Last Updated: 26 November 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance


Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2013

At least 875 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties

Casualties in 2013

1 (2012: 10)

2013 casualties by outcome

1 injured (2012: 1 killed; 9 injured)

2013 casualties by device type

1 antipersonnel mine

In 2013, the Monitor identified one new antipersonnel mine casualty in Georgia. This represents a significant decrease compared to the number identified in 2012 (10) and is similar to 2011 when no mine/ERW causalities were identified. In 2013, a 25 year old man was injured by an antipersonnel mine while looking for his lost cow in the vicinity of the Georgian-Armenian-Azerbaijani border.[1]

The ICRC and the Georgian Red Cross Society (GRCS), along with the ICBL Georgian Committee (ICBL-GC), collected casualty data. ICBL-GC had collected information on 921 mine/ERW casualties as of the end of 2013.[2] GRCS volunteers, supported by the ICRC, collected data on 1,261 mine/ERW victims as of the end of 2013.[3]

Cluster munition casualties

In Georgia, there have been at least 70 casualties due to cluster munitions; all were reported in 2008, including 61 casualties during strikes and nine due to unexploded submunitions.[4]

Victim Assistance

Georgia is responsible for landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other types of ERW. Georgia has made a commitment to victim assistance through the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).[5] The total number of survivors in Georgia is unknown, though it is estimated to be more than 700.[6]

No significant changes in the quality of victim assistance services were reported for Georgia in 2013.

Assessing victim assistance needs

ICBL-GC regularly updates data on survivors in its information system and uses it to determine victim assistance activities.[7] The GRCS continued to collect data on the needs of mine/ERW casualties and their families with the aim of “gaining a comprehensive picture of those needs and formulating an effective response.” With ICRC support, data collection by the National Red Cross Society continued in Georgia, including in Abkhazia, to assess the socioeconomic needs of mine/ERW victims and formulate an appropriate response. An additional GRCS staff member was trained to update and maintain the mine-action database.[8]

The data collected was also used to identify individuals in need of prostheses for referral to the Georgian Foundation for Prosthetic Orthopedic Rehabilitation (GEFPOR) in Tbilisi. The ICRC covered the costs related with prosthetic/orthotic devices, transportation, food, and housing for 81 mine/ERW survivors during treatment.[9]

Victim assistance coordination

There is no victim assistance coordination mechanism in Georgia. The Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs coordinates disability issues, including those related to the mine/ERW survivors who have official disability status.[10]

In 2009, the Georgian government approved the Action Plan on Social Integration of People with Disabilities 2010–2012. In the same year, the parliament created the State Coordinating Council focusing on disability issues.[11] It was determined that many steps were still needed to be taken to address the range of challenges faced by people with disabilities in Georgia.[12] A new action plan was adopted and the coordinating council was in place from March 2013.

As in past years, no inclusion of survivors or their organizations in planning, coordination, or implementation of services was reported in 2013.

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[13]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2013

Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities


Prosthetics services




Prosthetics services



National NGO

Prosthetics services

Increase in overall prosthetic production and in number of survivors served compared to previous years

Association of Disabled Women and Mothers of Disabled Children (DEA)

National NGO

Educational support for children and adults with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors, socio-economic inclusion, legal advice, and awareness-raising



National NGO

Data collection; assistance to survivors and their families, psychosocial support, legal support



International organization

Data collection; economic inclusion, emergency assistance

Increased assistance to mine/ERW survivors

International Organization for Migration (IOM) and ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF)

International organizations

Socio-economic support, including microloans


The ICRC monitored the situation in healthcare facilities across Georgia and provided technical and sometimes material support.[14]

There was an increase in government funding available for physical rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in 2012 that was reported to have improved accessibility of services.[15] There was also an overall increase in prostheses production in 2013, including an increase in the number of mine survivors served.[16] In 2013, the cost for mine/ERW survivors and other people with disabilities to access the services provided by GEFPOR was supported by the ICRC and government funding, including covering the cost of orthopedic and assistive devices as well as housing, food, and transport during the time of treatment.[17] In 2013, the ICRC also donated wheelchairs to two mine/ERW survivors while the NGO DEA continued to run its wheelchair-producing center which employs mine survivors.[18]

The ICRC continued to assist survivors through micro-economic initiatives in Georgia. In 2013, the ICRC supported 245 families affected by mines/ERW in pursuing small businesses and agricultural activities enabling them to maintain or regain economic self-sufficiency by developing sustainable livelihood.[19] In preparation for setting up their own micro-enterprises, 468 of those beneficiaries who had received income support learnt the basics of running a business.[20] The ICRC also distributed food and other essential items to households that had lost their breadwinners, and to victims of mines/ERW.[21]

