State Agencies Neglect Public Defender's Recommendation
On 6 August 2015 the Public Defender addressed the Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Prime Minister with a recommendation to provide housing for juveniles L.G. and M.G. who hold the IDP statuses.
According to the available case materials, the registered address of L.G. and M.G is their father's residence; however, they have lived with their mother after their parents’ divorced.
The case materials show that the state handed over the living unit of the children’s grandfather to his ownership through direct purchase due to his IDP status. According to the purchase contract, the buyer was obliged to ensure that L.G. and M.G. live in the purchased property. However, the juveniles’ mother was not informed of it. Meanwhile, the state considered that L.G. and M.G. were satisfied with accommodation, whereas they live with their mother and not in the mentioned property.
The Public Defender considers that the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia should have collected information about factual residents of the privatized unit. For its part, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development should have obtained written consent from the third party, in this case from legal representatives of L.G. and M.G., when the administrative agreement was signed with regard to the children.
In compliance with the law, IDPs have the right to free choice and informed decision-making. They may accept or reject offers concerning their accommodations, though L.G. and M.G. were not able to enjoy this right. At the same time, the real number of family members was wrongly identified. Due to these circumstances, the Public Defender considers that the juveniles’ right to housing was violated.
The Governmental Administration and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development forwarded the Public Defender’s recommendation to the National Agency for State Property Management, which notified the Public Defender’s Office that a court dispute was underway with regard to the matter mentioned in the recommendation and thus they were not able to take any action.
As for the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia, the agency did not share the arguments and legal basis that served as motive for the Public Defender to consider that the administrative agreement was non-complaint with the law. The Ministry said they had waived the obligation to provide L.G. and M.G. with housing.
The Public Defender had underlined in the recommendation that it was possible to restore the rights of the juveniles through identifying the real number of the family members and making changes to the administrative agreement, which, unfortunately, has not been shared by the addressee authorities.