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Alternatives to sub-standard IDP collective centres

The Committee on Migration, meeting in Paris, expressed its concern about the often deplorable living conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) housed in collective centres. The report by René Rouquet (France, SOC), adopted by the committee, reviews the situation of these centres in the main countries and regions concerned in Europe – Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, the Russian Federation and Serbia – and puts forward alternative housing measures, whether integration in the local community or voluntary and safe returns.

These centres, set up in the 1990s in the wake of the conflicts in the Balkans and the Caucasus, were supposed to provide temporary accommodation for the displaced populations, but many refugees and IDPs still live in these temporary shelters which pose serious public health and safety risks, the parliamentarians warned.

The adopted text also calls for an accurate assessment of the number, location and living conditions of IDPs in order to draw up effective strategies vis-à-vis these centres and their occupants, including sustainable rehousing and reintegration solutions. The Council of Europe Development Bank and member states should also provide financial support, in the form of donations or loans, the Committee concluded. This report will be debated at the meeting of the PACE Standing Committee in Baku on 23 May.

* All reference to Kosovo in this text, whether to the territory, institutions or population, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.