To ensure a safe and caring environment for children and youth
A New Life for Refugees From Bhutan and Nepal: A Life in Limbo. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) . 2008. English . http://www.refugeeyouthproject.org.uk/nepal/
Uses a video format to follow a young Bhutanese man and his sisters as they journey from the refugee camps in Nepal to resettle in the United States. Making the decision to immigrate is difficult and the departure is emotional. They have received classes in language, employment, and customs. They are welcomed by nongovernmental agency personnel and taken to a furnished apartment and will be given support to find work and become independent. Some older Bhutanese refugees will not resettle since they believe that they must return to Bhutan. The role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is to provide accurate and timely information regarding resettlement and allow each individual and family to make an informed choice. Over 25,000 Bhutanese refugees had expressed an interest in resettlement.
This Web site contains digital dictionaries in multiple South East Asian languages including Nepali-English.
Adjusting to the American Way of Life:Tips for Visitors, Students and Immigrants from Nepal. Sharma, Krishna , Adhikary, Anita 52 page s . 2001. . http://www.fon-la.org/joomla/images/stories/article_photos/Files/anmahandbook.pdf
Walks the newly arrived through such things as what to bring to the US, what to expect at the port of entry, finding an apartment, transportation. school, employment, finances, common laws, and American values such as punctuality.
Assessing the Mental Health of Karen and Bhutanese Refugee Families in the Child Welfare System. Shannon, Patricia , Wieling, Elizabeth , Ogasawara, Tomoko 1 page . 2010. English . http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/research/posterpdfs/Shannon-Wieling-MH-Poster.pdf
This research summary includes background information, methods used, trauma and symptoms, family responses, and reccomendations.
Creating Successful Programs for Immigrant Youth. Easter, Maud , Refki, Dina 4 page s . December 2004. English . http://www.actforyouth.net/resources/pm/pm_creatingsuccess_1204.pdf
This issue describes assets of immigrant youth and useful strategies for three kinds of program development: with youth themselves, their parents and their schools.
Bhutanese American Community Center (BACC) (Website). Bhutanese American Community Center (BACC) . n.d.. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.
Provides an Internet forum for Bhutanese Americans supporting education and integration, preserving Bhutanese culture, and strengthening cooperation among Bhutanese organizations. After 10 years, this organization organized the First Convention of the Bhutanese American Community Center (BACC) on December 16, 2007, in Berkeley, California. Executives were elected and the chairperson, Mr. Bir Thapa, encouraged cooperation within the community and for special attention to be given to passing on Bhutanese culture and values. A map of Bhutan and a brief history of the country are included. An on-line membership form and contact information are provided.
Bhutanese Refugee Children's Forum. PhotoVoice page s . 2003. English . http://www.photovoice.org/html/projects/photovoiceprojects/indiasubcontin/theroseclass/index.html
Showcases the photographs taken by Bhutanese children living in Nepali refugee camps. In 1998, Tiffany Fairey, co-founder of PhotoVoice, established the Rose Class to encourage the children to use photography and writing to express the hopes and fears associated with living in a refugee status. Since its inception, the project has involved over 3000 refugee youth in exhibitions, art workshops with the local Nepali children, writing and art classes, video documentaries, and publication of a monthly newspaper with a circulation of 2000. Many participants have gained employment skills and income as journalists or artists. Exhibitions have been displayed in Kathmandu, London, Paris, and New York.
Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal. Ranard, Donald A. (editor) 4 page s . October 2007. English . http://www.cal.org/co/pdffiles/backgrounder_bhutanese.pdf
"This Backgrounder provides Reception and Placement (R&P) agency staff and others assisting refugee newcomers with an overview of the Bhutanese refugees to help them prepare for the refugees' arrival and resettlement needs. The Backgrounder briefly discusses the causes of the refugee problem, explains the need for third-country resettlement, and describes the characteristics of the refugee population." Publisher's description
Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal (Powerpoint). UNHCR Washington 16 page s . August 2007. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/bhutanese_refugees_in_nepal.pdf
Presents a snapshot of the resettlement crisis facing Bhutanese refugees living in seven camps in Nepal through analysis of demographic data, an historic timeline, current challenges, and the United Nations response. This population of approximately 108,000 people from southern Bhutan were forced into refugee camps in Nepal during the early 1990's after the Bhutanese government confiscated schools and land of sub-cultures deemed inadequate to measure up to the officially sanctioned Bhutan language, customs, religion, and political affiliation. This refugee group is fifty percent male and fifty percent female with approximately 35% of the population under the age of 18. Almost 70% adhere to the Hindu religion but Buddhists comprise 25% of the group, 5-8% are Kirat (an indigenous religion), and 2-3% are Christians. The well organized and stable camps offer education through the 10th grade with great success in primary education. A small, but very active, minority opposes resettlement in the West andinsists on repatriation in Bhutan. They have used misinformation, threats, and violence to thwart resettlement agreements. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) works to closely coordinate resettlement, improve camp security, and use town meetings, publications, and radio broadcasts to disseminate accurate information. Once security is complete, the multi-year resettlement program will commence and many, if not most, of the refugees will resettle in the United States.
Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal: Anticipating the Impact of Resettlement. Banki, Susan 36 page s . June 2008. English . http://www.austcare.org.au/media/56970/arcnepalbp-lowres.pdf
Outlines the history, current conditions, and impending changes occurring in the Bhutanese refugees camps in Nepal as many residents begin permanent resettlement.
Bhutanese Refugees: The Story of a Forgotten People (Website). PhotoVoice , Bhutanese Refugee Support Group page s . n.d.. English . http://www.bhutaneserefugees.com
Presents a detailed Internet resource to explain the plight of the Bhutanese refugees by exploring the issues they face, their camp life, Bhutanese history and culture, and the experiences of exiles living around the world. An extensive explanation of the issues that surround the Bhutanese refugees focuses on background and history, human rights violations, an event timeline, video and audio testimonies, and next steps to help the refugees. The Camp Life page uses photo galleries and written descriptions to report on the daily existence of over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees living in seven camps in eastern Nepal with sections on education and children's programs, water and health issues, markets and industry, housing and sanitation, camp administration, and family life. Additional information on the Children's Forum highlights the arts, writing, and photography of children in the camp. The "In Bhutan" page discusses the history, geography, and politics of the country with an emphasis on the plightof the Lhotshampa minority, who were forced to flee Bhutan for Nepali refugee camps in the early 1990s. The "In Exile" page highlights the difficult, yet worthwhile, transitions made by Bhutanese refugees as they resettled in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. A press release is provided with a section to help tourists to Bhutan recognize the human rights issues that can be masked by the natural beauty of the country.
Bhutanese Resettlement to the United States. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 2 page s . 2008. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/BhutaneseUNHCRfactsheet2008.pdf
This UNHCR document provides a concise, comprehensive background on the Bhutanese refugee crisis, followed by an outline of the role UNHCR plays in resettling Bhutanese refugees to countries like the United States, Canada and Australia. Additionally, this fact sheet describes UNHCR's definition of "resettlement", including statistics on refugee resettlement to the United States.
Community Profiles. Commonwealth of Australia 28 page s . August 2006. English . http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/delivering-assistance/government-programs/settlement-planning/_pdf/community-profile-burma.pdf
Community Profiles were developed to assist service providers to better understand the backgrounds and needs of immgrant and refugee arrivals. The Profiles contain information on settlement locations, demographic characteristics, settlement needs and cultural and country backgrounds including pre-arrival experiences and camp conditions.
Refugee and Immigrant Populations include: Bhutanese, Burmese, Congolese, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Liberian, Sierra Leonean, Sudanese, Togolese, and Uzbek.
Discrimination against Ethnic Nepali Children in Bhutan: Submission from Human Rights Watch to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Human Rights Watch page s . September 2007. English . http://hrw.org/backgrounder/crd/2007/bhutan1007/
Enumerates the violations of the Bhutanese government against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to include deprivation of nationality and identity; denial of the right to return to one's own country; discrimination resulting in thwarting access to education, health care, and landownership; restricting minority use of culture or language; and sexual violence against females. These assertions are based on interviews with 150 Bhutanese citizens living in Nepal or India. The history of discrimination by the Bhutanese monarchy toward an ethnic minority living in southern Bhutan results in the deprivation of nationality and statelessness which violates articles seven and eight of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Continued discrimination against ethnic Nepalese children in Bhutan exists causing restricted access to education, health care, employment, land ownership. The children cannot celebrate their cultural trademarks with traditional clothing, food, and holiday celebrations. Sexual violence against girls and women is pervasive making them feel unsafe in the refugee camps. Recommendations from Human Rights Watch include amending Bhutanese citizenship laws to remove discrimination and eliminate the four-tiered citizenship process currently used to restrict this ethnic minority.
