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Intervention by Estonia at the UN Human Rights Council 35th Session under Item 3

07.06.2017

UN Human Rights Council 35th Session

 

 

Intervention by ESTONIA

 

 

Item 3 – Clustered ID with Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons and the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty

 

Geneva, 7 June 2017

 

 

Mr President,

 

Estonia fully aligns itself with the European Union statement. We would like to thank the former Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Mr Chaloka Beyani, for his previous work and the new Special Rapporteur, Ms Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, for the report and presentation today.

We agree with the Special Rapporteur that supporting durable solutions for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and addressing the overall root causes of their displacement remains of fundamental concern. In this light, we welcome the follow-up visits of the former Special Rapporteur to Ukraine and Georgia to consult the challenges and opportunities for achieving a durable solution to internal displacement.

In the context of the visit to Georgia, Estonia remains concerned that the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories has further deteriorated, creating additional obstacles to the return of the IDPs to their homes. Along with the Special Rapporteur, Estonia condemns the installation of the coiled razor wire fence along the administrative boundary line in South-Ossetia, continuing to deprive IDPs of freedom of movement and choice of residence, creating tangible obstacles to their access to land, property, water and livelihoods, and reiterates the call for the removal of all such barriers. Another extremely worrying trend in the occupied territories is the forced re-naturalization of Georgian citizens and the deprivation of rights of those who prefer to keep their existing Georgian citizenship, violating their right to work, freedom of movement and other fundamental rights and freedoms.

Finally, we regret that the authorities de facto in control in these occupied areas have failed to guarantee access to the Special Rapporteur to the occupied territories and call upon them to provide unhindered access to the international actors to monitor the human rights situation.

 

Thank you.

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