Georgia: UN refugee agency concerned over evictions of displaced persons

Report
from UN News Service
Published on 24 Aug 2010 View Original
The United Nations refugee agency has expressed concern about the eviction by police in Georgia, during the months of July and August, of hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from State-owned buildings in the capital, Tbilisi.

The eviction process, which has also been criticized by Georgia's Public Defender, has also triggered a series of protest rallies in Tbilisi by a group of IDPs.

Of particular concern is the fact that "recent evictions of internally displaced people, living in collective centres and shelters in Tbilisi, have not been undertaken with the necessary transparency or circulation of information," the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement issued yesterday.

According to Georgia's Ministry for Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, displaced families are offered either financial compensation of $10,000 or alternative housing. The IDPs, however, say they were offered accommodation only in rural areas that lacked job opportunities.

UNHCR is continuing its dialogue with the authorities, including the Ministry for IDPs from the Occupied Territories - its key government counterpart - with some success.

The agency reports that "positive progress is being made with them on establishing standard eviction procedures in cases when organized relocation of IDPs may be necessary, to provide them with durable housing solutions."