Practice Relating to Rule 132. Return of Displaced Persons
Section A. Conditions for return
Georgia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (2014) states:
Article 5. Protection of the Population from Displacement
2. The Government shall:
d) ensure that the displacement does not last longer than required in the given situation.
Article 6. Definition of an IDP [internationally displaced person]
1. A citizen of Georgia or a stateless person with a status residing in Georgia shall be considered as an IDP, if he/she was forced to leave his/her permanent place of residence because of threat to his/her or his/her family member’s life, health or freedom caused by the occupation of the territory by a foreign state, aggression, armed conflict, mass violence and/or massive human rights violations and/or he/she cannot return to his/her permanent place of residence due to the above mentioned reasons.
Article 16. Social Protection of an IDP
1. The Ministry [of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia], within its mandate, together with other state bodies shall support an IDP to exercise his/her rights. In particular, they shall
g) help IDPs to return to their places of permanent residence after elimination of circumstances as referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 6.
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia supported the right of refugees and displaced persons to return in safety and emphasized that “nothing can change [its] resolve to achieve the unconditional and timely return of the refugees to their homes”.
In 2014, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Georgia stated:
Due to Russia’s occupation of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and Abkhazia[,] Georgia has been prevented from the opportunity to ensure protection of human rights, including children’s rights in th[ose] parts of the country. … As a result of ethnic cleansing[,] hundreds of thousands of IDPs [internally displaced persons], predominantly of Georgian origin, are unable to return to their homes due to their ethnic belonging.