As eviction of internally displaced persons from state-owned buildings continued on January 21, Georgian Public Defender, Giorgi Tugushi, called on the authorities to provide “adequate” compensation to every evicted IDP family.
“Adequate living conditions do not include only an adequate building and accommodation; it is also necessary to take a number of other aspects into account… A dwelling should be located in a place where not only jobs but also schools, kindergartens, medical centers and facilities for other social services will be accessible for [resettled families],” the statement reads.
No such conditions are offered in alternative housing offered in the provinces, says the public defender based on the results of the monitoring carried out in January, adding that “there are a number of problems that could influence the IDPs’ condition negatively.”
The Public Defender said that his office carried out monitoring at five locations in western Georgia, where the authorities are offering alternative housing to the evicted IDPs. Housing options are also offered in eastern region of Kakheti.
“The results [of monitoring] make it clear that there are a number of problems that could influence the IDPs’ condition negatively,” the Public Defender said.
He said that buildings for alternative housing purposes in the provinces have been rehabilitated, but necessary social facilities and infrastructure were not developed. “It is not clear yet whether agricultural land will be given to the IDPs,” he said, adding that it was also unclear whether projects to help resettled IDPs with employment would be carried out.
The Public Defender also said that his office was verifying claims by the evicted IDPs, that they had not yet received financial compensations.
In case of a refusal to accept alternative housing, provided by the authorities, an IDP family, displaced as a result of the August 2008 war, is eligible to USD 10,000 financial compensation, which should be received ten days before the eviction from temporary shelter.
The authorities resumed eviction of IDPs early on January 20 and the process continued next day with evocation of about 100 families from three buildings in Tbilisi. Total of 17 buildings remain in the capital city from where IDP families are expected to be evicted.
No incidents, similar to the one of January 20, were reported on Friday. Two men and three women were arrested on January 20 after a scuffle with the police during the eviction of IDPs. Court jailed the two men for 14 days and fined three women with GEL 400 each. The Public Defender said that his office would study this case.