The ICRC in Georgia
The ICRC's Georgia delegation focuses on restoring family links, clarifying the fate of missing persons and supporting their families, helping people affected by the administrative boundary lines, improving living conditions for people affected by past conflicts, supporting mine victims, visiting detainees and promoting IHL.
For over 20 years, the ICRC has been helping people in Georgia affected by the conflicts of the 1990s and by the August 2008 war.
People living along the two administrative boundary lines continue to suffer the effects of the August 2008 conflict. Closure or increased regulation of these boundaries and related arrests affect those living nearby and exacerbate existing economic problems by depriving people of access to farmland, irrigation or drinking water. After the 2008 conflict, many people faced difficult living conditions when they returned to their homes. Thousands of others have been unable to return and are still living in collective centres or government-built settlements.
Missing persons and family links
The ICRC enables people separated by conflict to contact their relatives via Red Cross messages, and we help reunite families wherever possible. We also facilitate transfers of hospital patients across the administrative boundary line.
The organization helps the authorities fulfil their responsibilities as regards clarifying the fate of missing persons and works with local NGOs to support the families of missing individuals.
In 2010, two separate coordination mechanisms were set up under the aegis of the ICRC:
- the Bipartite Coordination Mechanism on Persons Unaccounted for in Connection with the Events of the 1992-1993 Armed Conflict and After (with Georgian and Abkhaz participants);
- the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on Persons Unaccounted for in Connection with the 1990ies, August 2008 Armed Conflict and After (with Georgian, South Ossetian and Russian participants).
Mitigating the after-effects of conflict
The ICRC runs income-generating activities that help people affected by conflict become self-sufficient once again. We are also improving water supplies, sanitation and housing for displaced persons and for people living in areas affected by past conflicts.
The organization supports people maimed by mines and explosive remnants of war, paying for treatment and equipment and making grants to support income-generating activities that help them regain their self-sufficiency.
The ICRC has been visiting places of detention across Georgia since 1992. We pay particular attention to people detained in relation to conflict and other violence, monitoring their cases individually. The detaining authorities receive confidential feedback from us about what we observe during our visits. Where necessary, we make confidential recommendations regarding detainees' treatment, living conditions and access to health services. The ICRC also facilitates visits by families to detained relatives across administrative boundary lines. The ICRC is helping the authorities implement a primary health care programme in all Georgian prisons.
Promoting international humanitarian law
The ICRC promotes the integration of international humanitarian law into Georgian legislation by assisting and advising the Georgian authorities. We promote the inclusion of IHL in military curricula and training and in the curricula of universities. Close cooperation with the Georgian authorities has resulted in the creation of a National Inter-Agency Commission on the Implementation of IHL.
Support for the Georgian Red Cross
Finally, the ICRC is helping the Georgian Red Cross to strengthen its legal base and to boost both its programme management skills and its emergency response capability.