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  • Author: Giorgi Sordia
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: As a result of the August war of 2008, the demographic situation in South Ossetia has been entirely altered. After the Georgian authorities lost administrative-territorial control over the Didi and Patara Liakhvi gorges and Akhalgori district, the majority of the population of these territories, including the entire population of Didi and Patara Liakhvi, were forced to leave their homes. The demographic structure of districts adjoining the conflict zones was also affected. As of September 2008, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the conflict zone (including districts of Shida Kartli) numbered more than 127,000 in total. After the ceasefire agreement between Russia and Georgia was signed and Russian troops removed from the region, a large number of those forcibly displaced outside the administrative borders of the former autonomous region of South Ossetia returned home. However, the entire ethnic Georgian population of Didi and Patara Liakhvi, as well as several thousand Georgians from Akhalgori districts, remain displaced. The Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia has granted them the status of IDPs and housed them in 38 specially constructed cottage settlements. According to official figures from the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, the number of IDPs from the August war (excluding those displaced from Upper Abkhazia) currently stands at 24,729.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Georgia, South Ossetia
  • Author: David Szakonyi
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Romani community is the most marginalized and disadvantaged ethnic community in Georgia. Although accurate estimates are hard to establish, the population is thought to number up to 1,500 persons, living in multiple small settlements across Georgia. Extreme poverty, unemployment, lack of education and health care, and isolation from larger society comprise several of the major problems the community as a whole is facing. The overall situation for the Roms in Georgia has significantly deteriorated since the Soviet period, leaving the population practically devoid of any means to lift themselves out of their often devastating circumstances.
  • Topic: Education, Ethnic Conflict, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Soviet Union, Georgia
  • Author: Milada Horáková, Pavel Bareš
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The social exclusion of members of ethnic minorities is viewed as a serious political problem that carries the potential danger of escalating ethnic violence. Consequently, EU member countries are looking for tools to help to prevent that happening. We understand social integration as a multi-dimensional process involving the integration of the individual into the broader social structures (social groups) of a given society and culture. Current social integration NAPs appraise differences in the populations of EU member countries using socio-economic indicators (gross domestic product, rates of employment and unemployment, poverty etc.) but they usually miss the cultural dimension. As far as the Czech Republic is concerned, cultural policy is a matter for the Ministry of Culture whereas social inclusion matters fall within the competence of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. This Ministry supports research into social integration including that of ethnic minorities, particularly, as far as this report is concerned, the Roma community. Other state institutions play a complementary role within the inclusion process. Every ministry has its own concepts and distributes financial resources to projects in respective areas. The aim of this report is to provide a description of the concepts and policies towards and the current situation of national minorities and the Roma and foreign communities as regards participation, education and mass media publicity. These relatively independent populations occupy different positions in society and, in some cases, have different legal status so that different policies are required to bring about their social inclusion. Cost effectiveness analysis was limited in our report to educational policies concerning the Roma only, an approach which was agreed at the workshop in Flensburg. The measurement of cost effectiveness in the areas of participation and media policy is extremely complex due to the multilevel influences of social processes. In addition, finding the relevant indicators for an evaluation of the success of various policies in designated areas is also not an easy task. The data available for the measurement of cost effectiveness is limited and insufficient. However, the data which was available on preparatory classes, education assistants and the support programme for higher education and university students showed that the approach adopted in these areas is generally effective. Moreover, education is a value in itself and any improvement in this area is, in today's modern knowledge society, generally desirable.
