Protecting civilians in armed conflict


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Since independence, Georgia has seen periods of armed conflict over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which had held the status of autonomous regions within the Soviet Republic of Georgia prior to 1991.

As the Soviet regime came to an end, ethnic tensions between Abkhaz, South Ossetians and Georgians intensified, igniting armed conflicts as the two regions tried to secede. Ceasefire agreements and peacekeeping forces failed to prevent sporadic fighting, and August 2008 brought a brief war in which Russia drove Georgian forces from South Ossetia and announced its formal recognition of the breakaway region’s independence.

Landmines were used during these conflicts leading to significant civilian casualties and a legacy of contamination by mines and other explosive remnants of war. In addition, some 280,000 people had been internally displaced by the end of 2012 as a result of the conflict.


Geneva Call began to engage the de facto Abkhazian and South Ossetian authorities on the anti-personnel (AP) mine ban in 2006.

Geneva Call also explored ways to assist landmine victims and other persons with disabilities, and to improve the protection of women and children in armed conflict.

Due to a lack of funding, activities were suspended in 2011.


Banning AP mines

In meetings with Geneva Call, the de facto Abkhazian and South Ossetian authorities shared concerns about the humanitarian effects of AP mines but indicated that they considered the weapon essential for their defense. Geneva Call lobbied parties to the conflict, and international actors engaged in conflict resolution efforts for the inclusion of the AP mine ban in peace talks and negotiations. Activities also included advocacy for measures regulating landmine use.

In addition, Geneva Call supported local civil society in raising awareness of the AP mine issue and encouraged cooperation at the regional level among NGOs from both Government and de facto authority-controlled areas.

Geneva Call also brought in the Swiss Foundation for Landmine Victims Aid to support a capacity building project by Association ‘Inva-Sodeystvie’ (AIS). The main aim of the project was to develop AIS’s capacity to provide physical rehabilitation to those victims living in remote areas of Abkhazia.

In 2007, Geneva Call organized a regional conference on mine-related issues in Kiev. More than 30 participants represented civil society and the de facto authorities of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabagh, and made recommendations which were shared with concerned regional stakeholders.

In 2011, a survey of the socio-economic needs of war victims and other persons with disabilities in South Caucasus was published by Geneva Call to support rehabilitation projects for landmine survivors conducted by local NGOs.

Main achievements

  • Geneva Call engaged the de facto Abkazian and South Ossetian authorities on the international AP mine ban norm.
  • Local civil society organizations received support in order to help develop their advocacy activities in the region.
  • Geneva Call helped develop technical capacity in victim assistance amongst local NGOs, and conducted and published research to support their activities.


In Georgia, Geneva Call works or has worked with the following armed non-State actors:

Organization Active Thematic areas
Landmine ban Child protection Gender issues Humanitarian norms
de facto Abkhazian authorities Yes
de facto South Ossetian authorities Yes
Click on the ticks to display the signed Deeds of Commitment

The ANSA is being engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


The ANSA was engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


The ANSA has signed the Deed of Commitment on this thematic area