accessible and how many institutions had made such adaptations. He would like to hear more about the implementation of the State party’s communication strategy, together with the relevant figures. On article 27, he asked what experts other than physicians were consulted when persons with disabilities were examined in initial proceedings and what legal remedies were available in respect of second-level decisions. He also asked what had been the effect of removing the upper limit on financial subsidies for employees with disabilities and what the unemployment rate was among persons with disabilities. Lastly, with regard to article 33, he asked how the team appointed to evaluate the implementation of the State party’s disability strategy would fulfil its obligations under the Convention and whether it could be considered part of one or more of the independent bodies and mechanisms referred to therein.

The meeting was suspended at noon and resumed at 12.20 p.m.

35.Mr. Milošević (Montenegro) said that the Public Procurement Act legislation still included a requirement on accessibility. All contractors were obliged to meet technical requirements, which must be included in tenders. That provision also applied to municipal buses. Regulations allowed for existing buses to be adapted, where possible, for example by installing platforms. New transport legislation had been introduced; implementing legislation would follow. It was envisaged that the deadline for removal of barriers from bus stations would be relatively short and such removal would be compulsory. Data on the percentage of buses that were accessible could be provided in due course; however, the number remained low. There were plans to introduce training modules for bus drivers, which would include the topic of accessibility.

36.Ms. Popović (Montenegro) said that, under the Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act, discrimination in the field of public transport, by legal entities, representatives of legal entities or entrepreneurs, was punishable by fines ranging from €500 to €20,000. The obligation to provide reasonable accommodation was covered by both the first and second paragraphs of article 18 of that law.

37.As outlined in paragraph 11 of her country’s replies to the list of issues (CRPD/C/MNE/Q/1/Add.1), efforts were being made to bring national legislation into line with the Convention. The Ministry of Human and Minority Rights had established a commission, composed of representatives of civil society and various governmental departments, to monitor the implementation of the Strategy for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities against Discrimination and Promotion of Equality for the years 2017 to 2021, using indicators that had been developed.

38.Discrimination against persons with disabilities in the field of employment was also punishable by fines. On average, the Office of the Ombudsman received six complaints of discrimination against persons with disabilities each year. In 2016, seven cases of discrimination of that kind had been brought before the civil courts; none had been brought before the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office or the High Misdemeanour Court. Six cases were currently pending in 2017.

39.As outlined in paragraphs 145 to 151 of the replies to the list of issues, steps had been taken to enable persons with disabilities to participate fully in political life. Their right to do so was protected by a comprehensive legislative framework, which included the Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act. A number of campaigns and conferences on that issue would be organized in the coming year.

40.The National Tourism Organization had organized training in the preparation of travel plans for persons with disabilities. The Government had supported many initiatives to adapt tourism facilities to accommodate persons with disabilities. Hotels were being brought into line with the accessibility standards established by law. A number of tourism-related projects, including the development of an Android application for persons with disabilities, had been implemented by NGOs, using funding allocated under the Games of Chance (Lottery Fund) Act.

41.Ms. Milić (Montenegro) said that her country was heavily involved in the Special Olympics Unified Sports programme. There were currently seven associations working in the field of unified sports. Forty-five training sessions for unified sports trainers were organized each year. The Government had launched a unified sports initiative in five kindergartens, supplying the necessary equipment and providing training for over 100 teachers; the initiative had benefited more than 150 children so far.

42.A number of measures had been taken to increase the accessibility of schools and education, including the provision of special textbooks for children with disabilities. The Government hoped to implement further improvements using funding provided by the European Union in the framework of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.

43.Higher education was free for all students, including students with disabilities. Under the Higher Education Act, higher education establishments were required to adapt their teaching methods and facilities to the needs of persons with disabilities, for example by providing sign language interpreting during lectures. In most cases, university entrance was granted on the basis of secondary school examination results, as opposed to an entrance examination. Students with visual impairments had access to examination papers in Braille and could be accompanied by an assistant during examinations.

44.There were 4,667 children with disabilities; around 80 of those children had been referred to resource centres in Podgorica and Kotor. Children were referred to resource centres only if it was in their best interests; the Government aimed to continue decreasing the number of referrals. Individual development plans were drawn up for all children with disabilities, based on their needs and preferences, to support them throughout their studies and to prepare them for the world of work. The authorities monitored the drafting and implementation of those plans, taking into account the Inclusion Index. Although hard-of-hearing children were primarily catered for by the resource centre in Kotor, a total of 75 such children attended mainstream schools.

45.Mr. Moračanin (Montenegro) said that the draft rulebook on the methodology and financing of special organizations had not yet been approved by the Secretariat for Legislation and would be revised. Steps had been taken to establish a separate unit within the Employment Agency for the implementation of policies relating to the employment of persons with disabilities, as well as a fund financed by contributions from employers, as outlined in paragraphs 132 and 133 of the replies to the list of issues. The budget available for the training and employment of persons with disabilities had increased significantly in recent years, from €135,000 in 2009 to €6 million in 2017.

46.In 2015, the State auditors had published a report and issued recommendations on the use of funds in that area. On the basis of those recommendations, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare would decide whether there should be a separate budget for professional rehabilitation and the employment of persons with disabilities, within the budget of the Employment Agency.

47.Ms. Begović (Montenegro) said that the government guidelines for the preparation of documents contained a section on making information accessible to persons with intellectual disabilities. Government documents could be published in the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets and in minority languages, such as Albanian. Efforts were under way to ensure that all 55 websites of State institutions were compatible with screen readers by mid-2018. A total of €40,000 had been set aside for that purpose in 2017. There were also plans to adapt the websites of local authorities.

48.Article 50 of the Public Procurement Act, relating to accessibility, remained in force. Organizations of persons with disabilities had recently been granted greater recognition and funding through amendments to various pieces of legislation.

49.Ms. Medojević (Montenegro) said that the concerns raised regarding the provision of sign language interpreting in judicial proceedings would be taken into account when the relevant legislation was amended in 2018. The Family Act did not prevent all persons with disabilities from entering into marriage, only persons with intellectual disabilities who were deemed unable to give their consent. The State provided funding for the development of radio and television programmes that were accessible to persons with visual or hearing impairments and media service providers were encouraged to ensure that their services were accessible to such persons.

50.Mr. Kuševija (Montenegro) said that the Government was considering ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled in the context of its application to accede to the European Union.

51.In addition to the personal disability allowance, several other types of financial support were available for persons with disabilities and their families, including an allowance for care and assistance and compensation for parents and guardians; in combination, those allowances could amount to as much as €570 per month. The multidisciplinary teams established under the Protection from Domestic Violence Act included representatives of NGOs; there was no limit on the duration of their mandate.

52.He was very grateful to the Committee for engaging in a constructive dialogue with the delegation. His Government was willing to take all necessary steps to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, based on the Committee’s recommendations.

53.Mr. Lovászy said that, although the State party had made significant progress, much work remained to be done. The dialogue had revealed some misunderstandings regarding the human rights approach to disability. He hoped that the Government would take steps to execute the Committee’s recommendations, in close consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities, with a focus on implementation at the local level, and to make all documents relating to the reporting process, including the Committee’s concluding observations, available to the general public.

The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.