21 March 2012 |

Partial progress towards durable solutions for IDPs

The government has made good progress in implementing its 2007 strategy for internally displaced people (IDPs). Since 2008, it has made significant efforts in building and refurbishing housing, and set standards to guide the implementation process with the international community. This has improved the living conditions of many IDPs. 

This housing assistance has met several challenges, however. Some IDPs received substandard new or refurbished housing and are still waiting for property titles as agreed. Timelines for housing assistance are ambitious, and measures are often taken without due planning or communication with IDPs. The majority of IDPs are yet to receive a housing solution, which includes the most vulnerable IDPs who have not been prioritised for support as well as those who have returned to their damaged homes.

Greater attention to the creation of livelihood and job opportunities is needed for IDPs in their place of refuge and return. Without this, most IDPs continue to depend on state benefits as their main source of income. The government’s action plan for IDPs includes measures for livelihoods and jobs, but this needs to be strengthened with accurate data and funding clarified.

Other barriers to durable solutions include segregated education, the absence of a mechanism for restoration or compensation of lost property, limitations on freedom of movement, ineffective investigation of displacement-related violations, and insecurity and the poor quality of education in return areas. Humanitarian organisations cannot access South Ossetia from undisputed areas of Georgia, and access is increasingly difficult in Abkhazia. 

Causes of displacement and estimated numbers of IDPs

More than 370,000 people have been displaced by several waves of armed conflict in Georgia. Fighting erupted in the early 1990s, first in South Ossetia and then in Abkhazia. Both autonomous areas made increasingly vocal calls for secession from Georgia, which sought to preserve its territorial integrity. Ceasefire agreements were signed by 1994, and at that time both areas remained outside of the control of Georgia. Hostilities continued sporadically before armed conflict broke out again in 2008 between Georgia and the Russian Federation over South Ossetia. While the fighting quickly ended and negotiations continue, all of these armed conflicts remain unresolved and return of internally displaced people (IDPs) is largely blocked. Current conflict resolution efforts take place in the framework of the Geneva Discussions, and include Georgia, Russia, representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Refugees and Accommodation (the MRA) is the sole collector of national figures on IDPs. According to the government, some 256,000 people were still internally displaced in undisputed areas of Georgia in 2011: around 236,000 from the conflicts in the 1990s, 17,000 from the 2008 conflict and 3,000 who had been displaced more than once (GoG, 16 June 2011). About 40 per cent were living in the capital Tbilisi, 54 per cent were female, 25 per cent were children and 17 per cent were older people (GoG, 30 April 2011; UNHCR, 31 July 2011). Internally displaced parents may apply for IDP status for their children born in the place of refuge. As of the beginning of 2011, natural disasters such as floods, landslides and earthquakes had also displaced 116,000 people in Georgia (GoG, 18 January 2011). It was not clear whether any displaced by natural disasters had also been displaced by conflict.

Figures on IDPs in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are more difficult to obtain. The UN Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of IDPs reported that in South Ossetia there are up to 15,000 IDPs from the conflict in 2008 and 5,000 from the conflict in the 1990s (UNHCR, 31 July 2009; UN RSG, 14 January 2010). At least 5,700 had returned to their homes in South Ossetia following the conflict in the 1990s, and very few following the conflict in 2008 (UN, 30 November 2005; UN RSG, 14 January 2010). The number of IDPs in Abkhazia is unknown, and while there has been no official survey at least 45,000 IDPs have returned to Gali district (UNHCR, January 2010). This group is still included in the figures given by the MRA of IDPs in undisputed areas of Georgia, since their return was spontaneous, non-centralised and not part of an organised process.

Current political context

The August 2008 conflict left the de facto authorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in complete control of these territories. Both regions are heavily supported by the Russian Federation, which recognised their calls for independence in 2008. It bolstered its military presence in both areas and is also currently securing their “borders” (RIA Novosti, 30 April 2009). The government of Georgia considers that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are territories of Georgia occupied by Russia. 

With the departure of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the OSCE in mid-2009, the European Union Monitoring Mission is now the sole international observer body in Georgia. However, Russia and the authorities in control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have not granted it access to South Ossetia or Abkhazia despite the demands of numerous international organisations (CoE, 9 September 2009). Therefore it is relegated to observing and reporting on security in the areas adjacent to South Ossetian and Abkhaz administrative boundary lines (ABLs). Access to the conflict-affected areas also remains difficult for humanitarian organisations: there is none to South Ossetia and access to Abkhazia is increasingly difficult. 

