Doc. 11166
30 January 2007

Georgian migrants in Russia

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mrs Vermot-Mangold and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe notes with concern the recent tensions between Georgia and Russia. It recognised however that there have been a number of recent positive developments which contribute to defusing tension between Russia and Georgia. These include steps such as the return of the Russian Ambassador to Georgia, plans to restore postal links and plans to lift the travel ban.

2.       Notwithstanding these developments, the Parliamentary Assembly remains concerned about the human rights situation of Georgians in Russia or those who have been expelled as a result of the tensions between Russia and Georgia.

3.       Georgian migrants in particular, whether in a regular or irregular situation, have faced a number of human rights problems over the last months which continue to have a bearing on their lives.

4.       Some examples can be given. Over three thousand persons have received expulsion orders and over half of these orders have been implemented. Many persons have been detained and one person has died in custody and another has died during the return process. Many small and medium size firms owned or run by Georgians have been targeted by tax inspectors and the authorities. Persons have been stopped in the street, children have not been allowed to attend schools and means of communication between Russia and Georgia have been restricted or cut off entirely (for example, air, land and sea communications, postal transfers and money transfers to Georgia, etc.).

5.       These steps raise a number of concerns relating to the rights of regular and irregular Georgian migrants, in particular under the European Convention on Human Rights. Issues concerning collective expulsion of aliens under Protocol 4 as well as procedural guarantees under Protocol 7 are relevant. Non-discrimination issues under Article 14 and under Protocol 12 are also relevant as well as issues linked to detention, in particular under Article 3 of the Convention and rights linked to family life under Article 8.

6.       The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers invites the Human Rights Monitoring mechanisms within the Council of Europe, including the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance, the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to monitor closely the situation of Georgians living in Russia.

7.       The Assembly recommends that Russia and Georgia take all steps possible to defuse the tension between the two countries and that the Russian authorities take all necessary steps to address the human rights issues raised in relation to Georgians living in Russia.

8.       The Assembly also invites the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner to monitor the treatment of Georgians living in Russia.

Signed 1:

1     SOC: Socialist Group
      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
      ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
      EDG: European Democratic Group
      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
      NR: not registered in a group