Practice Relating to Rule 129. The Act of Displacement
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), “deportation or other unlawful transfer … of protected persons” in an international or non-international armed conflict is a crime.
Georgia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (2014) states:
Protection of the Population from Displacement
1. Each person living in Georgia shall be protected from forceful displacement.
2. The Government shall:
a) take all appropriate measures to avoid situations that may cause displacement;
c) minimize inevitable displacement and damages caused by it;
d) ensure that the displacement does not last longer than required in the given situation.
In 2012, in its fourth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Georgia stated:
During the reporting period, the Government of Georgia has been consistently continuing its policy aimed at ensuring full enjoyment of the rights provided in the Covenant for the entire State population. To this end, the obstacles of outstanding gravity were imposed by the war with the Russian Federation in August 2008 and subsequent occupation of two regions – Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia. From … early 2008, the security and human rights situation in the mentioned regions tangibly aggravated, which have gradually led to unbearable living conditions for the local ethnic Georgian population still remaining there, in spite of the foreign power-backed ethnic cleansing in early 1990s. … The human rights violations acquired an indiscriminate character during the war and resulted in the new wave of ethnic cleansing.
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. Serious facts of discriminations and human rights violations have been reported by numerous … reputable international organizations, committed predominantly against population of Georgian origin. … 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. Families who live in conflict zones are under constant pressure. They are forced to obtain Russian citizenship. If they refuse to comply they are threatened with punitive measures or expulsion.