The Council of Europe and the conflict in Georgia – Decision of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers’ Deputies

On May 4, 2016, the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers’ Deputies held its 1255th session. When discussing the issue of the agenda - “The Council of Europe and the conflict in Georgia" - the Ministers’ Deputies made a relevant decision by the overwhelming majority. This decision was based on the decisions of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers’ Deputies of 29 April 2014 and 12 May 2015, which highlight support of the Council of Europe member states for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

The decision focuses on the responsibility of the Russian Federation in terms of human rights, as a country, which has actual control over the occupied territories of Georgia. It stresses that the Russian Federation, as a state having actual control over this area and a state responsible for the protection of human rights, must ensure the right to get education in the Georgian language; create conditions for safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees, and for the protection of property rights; remove any obstacles or restrictions on the freedom of movement at the administrative border and prevent unlawful detentions; protect residents of these territories from discriminatory treatment; investigate human rights violations in these areas.

The Committee of Ministers’ Deputies expressed concern that in spite of constant appeals to the Russian Federation to stop erecting artificial obstacles along the administrative boundary lines, it keeps doing so through various means, including installation of new demarcation signs.

The Public Defender of Georgia is actively involved in working on the aforementioned issues and has been vocal about these problems with different missions of CoE on repeated occasions.

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