The IOM and the ITF[22] continued cooperation in an economic inclusion project for mine/ERW survivors. Established in 2009, the project was implemented as a pilot program until 2012. In November 2012, a new phase of the project was launched and is due to run until 2015.[23] The project aims to improve the standard of living of mine/ERW victims and their families through enhanced employability, greater access to seed funding for starting/expanding their own business, and through improved socio-economic support. As of end of 2013, 149 beneficiaries were registered; small business trainings were conducted for the registered beneficiaries. Forty-three people received job counseling and four beneficiaries were referred to vocational skills development training.[24]

There was a continuing lack of psychological support and social reintegration activities in Georgia.

The law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities; however, these provisions were not effectively enforced and social, educational, and employment discrimination against persons with disabilities remained a problem. In 2013, the government of Georgia developed a draft law on the elimination of all forms of discrimination which was adopted on the 2 May 2014.[25] Legislation required access to buildings for persons with disabilities and stipulated fines for noncompliance. However, very few public facilities or buildings were accessible.[26]

In 2013, the Office of the Human Rights Defender (ombudsperson) said that buildings, public transport, and streets were still not adapted for people with disabilities in towns and in rural areas of Georgia. The ombudsperson requested greater efforts from local authorities to improve accessibility.[27]

Georgia signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 10 July 2009 and ratified it on 13 March 2014.


[1]Red Bridge Landmine Blast Kills 25-year-old,”, 2 April 2013.

[2] Email from Maia Buchukuri, ICBL-GC, 28 July 2014.

[3] Email from Herbi Elmazi, Regional Weapon Contamination Advisor, ICRC, 25 July 2014.

[4] Human Rights Watch (HRW), A dying practice: use of cluster munitions by Georgia and Russia in August 2008 (New York: HRW, April 2009), pp. 40 and 57. Russian cluster munition strikes on populated areas killed 12 civilians and injured 46. Georgian cluster munitions killed at least one civilian and injured at least two more when they landed on or near the towns of Tirdznisi and Shindisi.

[6] Email from Narine Berikashvili, Monitor Researcher, 17 June 2010; and interview with Maia Buchukuri, ICBL-GC, 12 September 2013.

[7] Interview with Maia Buchukuri, ICBL-GC, 12 September 2013.

[8] Email from Nino Burtikashvili, Deputy Secretary General, Georgia Red Cross Society, 25 July 2014; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 376.

[9] Email from Herbi Elmazi, ICRC, 25 July 2014; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 376.

[10] Email from Maia Buchukuri, ICBL-GC, 2 August 2011.

[11] Coalition for Independent Living, “News,” undated.

[13]  ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014; emails from Marika Kalmakhelidze, GEFPOR, 13 March 2013, and 22 April 2013; from Herbi Elmazi, ICRC, 25 July 2014; and from Madonna Kharebava, Executive Director, Association of Disabled Women and Mothers of Disabled Children (DEA), 8 July 2014; ITF, “Annual Report 2013,” Ljubljana, 2014; United States (US) Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Georgia,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014; GEFPOR, “Statistics,” undated, accessed 2 August 2014; IOM Georgia, “Assistance for mine victims,” undated, accessed 2 August 2014; “Public Defender – No Facilities for Physically Disabled People in the Towns of Georgia,”, 11 April 2011; and “Environment Is Still Not Adapted for Disabled People,”, 19 February 2013.

[14] ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, pp. 373–378.

[15] Emails from Marika Kalmakhelidze, GEFPOR, 13 March 2013, and 22 April 2013.

[16] GEFPOR reported providing 353 prostheses in 2013, compared to 336 in 2012, 99 in 2011, and 151 in 2010. Of these, 58 prostheses were for mine/ERW survivors, compared to 78 in 2012, and 54 in 2011. GEFPOR, “Statistics,” undated, accessed 2 August 2014.

[17] Email from Herbi Elmazi, ICRC, 25 July 2014; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 376.

[18] Email from Madonna Kharebava, DEA, 8 July 2014.

[19] Email from Herbi Elmazi, ICRC, 25 July 2014.

[20] ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 375.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Formerly the ITF “for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance, Slovenia.”

[23] IOM Georgia, “Assistance for mine victims,” undated, accessed 2 August 2014.

[24] ITF, “Annual Report 2013,” Ljubljana, 2014, pp. 60–62.

[25] Email from Madonna Kharebava, DEA, 8 July 2014.

[26] US Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Georgia,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014.