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PACE rapporteur praises ‘clear progress’ for IDPs in the North Caucasus

Strasbourg, 26.09.2011 – “I was impressed by the progress made by the Russian Federal and local authorities in the North Caucasus in terms of construction and security in favour of the general population and IDPs,” said Nikolaos Dendias (Greece, EPP/CD), rapporteur of the Migration Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), ending a five-day visit to Moscow and the Republics of North Ossetia-Alania, Chechnya and Ingushetia as part of a fact-finding visit for his report on the “Situation of IDPs and retrurnees in the North Caucasus region”.

“I was expecting to see an area in trouble and without security, but I found a region where there is clear progress. In Chechnya alone, the past decade has seen more than 323,000 IDPs return to their homes. Over 40,000 families have received compensation for destroyed property, amounting to 14 billion roubles. While these figures are impressive, this does not mean that efforts should not be continued.”

“There still remain serious concerns as regards access to legal status, residence registration, adequate housing or employment for IDPs. The IDPs who remain in temporary accommodation centres or hostels in the three republics are among the most vulnerable persons, most of whom have no capacity to return or even to cope on their own.”

“I am glad that the governments of the three republics understand the problems that need to be attended to, and they have promised to rectify these. It is clear that not all problems can be fixed overnight, but more transparency and improved communication is needed to ease the many anxieties still prevailing today among the remaining IDP communities.”