1. The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population
welcomes the report from the Monitoring Committee on the consequences
of the war between Georgia and Russia.
2. The committee notes the careful attention paid in the draft
resolution to the humanitarian issues arising from the conflict
and the impact of these on refugees, internally displaced persons
and on missing persons and their families.
3. The committee deplores the undeniable process of ethnic cleansing
taking place in the Georgian regions of South Ossetia (hereafter
South Ossetia) and the so-called “buffer zone” still
occupied by the Russian forces. It insists on all necessary conditions
to be provided for the safe return of refugees and internally displaced
4. The committee strongly endorses the call for the respect,
by all parties to the conflict, of all relevant human rights standards
and humanitarian law standards. It considers that the issue of safety
of all persons is primordial, and stresses the importance of tackling
all threats of violence and intimidation, stamping out lawlessness
and removing all mines and unexploded ordnance. The issue of the
safe return of internally displaced persons and refugees is one
of the greatest challenges in the aftermath of the conflict. Coping
with the urgent humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict
is also of primordial importance, in particular with the advancement
of winter and the need for adequate shelter and accommodation.
5. The committee is particularly concerned about the lack of
access of humanitarian organisations to South Ossetia and the so-called
“buffer zone” under the control of Russian troops. Access to these
areas must be given to these organisations as a matter of priority,
and the security of all those working for these organisations needs
to be guaranteed.
6. The committee, with a view to clarifying and strengthening
the humanitarian recommendations contained in the draft resolution,
proposes three amendments put forward at the end of this opinion.