In 2007, the government of Georgia changed its policy with the adoption of a new state strategy for IDPs. Until then, state policy and public discourse focused on return as the only potentially durable settlement option for IDPs. However, the government that came to power after the 2003 “rose revolution” exhibited an increased willingness to invest in improving IDPs’ current situations rather than waiting for their eventual return. The 2007 strategy maintains return as a settlement option for IDPs, but it also supports their local integration in their places of refuge. Although it adopted it in 2007, the government only showed genuine will to implement this strategy after the 2008 war with Russia when return became a distant prospect.

IDPs in places of refuge

Information available on IDPs living in their places of refuge mainly concerns those displaced in the 1990s to undisputed areas of Georgia. The main obstacles to durable solutions for these IDPs include inadequate housing, displacement-related barriers to livelihoods and employment, and segregated education. 

Housing

Considerable progress has been made in addressing the housing issues of IDPs displaced in the 1990s.The government’s action plan for implementing the 2007 strategy envisages the provision of housing in three phases for all IDPs displaced in the 1990s: the renovation of living spaces in some collective centres and the transfer of ownership rights to their occupants, the construction of new apartment blocks and transfer of ownership, and financial support for families to buy or improve their own housing. The government is currently well into the first phase, which it started in February 2009, and has begun work on the second. By 2011 it had offered renovation, ownership or resettlement to over 16,000 families in collective centres, mainly in Tbilisi. They made up about 30 per cent of all collective centre residents. More than 7,000 living spaces in almost 300 collective centres had been renovated and nearly 6,500 families had had their rights of ownership registered (GoG, 16 June 2011; TI, 28 February 2011; Working Group on Privatisation, 30 September 2011). In 2011, at least 29 collective centres had set up condominium associations. The process of transferring ownership was ongoing in 2012, but had slowed considerably, leaving many IDPs in legal uncertainty. 

Renovation of collective centres has generally improved IDPs’ living conditions. However, the most vulnerable IDPs have not been prioritised, and shortcomings in information have meant IDPs were not always certain about the housing alternatives available to them or what they were signing up to. Several documents key to the protection of IDPs were revised or developed after the process had started, at the insistence of international organisations. These included the purchase agreement, minimum shelter standards, renovation standards and allocation guidelines, and even then they were not systematically applied. In many cases repairs such as bathroom tiling and laminate flooring deteriorated rapidly; and more serious problems like mould and dampness have not been addressed (Brookings/IDMC, 8 June 2011; AI, 4 August 2010). 
IDPs also have very little awareness about setting up condominiums, and practical issues such as installing individual electricity meters are complicated in buildings that are only half privatised. Taken altogether, IDPs do not necessarily achieve a durable housing solution upon signing a privatisation agreement.

About ten per cent of IDPs displaced in the 1990s have fully benefitted from these housing solutions. The remainder continue generally to live in inadequate conditions with relatives or friends; in dwellings that they rent, own or otherwise occupy; or in some 1,600 multi-storey collective centres, which are former hospitals, hotels and other buildings that were offered as temporary housing at the start of their displacement. Most of these collective centres have had no major renovations for more than 17 years, and they do not meet minimum shelter standards (GoG, 2 February 2007). Privacy and space is inadequate, with families typically occupying one or two rooms. Families share a common kitchen and bathroom with other residents on their floor, and these are usually run-down and unsanitary. Insulation and roofs no longer fully protect against the elements and electrical wiring is often unsafe. Limited studies on IDPs in private accommodation have shown that some endure similar or worse conditions, even if they own the property (DRC, 31 January 2011; UNHCR, November 2009).

Employment and livelihoods

Unemployment is a problem across Georgian society as a whole. The government reports an unemployment rate of about 16 per cent (GoG, 25 May 2011), but some experts state the figure is around 32 per cent (DRC, 5 October 2010). While there is no official unemployment rate of IDPs, successive studies have shown that IDPs displaced in the 1990s have continued to be particularly affected by unemployment (Conciliation Resources, 15 March 2011; Tukhashvili, 2010; Nadareishvili and Tsakadze, 2008; UN RSG, 24 March 2006). Their unemployment tends to be long-term and women are more affected than men. Some unemployed IDPs are highly educated with professional experience (Tukhashvili, 2010), while others have lost their professional skills and are no longer able to meet the demands of the current competitive labour market (DRC, 5 October 2010). Without a regular income that allows them to enjoy an adequate standard of living, most IDPs have become increasingly dependent on state benefits and external assistance.