Outlines the conditions and expectations for resettlement to the United States as offered to Bhutanese refugees living in Nepali camps. The government of Nepal agreed to allow U.S. resettlement on the condition that repatriation to Bhutan will also be pursued. The resettlement process is coordinated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and is available to Bhutanese refugees who express an interest and meet the requirements of the program. Each applicant is individually reviewed in a process taking as much as six months by U.S. immigration authorities who base their approval on the strength of the applicant's refugee claims and resettlement need, not on job skills or education. Upon arrival, nongovernmental agencies will help refugees find housing, basic furniture, food, clothing, employment, English language classes, and schools for children. Government stipends and medical assistance will be available for a limited time, but independent financial support is mandatory. After one year, permanent residency applications can be submitted and after five years of residence, permanent citizenship can be obtained.
Helping the Community to Stabilize: An Experience in the Bhutanese Context. Dhakal, Birendra 22 page s . March 2011. English . http://gallery.mailchimp.com/1dea1d0650aaafef20602d9aa/files/Birendra_s_Present_2011_03_04.pdf
This presentation offers a background on the Bhutanese population, human rights violations, and refugee camps in Nepal. The presentation also examines the role of community organizations, skills training, self-rehabilitation, and more.
Last Hope: The Need for Durable Solutions for Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal and India. Human Rights Watch 88 page s . May 2007. English . http://hrw.org/reports/2007/bhutan0507/bhutan0507web.pdf
Reviews the intractable refugee situation where over 100,000 Bhutanese citizens were stripped of citizenship and fled to seven refugee camps in southeastern Nepal. Although international law supports repatriation, none of the refugees has been allowed to return and the government of Nepal has resisted naturalizing this group and restricts movement and employment. Resettlement information has purposely been distorted by strong, threatening opponents of resettlement who believe that repatriation is the only course of action. A three-pronged strategy is recommended: (1) additional countries should join a coordinated effort to resettle the refugees and Nepal must cooperate and issue timely exit visas; (2) local integration into the Nepali community must be opened to allow ease of movement and employment; (3) the United States and other resettlement countries must continue to pressure Bhutan to repatriate the refugees under international human rights law. Adoption of these strategies would provide truechoices for the refugees to strive to improve their lives and those of their children.
Malnutrition and Micronutrient Deficiencies Among Bhutanese Refugee Children. Evans, Rosalind page s . April 11, 2008. English . http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5714a3.htm
Discusses the significant prevalence of nutritional deficits found in Bhutanese children living in the Nepali refugee camps and offers recommendations to improve the situation. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) directed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) to further evaluate the poor nutritional status of the Bhutanese refugee children in seven Nepali camps since acute malnutrition (wasting) and chronic malnutrition (stunted growth) were noted during annual health surveys. Weight and height measurements recorded for 497 children and their 413 mothers revealed a significant number of cases of acute and chronic malnutrition, nearly 45 percent had anemia and a high incidence of diarrhea and acute respiratory illness (ARI). Recommendations include: increasing iron supplements for children under age 2; expanded education for mothers on recommended feeding practices especially in relation to breastfeeding and the introduction of complimentary foods; and further investigation to identify the source of diarrhea and ARI.
Needs Assessment of Refugee Communities from Bhutan and Burma. The Intergenerational Center at Temple University 34 page s . May 2011. English . https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6067/images/2011%20NeedsAssessReport_FINAL.pdf
This needs assessment is intended to help improve initial resettlement experiences and access to services for new refugees, and to help support community building and leadership development within these new refugee communities.
Nepal Research : Website on Nepal and Himalayan Studies. Kramer, Karl-Heinz 280 page s . 2007. English Nepali . http://nepalresearch.org/dictionaries/nep_eng/nep_eng.htm
Contains information on Bhutan and Bhutanese refugees and links to a regularly updated and searchable Nepali-English dictionary.
Nepali-speaking Bhutanese (Lhotsampa). Maxym, Maya . March 2010. English . http://ethnomed.org/culture/nepali-speaking-bhutanese-lhotsampa-cultural-profile
This cultural profile discusses common cultural beliefs and practices such as experiences with traditional and Western medicine, nutrition, health, and disease, marriage and family, religion, death and dying, acculturation issues, and recommendations for assisting refugees.