  • Topic: Demographics, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Czech Republic
  • Author: Abel Kirsch, Tarmo Tuisk, Mait Talts
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Estonian National Report on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006-2008 has been prepared within the framework of EU Open Method of Coordination and in accordance with updated aims and principles adopted by the Council of Europe in March 2006.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Michal VaÅ¡eèka
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The report of the Slovak team is divided into three parts. The first one describes social inclusion policies of Roma in Slovakia in general. The second evaluates inclusion policies of the National Action Plans on social inclusion by analyzing focus groups with experts, and the third one brings analysis of particular inclusion policies. The paper finally brings also rather theoretical input whether Roma have where to integrate and describes structural problems of social inclusion policies.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Slovakia
  • Author: Mitja Žagar, Miran Komac, Mojca Medvešek, Romana Bešter
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The main purpose of this report is to evaluate the cultural policies introduced in the Slovenian National Action Plan (NAP) on Social Inclusion (2004-2006) in terms of their impact on promoting social inclusion of ethnic minorities. Cultural policies are here understood in a broad sense of the word – encompassing all policies that pay regard to any aspect of culture, be it culture in the sense of creative artistic activities (theatres, music, etc.) or in the sense of specific cultural/ethnic identity of the target groups.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Slovenia
  • Author: Antoinette Heltzer, Marcus Persson, Elin Lundin
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The position of ethnic minorities, their integration and assimilation into the society where they exist, along with ethnic majorities, has been an area of conflict, an area of discrimination, and an area of social tension. This report examines a policy of inclusion working next to a policy to fight exclusion as Sweden tries to establish a dual program including “soft” measures within culture and “hard” measures within the structuraleconomic sphere to counteract poverty and abuse as a means to promoting inclusion in a multicultural society.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Sweden
  • Author: Hedvig Lohm
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This working paper is the result of a fact-finding fieldwork mission conducted in August, September and October 2006 in the Ninotsminda rayon (district), in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia. It is based on 70 interviews with local inhabitants, authorities and other related parties as well as legal documents and analytical articles. The intention of the paper is to analyse the current situation in the multi-ethnic rayon of Ninotsminda. Special attention is given to the conditions of the Dukhobors, a Russian ethno-religious group that has inhabited the Ninotsminda rayon since the 1840s. Currently, the future existence of the Dukhobor community is in jeopardy. This paper will work to explain why. A background to Dukhoborian history in Georgia will be provided, as well as a short socio-economic overview for readers who are not familiar with Samtskhe-Javakheti in general and Ninotsminda in particular. In addition, a number of acute problems that have recently arisen for the Dukhobor community in the village of Gorelovka will be accounted for. The paper will also provide recommendations for future actions.
  • Topic: Demographics, Ethnic Conflict, Religion
  • Political Geography: Caucasus
  • Author: Christopher Decker, Roxana Ossain
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and the Romanian Department of Inter-Ethnic Relations (DRI) organized the third event of the Improving Inter-Ethnic Relations through Enhanced Minority Governance Project on 16–17 March 2005 in Sinaia, Romania. The head and both deputy heads of the DRI attended the roundtable along with numerous members of the human rights/minority rights NGO community. Additionally, some members of national minority organizations attended. The fundamental purpose of the meeting was to provide civil society an opportunity to discuss the draft law with representatives of the Romanian Government and to offer suggestions to improve the draft. It was noted that this was the first time that civil society organizations national minorities have been able to have a forum to discuss a draft law before it was presented to parliament. This report seeks to provide an account of the discussions that took place during this meeting.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania
  • Author: Christopher Decker, Aidan McGarry
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: ECMI and the DRI organized the second event of the “Improving Inter-ethnic Relations through Enhanced Minority Governance” project on 17–19 March 2005 in Sinaia, Romania. The head and both deputy heads of the DRI attended the roundtable along with national minority members of the Romanian Parliament and representatives of the national minority organizations represented on the Council of National Minorities. There were two fundamental purposes for the meeting. One was to provide the group with background information on the three major issues that will feature in the draft law on the status of national minorities, namely: defining a national minority; the status of national minority organizations under Romanian law; and cultural autonomy. The second purpose was to facilitate dialogue between the national minorities and the government concerning these main issues to be addressed in the draft law, so as to allow the government to hear the concerns and wishes of the national minority groups. It was noted that this was the first time that national minorities have been able to have a forum to discuss a draft law before it was presented to parliament. This report seeks to provide an account of the presentations and discussions that took place during this meeting, including some of the theories and practicalities of differing forms of definition, laws concerning NGOs and political parties, and models of cultural autonomy used in European states.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Europe