While there are no formal legal or administrative limitations on IDPs’ right to work, IDPs cite a number of obstacles to finding work or engaging in agriculture. These include the limited number of jobs to apply for, not having the appropriate skills, a lack of access to land, limited resources to start their own business or obtain credit, and nepotism (Nadareishvili and Tsakadze, 31 August 2008; Brookings/IDMC, 8 June 2011; AI, 4 August 2010; UNHCR, 31 July 2009). There are no services to help IDPs find work, and training programmes have not significantly increased their overall employment levels. IDPs’ inability to use, rent or sell their house, land or other assets at their place of origin has also obstructed their self-reliance. Government plans to improve IDPs’ access to employment and livelihoods would benefit from a nationwide review of the employment of IDPs, including the more well-off IDPs; an inventory of the skills and desired livelihoods of IDPs; and an analysis of the specific barriers IDPs face to being employed or engaging in their livelihood.

Education

Most children from displaced families now attend local schools in the mainstream education system in Georgia, but 3,000 children from families displaced from Abkhazia in the early 1990s, or about ten per cent of school-age children with IDP status, still attend 13 segregated “Abkhaz public schools”. Proportionally fewer students from these institutions enter higher education. Their lower scores in university entrance exams may be the result of a number of factors, including poorly-equipped schools, a shortage of textbooks and other supplies, poor living conditions that increase the frequency of illness and prevent quiet study at home, and inability to pay a private tutor to study for the exams, which most Georgian students believe they need to be successful. All of these factors stem from limited family budgets and long-term under-investment by the authorities (NRC, March 2010). Segregated education is not in the long-term interest of children and could be addressed by resourcing the Abkhaz schools better and encouraging local children to enroll in them (IDMC/NRC, September 2011; NRC, March 2010).

Freedom of movement and choice of residence
Return has largely not been possible for IDPs displaced to undisputed areas of Georgia. There have been no political solutions to the conflicts and the authorities in control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have for the most part obstructed their return. They state return would upset the ethnic balance and create instability and the potential for violence (ICG, 26 February 2010; CoE, 28 March 2011; UN RSG, 23 December 2010). Gali district in Abkhazia is the only area open for return of IDPs. IDPs wishing to return to South Ossetia are reportedly obliged to accept South Ossetian passports (CoE, 9 September 2009; US DoS, 8 April 2011). Despite the fact that there are no solutions to the conflicts, conditions should be created to ensure that those who still wish to exercise their right to return can do so (UN RSG, 23 December 2010).

Returned IDPs

IDPs have returned to Gali district in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and undisputed areas of Georgia. Little is known about returned IDPs in South Ossetia since access of humanitarian organisations has been limited since the August 2008 conflict. Returned IDPs in Abkhazia and undisputed areas of Georgia along the ABL with South Ossetia face several obstacles to sustainable return: continuing insecurity, barriers to freedom of movement, inadequate housing, lack of jobs and obstacles to livelihoods, and poor quality of education. Small numbers of IDPs nevertheless continue to return.

Insecurity

Insecurity remains one of the main problems for IDPs who have returned. Security has improved in areas near the ABL with South Ossetia since the 2008 conflict (CoE, 15 December 2011), but the situation remains unpredictable (Civil Georgia, 17 October 2011; Jane’s, 12 October 2010). In some areas casualties still occur and people continue to report abductions, frequent gunfire, agricultural and livestock theft and looting (ICG, 8 August 2011; EUMM, 19 May 2011; US DoS, 8 April 2011; PDO, 30 September 2010). Landmines and unexploded ordnance prevent returned IDPs in villages along the ABL from accessing their land and gathering firewood (ICBL, 21 September 2011; Saferworld, 20 October 2010). The Georgian police are tasked with maintaining security in return areas, but people living along the ABL reported that the police could improve their responsiveness, communication and relationships with communities (CIPDD, GYLA, Saferworld, 31 March 2011; Saferworld, 20 October 2010). 

