Montenegro’s record on accession to relevant human rights instruments is good, although it has not acceded to the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and retains a reservation to the European Convention on Nationality. State agencies record some data on stateless people, but this is not digitalised nor publicly available and data on the population at risk of statelessness is limited. Montenegro introduced a statelessness determination procedure (SDP) in 2018, but this does not lead to a dedicated statelessness status. The SDP is not implemented consistently across the country and evidentiary requirements are not yet set in law. Applicants to the SDP have access to some rights while they await a decision, and some procedural safeguards are in place. Recognition of statelessness does not automatically lead to rights such as residence and the right to work.
There are gaps in safeguards to prevent the arbitrary detention of stateless people. Detainees do not have access to the SDP and are not granted rights upon release to prevent re-detention. There are some safeguards in law to prevent childhood statelessness, including in the case of foundlings, adopted children, children born abroad to Montenegrin parents, and children born on the territory to stateless parents or those of unknown nationality. Birth registration is automatic by law, but minoritized groups including Roma and Egyptians are disproportionately impacted by practical barriers to birth registration. Deprivation of nationality is permitted in law and practice, but there are safeguards to prevent statelessness.