Montenegro Lags in Giving Minorities State Jobs

24 Aug 15
Montenegro Lags in Giving Minorities State Jobs

Ethnic minorities in Montenegro remained under-represented in public sector employment, including the police and the judiciary, a new report by a ministry reveals.

Dusica Tomovic

The Montenegrin government’s building.

Ethnic Montenegrins comprise 45 per cent of the country’s citizens but hold just over 74 per cent of the jobs in the public administration, according to a new government study.

Ethnic Serbs make up 28 per cent of the population but have only 11 per cent of the jobs on the state payroll.

Ethnic Albanians who account for 5 per cent of the population occupy only 2.5 per cent of public-sector jobs.

Bosniaks, Roma, Croats and Muslims are smaller minorities – but also have even smaller shares of the jobs in the state administration.

The report admits that no Serbs are currently employed in the General Secretariat of the Government, or the Ministries of Science, Justice and Labour and Social Welfare. Thare are no Bosniaks in the Culture, Science and Foreign ministries.

The survey by the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, which BIRN has seen, was conducted in 141 bodies at state and local level. It aimed to find out whether minorities in Montenegro suffered discrimination when it comes to civil service employment.

The Ministry recalled that by law, members of minority communities should be proportionally represented in the public administration.

Montenegrin law on employment guarantees equality of all employees while the law on civil servants prohibits the denial of rights to, or privileging of, people on political, ethnic, racial or religious grounds.

Serbian and Albanian parties and organizations claim that public-sector jobs are still determined by ethnic and political criteria and that so-called open competitions are meaningless.

They also complain of the “forced assimilation” of Serbs and Albanians in terms of pressure to declare themselves ethnic Montenegrins in order to get jobs.

According the Minority Rights Group International 2015 report, minorities in Montenegro face economic exclusion as a result of difficulties in accessing public-sector jobs.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)