Permanent impermanence: housing, durable solutions & protracted internal displacement in Georgia

Hudson, Ben (2016) Permanent impermanence: housing, durable solutions & protracted internal displacement in Georgia. In: HOUSED by CHOICE HOUSED by  FORCE - Homes, Conflicts and Conflicting Interests, 21-22 Jan 2016, University of Cyprus, Nicosia.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Housing provision is vital to any durable solution to internal displacement. However, despite its crucial importance, medium-long term IDP housing is often inadequate to meet even the most basic needs. Reflecting specifically on the protracted situation of internal displacement in western Georgia, this presentation will reveal how attempts to provide adequate IDP housing have been undermined by a multi-layered series of conflicting interests that trap IDPs in a state of permanent impermanence.

In Georgia, internal displacement was always supposed to be temporary. Yet, over twenty years later, significant numbers of IDPs remain displaced, prevented from dignified and safe return. The 2007 State Strategy for the first time promoted IDP integration at the site of displacement as a durable solution to internal displacement, and positioned housing provision as central to achieving that aim. However, any attempts to implement durable housing solutions have been negated by the pervasive view that integration is only temporary until the point at which return is possible. Such a view is the result of conflicting interests not only between but within key stakeholder groups, interests that bring into conflict geopolitical aims, humanitarian protection efforts, and the individual rights of IDPs to voluntary return.

It is the physicality and symbolic permanence of newly-constructed concrete apartment blocks that sits in opposition to displacement’s purported impermanence. While locating new settlements far from municipal centres, leaving new streets unnamed, restricting ownership rights, and failing to provide the necessary support infrastructure (including schools, shops and employment opportunities), may have to some extent reconciled these two positions, little progress has been made towards delivering durable housing solutions on the ground. As a result, housing, rather than laying the crucial foundations that allow IDPs to rebuild their lives, has instead further contributed to IDPs’ segregation, insecurity and instability during displacement.

Keywords:Internal displacement, Home, Conflict resolution, Georgia, Policy, Durable solution
Subjects:M Law > M130 Public International Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
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ID Code:30178
Deposited On:13 Mar 2018 09:51

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