In the Gali district of Abkhazia, personal security and exposure to crime are a constant worry for many returned IDPs despite a slightly improved security situation in recent years. This feeling of insecurity has developed as a result of years of cases of extortion, looting, murder, robbery, arson, physical assault, gunfire, explosions and abduction (UN RSG, 23 December 2010; PDO, 30 September 2010; UN SC, 3 February 2009). A climate of impunity prevails, with residents reluctant to turn to the police as it would make them vulnerable to retribution and they do not trust that perpetrators will be held accountable (HRW, 15 July 2011; US DoS, 8 April 2011). A positive development is that Abkhazia was declared free of landmines in 2011 (Halo Trust, 3 November 2011). Returned IDPs are weary of investing too much in their living situation for fear they will be targeted and lose their investment. However, despite decades of insecurity, some returned IDPs have managed to improve their housing conditions, educate their children and start their own businesses (International Alert, 31 July 2011).

Freedom of movement

Movement across the ABL to and from Abkhazia and South Ossetia has become more restricted since the August 2008 conflict. The main problem appears to be that there is only one authorised crossing point and civilians may only cross by foot. In South Ossetia, movement across the ABL is restricted by officials on both sides and harassment, extortion and detentions have been reported (UN RSG, 14 Jan 2010; PDO, 30 September 2010; ICG, 7 June 2010; GoG, 18 October 2010; CoE, 7 October 2010). Georgia’s 2008 Law on Occupied Territories restricts movement to and from Abkhazia and South Ossetia and business within them. Coupled with neglect by de facto authorities, limited access of humanitarian organisations to return areas means the protection issues of returned IDPs in Abkhazia and South Ossetia have largely not been addressed (HRW, 15 July 2011). 

The ability to cross back and forth across the ABL to Abkhazia and South Ossetia is particularly important to returned IDPs. In Abkhazia, for the vast majority their daily social, economic, and family life is on both sides of this line: while they may live in Gali district, they visit close relatives, receive Georgian government social benefits, obtain medical care, access markets, and in some cases attend school, on the other side of the boundary (UN GA, 17 June 2010). Some returned IDPs near the ABL with South Ossetia rely on water and land located on the other side of the boundary or in insecure areas to earn a living. As a result of the restrictions on crossing the ABL, they can no longer depend on trade for an income as economic links are limited (ICRC, 6 August 2010). Maintaining personal relationships with family and friends who live on the other side of the ABL has also become more difficult (CoE, 28 March 2011; Saferworld, October 2010; ODIHR/HCNM, November 2008). While crossing restrictions do not apply only to IDPs, they have a particular effect on them since the process for them to cross is more onerous in Abkhazia and they are at risk of violations when crossing to and from South Ossetia.

Housing

Housing conditions for returned IDPs continue to be inadequate. In Gali, returned IDPs generally have deeds sufficient to regain full ownership of their homes, but many cannot afford to rebuild their houses and therefore live in appalling conditions (UNHCR, 30 July 2009; ICG, 15 September 2006; DRC, 1 February 2006). Others are reluctant to rebuild in the absence of the rule of law and a lasting settlement of the conflict. While several hundred returned families have received housing assistance from international organisations, burned-out houses remain the norm in most villages in Gali. Electricity, telecommunications, roads, gas and sewerage systems also remain in a state of collapse (CoE, 15 December 2011; UNHCR, 31 July 2009). Near the ABL with South Ossetia, the majority of the houses IDPs returned to were damaged or destroyed in fighting, and some were deliberately burned down (AI, 4 August 2010; PDO, 30 September 2010). The government has offered up to $10,000 for these people to repair their homes, but IDPs have said this is an insufficient amount and some applications were reportedly rejected on the basis that the damage was the result of the age of the buildings rather than the conflict (UNHCR, 31 July 2009; AI, 4 August 2010). 

Employment and livelihoods

Returned IDPs are mostly unemployed and depend on agriculture and government benefits to survive. In Gali, there are practically no jobs available except as teachers, medical personnel, hairdressers, shopkeepers and drivers. To apply for jobs in the public sector, including teaching and medical posts, returned IDPs must present an Abkhaz passport (HRW, 15 July 2011). The procedure for obtaining such documents is discriminatory and onerous for ethnic Georgian returnees (HRW, 15 July 2011; UN RSG, 24 March 2006). Many high school graduates speak little Russian or Abkhaz and so have difficulty finding jobs in Abkhazia (HRW, 15 July). With massive unemployment in Gali, the main source of income for the majority of returned IDPs comes from growing hazelnuts and citrus fruits, but many depend on government benefits (Saferworld, 20 October 2010; PDO, 30 September 2010; International Alert, 31 July 2011; FAO, 28 February 2011; DRC, 5 October 2010; WFP, 31 March 2010).

