Bhutanese refugees fail to obtain essential documents

May 13: Bhutanese refugee representatives have drawn the attention of the Nepal Government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) towards unfair treatment meted out against them.

After the fake refugee incident, some services provided by the Nepal Government to the Bhutanese refugees who have been residing in Damak of Jhapa and Pathari-Shanishchare of Morang for the past 33 years were cut off.

Before the fake refugee incident surfaced, the District Administrative Office used to issue travel documents for those who did not have a refugee identification card from the UNHCR but were staying in the camp. Additionally, birth registration of children born inside the camps was being conducted. However, after the revelation of the fake refugee incident, those staying in the camp cannot go to a foreign country even when their family members residing abroad call them. Children born inside the camps cannot obtain a birth registration certificate in Nepal nor can they obtain a refugee identification card. Manamaya Rai residing in hut no. 5 of Sector D (1) in the camp said that their life had become difficult after service cut off. She said, "My son turned four years old. We did not get his birth certificate until he was the age to go to school. But, the ward refuged his birth registration."

In the camp, many share difficulties similar to Manamaya's. A group of 15 refugees residing in the camps of Beldangi in Damak and Pathari-Shanishchare in Morang recently submitted a demand letter to Carolin Spannuth Verma, a representative of the Home Ministry and the UNHCR. They demanded that those who wanted to go back to their homeland should be allowed to do so.

Likewise, they demanded revalidation for families separated due to resettlement and requests for resettlement arrangements at the local level with the provision of minimum housing and citizenship. Additionally, they demanded the provision of at least five katthas of land and permission to establish associations, conduct businesses and open bank accounts as well as to provide basic services.

Published on: 13 May 2024 | The Rising nepal


Back to list