June 20 is World Refugee Day. This day aims to pay special attention to the vulnerable categories of people who have been forced to leave their country due to conflicts and human rights violations and seek safe asylum in foreign countries.
There are more than 89 million displaced people worldwide, including approximately 27 million refugees, half of whom are minors. Refugees need special attention from the receiving state to ensure the realization of their legal, social and economic rights.
It is especially important this year to raise awareness and disseminate information about the rights of refugees, as millions of Ukrainian citizens have become refugees as a result of the military aggression of the Russian Federation. More than 7 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland and taken refuge in European countries, including Georgia.
Although the citizens of Ukraine have been provided with adequate and immediate assistance by the government and the private sector, challenges remain in their resettlement and access to social and economic services. As a result of the monitoring carried out by the representatives of the Public Defender’s Office and the study of the applications of Ukrainian citizens, it becomes clear that long-term accommodation is a particular problem.
The Public Defender hopes that the government will take all measures to provide decent conditions for the citizens of Ukraine who have taken refuge in Georgia.
In the context of International Refugee Day, the Public Defender of Georgia once again responds to the legal situation of Insa Oguz at the border checkpoint “Dariali”. The journalist is still in the neutral zone and is in inappropriate conditions. He has not yet been referred to the Migration Department and has no access to the asylum procedure. The Public Defender of Georgia calls on the relevant authorities to provide Insa Oguz with minimum living conditions and to give him access to a safe area and international protection.
The right to asylum is a right guaranteed by human rights law. Therefore, the state needs to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers recognized by international and national law.
The Public Defender of Georgia joins the celebration of International Refugee Day and hopes that international protection of refugees and asylum seekers will be ensured and long-term solutions to their problems will be promoted.