Returned IDPs near the ABL with South Ossetia also face difficulties in using their own land. Their livestock, tools and other equipment have been stolen or lost, irrigation has been disrupted where water sources are in areas outside of the control of Georgia or areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance (CIPDD, 1 December 2009; The Messenger, 6 March 2009; ICBL, 21 September 2011; WB/UN, 15 June 2010). It has also become harder to cross the ABL since 2008 to sell agricultural goods in South Ossetia. The result is that the primary sources of income for returned IDPs are pensions, social assistance and salaries of civil servants (CoE, 7 October 2010; AI, 4 August 2009). Overall, communities along the ABL with South Ossetia suffer more from poverty than those in other parts of Georgia (Saferworld, 20 October 2010).

Education

The quality of education for returned IDPs in Gali is poor. Schools need to be renovated and adequately equipped with heating and washrooms. The majority of school-age children in Gali are ethnic Georgian and do not speak Russian, but teaching in Russian has increased while classes taught in Georgian have decreased (HRW, 15 July 2011). With this policy the authorities are trying to prevent the use of Georgian-language textbooks, which they say convey a distorted account of Georgian and Abkhaz history, geography and other humanities (GFSIS, 31 December 2008; UN RSG, 24 March 2006). 

Some returned internally displaced parents are not opposed to the use of Russian in local schools, but they felt uneasy about their children being taught solely in Russian (UN RSG, 23 December 2010). To ensure a better and safer education for their children, some families have left Gali for undisputed areas of Georgia or send their children to other schools in the district or across the ABL that teach in Georgian (Eurasianet, 20 December 2010; OSCE, 27 November 2008). Other students are leaving Gali altogether to continue their education in Georgia proper (HRW, 15 July 2011).

IDPs settled elsewhere in the country

The government has settled IDPs displaced in the 1990s and in 2008 from their places of refuge to elsewhere in the country. Inadequate housing and lack of access to employment and livelihoods appear to be the main obstacles to durable solutions for this group. 

Housing

Applying its new strategy, the government acted promptly to resettle the vast majority of people displaced during the 2008 conflict. Around 8,000 families displaced in 2008 received either a newly-constructed cottage in a purpose-built settlement, a refurbished apartment in an existing village or $10,000 in lieu of these housing options (GoG, 16 June 2011). This process had several shortcomings, however. Most of the new cottages had defects including damp, leaking roofs, extensive mould, large cracks in walls and badly warped floorboards. Efforts were made to put these problems right in 2009 (TI, 27 April 2010), but repairs and improvements are still needed in some areas (NRC, 18 February 2010). IDPs were not consulted and did not participate in the process, and there was a lack of transparency in the allocation of the settlements and housing. Resettled IDPs signed a handover document when they moved in, but some 7,000 families were still waiting in 2011 to receive their ownership documents (NRC, October 2011). Some IDPs who opted for the $10,000 payment had still not received it two years after their application was approved (PDO, 30 September 2010).

As part of government efforts to provide IDPs with long-term housing, more than 1,600 families internally displaced in the 1990s and 2008 were evicted from temporary shelters between June 2010 and August 2011. While some IDPs were living there without government consent or registration, there were serious concerns about the process and its results. IDPs were given insufficient notice, and limited or no information on alternative accommodation (AI, 5 August 2011; Human Rights Centre, 24 January 2011; GYLA, 20 January 2011; PDO, 30 September 2010). Some of the locations offered put them in a worse situation. Houses were mostly in rural areas, far from their current place of residence, with few opportunities to work and only limited access to basic services (AI, 5 August 2011; PDO, 30 September 2010; UN RSG, 23 December 2010). There was also a lack of genuine consultation prior to eviction (AI, 5 August 2011), and external observers’ monitoring of the process was hindered (Human Rights Centre, 24 January 2011; GYLA, 20 January 2011). By early 2011, only around 20 families had agreed to be resettled (TI, 28 February 2011). 

