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.1 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 Dukhobors2, 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 work explains why. A background to Dukhoborian history in Georgia is 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 also provides recommendations for future actions.
About the programme
Together with partners, we aim to establish a regional network for organizations working on minority issues by building the capacity of minority organizations in the region to undertake effective human rights advocacy at national and European level, in particular ensuring the full participation of minorities in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) process. More information about the network and