Official Compatriot Status for Georgians Living Abroad
Thursday, October 20
All persons of Georgian origin and all who recognize Georgia as their historical homeland will be authorized to obtain the status of compatriot residing abroad. The legal status of compatriots residing abroad will be defined under a new law. This was the issue of discussion at the Committee on Diaspora and Caucasus Issues on October 18.
The draft law "On Compatriots, Residing Abroad and Diaspora Organizations” envisages legal guarantees, which will apply to Georgians residing beyond the territory of Georgia.
There is neither legal status for compatriots residing abroad, nor legal status for Diaspora Organizations in legislation as it stands. There are no legal relations regulating the two subjects either.
As the State Minister on Diaspora Issues, Papuna Davitaia elucidated, compatriots residing abroad are in an unfamiliar environment in economic, ethnic, confessional, linguistic and cultural regards, which entails a threat of losing their historical and national origins. "They have a strong sense of missing their homeland and are in constant expectation of support from their country,” he stated.
The Chairman of the Committee on Diaspora and Caucasus Issues, Nugzar Tsiklauri, shares the opinion of Davitaia. As he stated, with political events in the world, when Georgia encounters lots of challenges, it is of utmost importance to support its compatriots residing abroad. As Tsiklauri said, the responsibility of the state for persons with this status is conditional upon good political will.