In subsequent relocations, the government offered better alternative accommodation to IDPs. Some IDPs displaced in the 1990s were resettled to new housing units in the port cities of Poti and Batumi, which were reportedly good quality and close to schools and medical facilities (UNHCR, 19 September 2011; GoG, 31 October 2011; GoG, 13 January 2012). Over 350 families displaced in the 1990s were settled to ten new apartment blocks in Tskaltubo (GoG, 7 January 2012). The process of assigning ownership rights over this property to IDPs is unclear.

Employment

Information on the fate of evicted IDPs is scarce. Of the IDPs who moved to new purpose-built villages, most were unemployed in 2009 and struggling to earn a livelihood from their land (CARE, 31 December 2009). Settlements are mostly in remote areas with little opportunity for establishing livelihoods other than subsistence agriculture. The majority displaced in 2008 were farmers, and while the plots of land they were granted have allowed some to feed their families, they have generally not been big or fertile enough for them to earn an income (AI, 4 August 2010; CARE, 31 December 2009; FAO/UNIFEM, 1 September 2009; WFP, 31 March 2010). Two thirds of internally displaced families settled to new villages therefore rely on government benefits as their sole source of income (CARE, 31 December 2009). 

National response

The government has made considerable efforts to improve the situation of IDPs, especially in recent years. It has developed a legal framework to regulate their rights and duties, established a national coordinating body, trained government officials, raised national awareness of the internal displacement problem, collected data on the number and location of IDPs, devoted resources to assist them, supported the Public Defender’s Office in monitoring IDPs’ rights and cooperated with international and regional organisations. It has also worked to improve its approach along the way by amending legislation and developing standards to guide its work, establishing an IDP call centre and reception office, and has sought significant international input in doing so (Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, 30 November 2011). The MRA has, however, been left to implement the plans with increasingly limited resources and without much engagement from other ministries or state agencies. In December 2011, the Law on IDPs was amended to narrow the definition of IDPs to include only those displaced from occupied territories, which is further away from the suggested definition in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

Ultimately, only resolution of the conflicts will enable durable solutions in line with the settlement choices of IDPs. In the meantime, a more comprehensive approach to durable solutions should address several issues. Information about government programmes has been inadequate or come too late, and there has been insufficient encouragement of genuine IDP participation. The action plan to implement the state strategy does not reflect available funding levels, and prioritisation of activities and projects is not based on vulnerability criteria. Adopted standards on allocating housing, complaints mechanisms and evictions have not systematically been applied, and IDPs living in private accommodation have been neglected. There is no mechanism for IDPs to recover their housing, land and property at their place of origin or receive compensation for its loss. Displacement-related violations have not been effectively investigated and reparations and information about the causes of violations have not been provided. Livelihoods, education and health of IDPs have been neglected.

International response

Georgia remains heavily dependent on external funding. The European Commission and US Agency for International Development remain the largest donors and are committed to supporting all IDPs further, particularly with livelihoods. The European Union delegation to Georgia has also called on Tbilisi to provide its own funding (DRC, 13 July 2011), but significant needs remain. The MRA reported in 2010 that $800 million was needed to solve IDPs’ housing problems, but to date donors have only pledged between $350 million and $400 million. The addition of two new donors to the list of permanent members of the MRA’s Steering Committee, the Swedish International Development Agency and the German development group KfW, indicates increased donor engagement with the issue. UNHCR and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have also prepared for the transition to increasing development work (UNHCR, 20 June 2011). Other UN agencies and international NGOs also remain actively engaged in providing IDPs with assistance.

The UN and Council of Europe (CoE) have also worked to improve the IDPs’ lives in Georgia. In 2010, the UN Representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of IDPs made recommendations during his last visit to Georgia, and UN member states did so during the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Georgia. These included the need to invest in employment and livelihood opportunities for IDPs, and to commission a study reviewing the various types of property rights which prevailed when IDPs were displaced so that a mechanism can be put in place for them to submit claims (UN HRC, 16 March 2011; UN RSG, 23 December 2010). UN human rights bodies have also made numerous recommendations, including on the lack of disaggregated data on and the vulnerability of internally displaced women and girls (UN CERD, 2 September 2011; UN CRC, 23 June 2008; UN CEDAW, 25 August 2006). The CoE’s parliamentary assembly adopted a series of reports and resolutions; its human rights commissioner has visited Georgia numerous times, making specific recommendations to improve IDPs’ access to their rights; and it has launched projects on human rights monitoring, legal counselling and integration (CoE, 2 March 2011).