Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Georgia’s Law on Displaced Persons (1996), as amended to 2010, states:
The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories of Georgia [shall] support IDPs in the enjoyment of their rights at temporary dwelling spaces, together with the executive authorities and local self-government bodies, who:
e) Ensure the IDPs’ constitutional right to education and free education at public secondary schools at the expenses of the government.
The Law defines an IDP as:
a citizen of Georgia or a stateless person permanently residing in Georgia, who was forced to leave his place of permanent residency and seek asylum within the territory of Georgia due to a threat to his or his relatives’ life, health and freedom, as a result of an aggression by a foreign state, an internal conflict or massive violations of human rights.
Georgia’s Law on Displaced Persons (1996), as amended in 2011, states:
Article 1 – The Term IDP and [the] Prohibition of Discrimination
1. Internally displaced person from the occupied territory – IDP is a citizen of Georgia or stateless person permanently residing in Georgia, who was forced to leave his place of permanent residency and seek asylum within the territory of Georgia due to the threat to his life, health and freedom or life, health and freedom of his family members, as a result of aggression of a foreign state, internal conflict o[r] mass violation of human rights or [a]s a result of events determined by … paragraph 11 of article 2 of this Law.
… Article 2 – Rules of Recognition as IDP and Granting of … IDP Status
11. In case of marriage of [an] IDP[,] a person’s IDP status shall be retained. If both or one of the parents to a child is [an] IDP, a child may be granted IDP status based on consent of the parents.
Article 5.4 –Ensuring the [rights of] IDP[s] in the Temporary Residence
1. The Ministry supports the IDPs in [the] enjoyment of their rights in … temporary dwelling spaces together with the executive authorities and local self-government bodies, who:
c) Ensure the IDP’s constitutional right to education and free education at public secondary schools at the expense of the Government[.]
Georgia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (2014) states:
Article 6. Definition of an IDP
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.
2. An underage person is entitled to ... IDP status if one or both of the parents have and/or had IDP status, only based on the consent from [the] parent(s) or his/her other legal representative.
3. In case IDP status is not granted to an underage person in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article, IDP status will be granted based on personal application when the person reaches [the] age of majority.
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
c) ensure enjoyment of the constitutional right to education and state-funded general education as established by the legislation of Georgia.
In 2014, in its fourth periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Georgia stated:
II. Violation of the rights of the child in the Occupied Regions of Georgia …
6. Information below covers violations of the rights of the child in the occupied regions of Georgia in the two-year period of 2012–2013. However, many trends identified in the document date back to more than a decade, but have become particularly manifest after the Russian occupation of the Abkhazia and Tsk[h]invali regions in 2008. The Russian troops drawing barbed wire fences, digging trenches and erecting other physical barriers along the Administrative Boundary Lines (hereinafter ABL) near Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region became commonplace and intense throughout 2012. As a result, lives of residents in the occupied regions and those living in the vicinity, including children, have been adversely affected. … Violations of the rights of the child in the Occupied Regions have taken place in the fields of inter alia … education, and constitute a grave breach of the  Convention on the Rights of the Child. The matter of fact that the effective control over these Georgian territories is now exercised by the Russian military and the political officialdom, puts the responsibility over these violations on the shoulders of the Russian Federation as the subject of international law.
7. At the same time, the Government of Georgia has been pursuing the Engagement Strategy and Action Plan (2010), which provide for inter alia educational and healthcare opportunities for the residents of the occupied regions, including children.
Restrictions on the Right to Education on Ethnic Grounds
11. Restrictions on the children’s right to education are imposed in several forms, ranging from restrictions regarding documentation and choice of schools to violations of the rights of teachers, pupils and parents on ethnic grounds.
12. To begin with, the pupils of the Gali district holding Georgian birth certificates are deprived of their fundamental right to study in [their] native language and are treated as “foreigners” in occupied Abkhazia. …
Restriction of Education in Native Language; Illegal Detentions of Pupils and Teachers
23. In the schools of the Gali district, predominantly inhabited by ethnic Georgians, studies in or of the Georgian language is either totally prohibited or allowed for a limited period of time. The Georgian language is replaced by the teaching of the Russian language. Georgian teachers have no other way but to teach Georgian informally at their own personal risk and those teachers or pupils who are found to be “implicated” in teaching/learning Georgian (e.g. by carrying a Georgian textbook) are often subject to physical assault. As a result, pupils have to walk from the occupied region through unsafe routes to study in Georgian schools in the Zugdidi district kilometers away. In some cases, Georgian pupils have to go to nearby schools that happen to be on the occupied territory. However, pupils and teachers face increasing difficulties and are often detained when moving across the ABL or via the bypass routes between the occupied regions and the rest of Georgia to pursue studies/teaching.
IV. General Principles
47. 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. People of Georgian ethnicity, including children, have been deprived of fundamental rights, such as … [the] right to receive education in their “mother tongue”[.]
[footnote in original omitted]