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Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Co-Chairman
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
June 5, 2003


(Washington) - The United States Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing to highlight the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the north Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Georgia and southeastern Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are displaced in refugee-like situations and remain unable to safely return home.

Internally Displaced Persons in the
Caucasus Region and Southeastern Anatolia

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
2:00 PM – 4:30 PM
334 Cannon House Office Building

Dr. Francis Deng, Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons
Roberta Cohen, Co-Director, Brookings-SAIS Project on Internal Displacement
Gabriel Trujillo, Head of Mission, Doctors Without Borders - Russian Federation
Maureen Lynch, Director of Research, Refugees International
Jonathan Sugden, Researcher, Europe and Central Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

The north Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey represents the greatest concentration of IDPs anywhere in the 55-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). As the current prospects for significant numbers of individuals returning home in safety and dignity seem remote, the hearing will bring additional attention to these protracted situations.

The hearing will address the conditions faced by IDPs in the Caucasus region and southeastern Anatolia (Turkey), with experts assessing the situation on the ground as well as steps that relevant governments need to take to create safe conditions for IDPs to return. Particular attention will be given to recommendations on how U.S., OSCE and UN policy can encourage and assist these governments in finding just, realistic and durable solutions to the plight of IDPs.

An un-official transcript will be available on the Helsinki Commission’s Internet web site at within 24 hours of the hearing.

The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Media Contact: Ben Anderson
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Russian Federation


Citizenship and Political Rights
Confidence and Security Building Measures
Conflict Prevention/Rehabilitation
Freedom of Movement
International Humanitarian Law
Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
National Minorities


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