Non-recognized territorial entities, often referred to as ‘de facto states’, are one of the biggest conundrums in international law and relations. There is not even a grey zone to which such entities can be relegated; there are simply no tools in the toolkit that allow for describing and accommodating these outcomes of what is also called ‘frozen’ conflicts. While some have been constituted largely like small states with constitutional agreements regulating internal affairs, others survive on systems of strong authoritarian rules imposed by totalitarian rulers. While a few have appeared to take on board international normative standards on human rights, none have adopted regulations on minority rights and protection. International organisations have their hands tied with regard to access to these entities due to the strict lines adopted by their member states. They regularly denounce the rulers of these entities, including their approaches to human rights. Many NGOs operate in these regions, especially with humanitarian and educational issues. At present, only two authoritative reports on the human rights situation have been issued by the independent but highly respected Norwegian expert, Thomas Hammarberg. In 2013, he published a report on Transnistria upon the request of the UN, and in 2017, he published a report on Abkhazia on the request of the EU. Since the ECMI is an independent institution and given that there exists no systematic monitoring in entities, such as Northern Cyprus, Transnistria, Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno Karabakh, the ECMI will include these entities as a separate initiative in its geographic portfolio.

    Compile, systematize and analyse human and minority rights information on an annual basis in all relevant entities and publish this in one or several reports.
  • THE PROJECT aims to analyse human and minority rights in such nonrecognized entities as Nagorno-Karabakh, Crimea, Northern Cyprus, Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia. The ECMI goal is to fill in the gap in research and data collection that is connected with the status of these territories.

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ECMI Founders