UNHCR’s presence in Montenegro was established in 1992. Ever since then, UNHCR has contributed more than 60 million USD in supporting the Government of Montenegro (GoM) and has provided assistance to some 140,000 refugees and internally displaced persons.
Today, UNHCR Montenegro supports the GoM in finding durable solutions for refugees from the former Yugoslavia, namely those displaced by the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia between 1992 and 1995, as well as to those who fled to Montenegro from Kosovo in 1998-99. For them, durable solutions mean either integration into Montenegrin society or voluntary return to their home country. UNHCR also assists the GoM in strengthening Montenegro’s national asylum system, and in reducing and preventing the incidence of statelessness.
Populations of concern
The three populations of primary concern to UNHCR include refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons.
Refugees from the former Yugoslavia
UNHCR is mandated to lead international action to protect refugees and safeguard their rights and well-being. As of 30 June 2015, it is estimated that more than 6,000 refugees from the former Yugoslavia in Montenegro are still seeking durable solutions. These are refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, as well as people displaced by the Kosovo conflict, many of whom are Roma residing in two camps in Konik on the outskirts of the capital city of Podgorica. UNHCR currently provides support to the GoM in implementing its Strategy for Durable Solutions of Issues regarding Displaced and Internally Displaced Persons in Montenegro, with Special Emphasis on the Konik Area, which has given an opportunity to refugees from the former Yugoslavia to apply for the legal status of foreigner with permanent residence, which is a prerequisite for their local integration and access to basic rights such as health care, legal employment and education.
UNHCR Representation in Montenegro assists refugees through legal assistance and social welfare programmes. In partnership with donors, housing assistance has been extended through the Regional Housing Programme (RHP), whose implementation is under way. Montenegro’s Country Housing Project aims to meet the housing needs of 6,063 refugees (1,177 refugee households) falling into the category of most vulnerable, especially those living in informal collective centres. The 27 million EUR project envisages the construction of 907 housing units, including apartments and prefabricated houses in Nikšić, Berane and Podgorica (Konik), as well as an elderly home in Pljevlja.
UN Eco House
Stanka Dragojevića bb
81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
Tel: +382 20 447 423
Fax: +382 20 447 435