A call to protect the people displaced within their own countries… the long-term displaced: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe — dedicated to promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law — is urging eleven of the 47 members’ governments to work harder to find political solutions.
Tina Acketoft, in the committee which put forward the recommendation goes into the numbers: “These are people living just amongst us. These are European people. We’re talking about 2.5 million people living within European borders that really should enjoy all the same rights as you and I do: that is housing, that’s proper schooling for their children, hospital care whenever you need and the right to go and vote for whoever you want to vote as well.” The Assembly said only around a quarter of the displaced in the last 15-35 years have attained acceptable living standards. The United Nations is also actively concerned. Walter Kälin, a special representative, said: “We have two hot spots in Europe. One is the Southern Caucasus — Georgia, Azerbaïjan — the other is still the Balkans — Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo. There we have frozen situations. People should go back. They can’t go back. People should be allowed to lead a normal life but many of them are still kept in really very bad collective shelters at the margins of the society.” The non-binding motion says inter-communal reconciliation mechanisms are vital, also compensation for losses (failing restitution), proper living conditions and support for integration in the medium term.