Response of Georgian NGOs over the Statements on the Eviction of IDPs

3 Feb, 2011

An Open Letter from group of NGOs in response to the statements made by the “Amnesty International” and Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia regarding the eviction of IDPs in January 2011

February 2, 2011

On January 31 the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia expressed its concern regarding the statement made by the “Amnesty International” in relation to the eviction of IDPs in Tbilisi on January 20-24 and claimed that the international organization’s assessment  was “biased, subjective and unfair”. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia responded to the statement of the “Amnesty International” on the same day by highlighting the inaccuracies revealed in the report and expressed its willingness to assist the organization in getting the correct information.

We would like to emphasize that the “Amnesty International” was not the only organization that made statements regarding the mistakes and violations of the IDPs’ rights by the Georgian Authorities. The Georgian NGOs that were observing the eviction process agree with the facts described in the Amnesty International report and according to these facts, “the authorities failed to give adequate prior notice to those evicted, to ensure that all those eligible were provided with financial assistance prior to their removal, and to give full and unhindered access to monitors. Not all the alternative housing offered to those evicted by the government fully meets the adequate housing standards”.

We think that the statement made by the Public Defender on the same topic is also of great importance: “Not a single evicted IDP can be left without a dwelling/refuge or, in case of persons displaced as a result of the 2008 conflict, without, a compensation offered for the cottage. All alternatives offered to IDPs must be adequate. All the requirements and procedures determined by the law and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), as well as the interests of each IDP, must be strictly observed”. The public defender noted that Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia should have notified the IDPs on the exact dates of eviction since the eviction process was postponed for several times.

We, as the representatives of Georgian non-governmental organizations participating in the monitoring of the eviction process and providing legal assistance to the IDPs, express our solidarity with the “Amnesty International” and Public Defender and urge the government to take all the necessary measures to ensure:

  • Giving adequate prior notice informing the individuals of the exact date of eviction;
  • Protecting the honor, dignity and ownership rights of IDPs during the eviction, eradicating the facts of humiliation and adequately responding to the cases related to violation of IDP’s rights;
  • Providing the relevant IDPs with timely compensation;
  • Providing the IDPs with the adequate housing located in the territory that is suitable for self-employment or offers employment opportunities;
  • Access to schools, kindergartens, transport, medical services and other social services on the territory of resettlement.
  • Publicly spreading the information on possible eviction and giving the international and local monitors full and unhindered access in observing the eviction process;
  • Implementing the eviction procedures so that the displaced persons are not rendered vulnerable to the violation of other human rights or interests during the eviction.

Members of the group of NGOs working on the eviction of IDPs:

Article 42 of Constitution
Association of Abkhazian Women “Sabinebi”
Caucasus Women Network
Coalition for IDPs Rights
Democracy and Welfare
Georgian Young Lawyers Association
Foundation “Taso”
Human Rights Priority
Human Rights Center
Initiative group of internally displaced mothers
International Center for Conflicts and Negotiations
Institute for Research Nationalism and Conflicts
Open Society Georgia Foundation
Organization of IDPs from Abkhazia “Help yourself”
Tskhinvali House

Contact person for press: Ana Toklikishvili, Public Relations Coordinator, Open Society Georgia Foundation; E-mail: ; Cell: +995 95 221 999; Facebook profile: Ana Toklikishvili; Skype: Anuka_Toklikishvili