Report on IDPs presented to Parliament
By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, October 5
Public Defender Giorgi Tugushi delivered a special report on the conditions of IDPs in Georgia at the joint session of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee and the Temporary Commission on Territorial Integrity Issues in Parliament on October 4. Tugushi’s 89-page critical report has been the result of six months work of the ombudsman’s office and aims to improve the living conditions and human rights of internally displaced people. According to information released by Tugushi thousands of IDPs still remain homeless. Around 70 recommendations to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia both criticised and praised the activities towards the rights of IDPs during the past years.
The Public Defender’s recommendations were a subject of controversy between the majority and minority representatives. Independent MP Dimitri Lortkipanidze was especially critical of the governmental group. Accusing his colleagues of not having read the final part of the Public Defender’s report, Lortkipanidze was concerned that IDPs live in terrible conditions. Lortkipanidze wondered how satisfactory the Government's reaction has been on IDP issues when billions of dollars are being sent to Georgia from different countries exactly for this purpose.
The chairman of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee Gia Arsenishvili stressed that the Committee members had already met the representatives of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees and said that some of the problems have been somehow solved. “Further discussions will show us which issues we still need to focus on,” Arsenishvili told the media.
Tamar Martiashvili Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees introduced the illustrated material reflecting the activities the Ministry has done for IDPs to the MPs. Shota Malashkhia, the Chairman of the Temporary Commission on Territorial Integrity Issues then emphasised that of the approximate 54 million IDPs in the world, the Georgian families have the best conditions.
“The international convention about IDP rights doesn’t only consider the shelter of those people but also ensures their social integrity by helping to employ them in different fields. Certainly some issues in Georgia especially for small groups of IDPs have been solved and these look more like a PR campaign but still nothing is being done for their social integrity. Moreover, those families which have managed to find jobs have been thrown away and left in despair,” Analyst on IDP issues Malkhaz Chemia told The Messenger.