Appeal of NGOs to the Government of Georgia - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Appeal of NGOs to the Government of Georgia

13 June, 2013


On June 2, 2013, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, Transparency International Georgia, Article 42 of the Constitution, and the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center met with the local population of the villages of Dvani and Ditsi in the municipalities of Gori and Kareli and talked with them about problems caused by erection of barbed wire fences along the occupation line.

After studying the situation on the ground, the organizations identified such troubling violations of the fundamental rights of the local population as incidents of infringement on freedom and safety, freedom of movement, and other civil and socio-economic rights. Cases of arbitrary erection of fences on the occupation line and kidnapping of citizens, which have recently become more frequent, pose a threat to the population of the adjacent villages. In addition, the villages face severe social and infrastructural problems. The local population suffers particularly from the lack of drinking and irrigation water. In the village of Ditsi, the local population is supplied with drinking water every second day for the duration of one hour, while the headworks of the irrigation water canal are across the occupation line, which makes it impossible to perform agricultural work.

In the village of Dvani, the problem with drinking water emerged recently, after the occupation line was moved inwards and the headworks of drinking water were left beyond the illegal border. The local population fears that the drinking water may no longer be safe. As for irrigation water, this problem has existed in the village since the conflict in 2008. It should be noted that the central and local authorities show little interest in the problems of the local population in the village, due to which the local population expresses concern.

According to local residents, since it became practically impossible to grow fruit and vegetables due to lack of water, their only livelihood has been cattle, which village residents herd in turns. If the herd of cattle approaches or crosses the occupation line, they either lose the cattle or themselves become victims of illegal detention on the charges of ‘illegal crossing of the border’ and serve their ‘sentences’ in the Tskhinvali prison for months and years.

Basically, the local population’s only income comes from state pensions and social allowances for individuals below the poverty line. Accordingly, the financial situation of those families that don’t have members eligible for old-age pension and of those that failed to accumulate the required rating score for receiving social allowances is especially grave. 

In a situation when the local population living in the conflict zone is deprived of the realization of the ownership, free movement and socio-economic rights, we believe that the State should pay particular attention to the improvement of infrastructure in the villages and resolution of social problems, as well as to providing the population with drinking and irrigation water.

In parallel with implementing existing publicly funded social and infrastructure projects in the villages of the conflict zone, it is necessary to take compensatory financial measures for the local population in order to ensure proper living conditions for citizens of Georgia living in the conflict zone. 

We express hope that the Government of Georgia will take an interest in the said issues and take effective steps for the improvement of the social conditions of citizens living in the conflict zone.  

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy

Transparency International Georgia

Article 42 of the Constitution

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center