Old Hopes and New Dreams: Bhutanese Refugees Ponder the Challenge of Resettlement. The Refugee Voice 4 page s . 2008. English . http://jrsusa.org/Assets/Publications/File/JRSUSA-RefVoice-May08.pdf
Summarizes the political and emotional issues involved in the resettlement of 107,000 Bhutanese citizens living in United Nations refugee camps in Nepal. This group, an ethnic minority expelled by the Bhutanese government in the early 1990s, must decide whether to accept resettlement in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, or the Netherlands. The decision is difficult because some refugees actively seek repatriation and spread inaccurate information regarding resettlement in order to achieve their political goals. They also worry about employment opportunities, their ability to care for large, multi-generational families, places to practice their Hindu or Buddhist faith, and ability to continue Bhutanese cultural practices such as cremation of the dead. The refugee camps are largely self-sustaining with many Bhutanese women overseeing camp operations of food distribution and administration. Education is highly valued and the relief group, Jesuit Refugee Service, provides lessons in English and Nepali through at least the tenth grade. Many adults have a working knowledge of English, a valuable skill for resettlement. Other recommendations to ease resettlement include increased access to medical treatment and identification of torture survivors in order to facilitate appropriate support services in their host country.
Psychiatric Disorders Among Tortured Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal. Holdaway, Jennifer , Alba, Richard 9 page s . May 2001. English . http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/archpsyc;58/5/475
Addresses three questions surrounding torture victims using structured interviews with 526 tortured and 526 non-tortured Bhutanese refugees: (1) does reporting torture correlate with demographics?; (2) what psychiatric disorders are likely sequelae of torture among a refugee population?; and (3) what are the demographic correlates of disorder among the Bhutanese tortured refugees? Results yielded data that indicates men are more likely to report torture than women, yet women were more likely to report certain disorders. The disorders most likely to be seen in tortured refugees is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), persistent somatoform pain disorder, and dissociative (amnesia and conversion) disorders. Mental health professionals need to be cognizant of the lifelong effects of torture among a refugee population and to address and treat individuals with PTSD and other psychiatric needs.
Refugees from Bhutan: History, Culture and Traditional Practices. Minnesota Deptartment of Health 30 page s . 2008. English . http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/refugee/vfbhutan.pdf
This colorful PowerPoint presentation covers Bhutanese history, culture, camp life, and traditional practices of medicine.
Refugees, Displaced Persons, and Human Trafficking Victims in India and Nepal. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration 20 page s . 2006. English . http://www.usccb.org/mrs/India_final.pdf
Reports on the human rights issues in South Asia from the perspective of the U.S Conference of Catholic Biships (USCCB) with a special chapter devoted to the Bhutanese refugee community and recommendations to create permanent placement for these people. An introduction to the plight of the Bhutanese people discusses the slowing of violence stemming from Maoist guerillas and the emerging democratic movement in Bhutan. A brief history of the discrimination of the Lhotshampas minority and their flight into the seven Nepali refugee camps is outlined. Although the camps have existed for over 15 years, they have positive aspects: they are highly organized and orderly; the school system is disciplined, yet nurturing and includes classes for special needs, vocational training, and intensive teacher training; the primary health care system, administered by the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia, includes a mental health program to assist with trauma/torture and domestic violence problems. Solutions tothis intractable refugee problem face obstacles since the refugee leaders insist on repatriation as the only course of action. The USCCB urges a combination of voluntary repatriation, naturalization in the host country, and resettlement in a third country as the most viable method to place over 100,000 refugees. A unique "vulnerable" case scenario features three orphaned sisters, ages 16, 11, and 10, the oldest of whom was raped. Their case was expedited, and they have resettled to the United States.
Resources on Ethnic Nepalese Refugees from Bhutan. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page s . 2008. . http://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/newsletters/notes/TBN_4_08/tbetn_update.htm
Includes background information, demographics, and helpful resources on the ethnic Nepalese from Bhutan
Stateless Refugee Children from Bhutan Living in Nepal: Testimony of Bill Frelick to a Joint Briefing for the Congressional Children's Caucus and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on the Status of Stateless Children. Frelick, Bill. page s . February 15, 2007. English . http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/02/15/bhutan15344.htm
Recounts the history and current conditions of Bhutanese refugee youth and children through the testimony of Bill Frelick, Refugee Policy Director for Human Rights Watch, to the Congressional Children's Caucus. Frelick outlines the restrictive citizenship laws enacted in Bhutan in the 1980s which forced many of Bhutan's Nepalese-speaking citizens to flee or be deported to live in Nepali refugee camps. The camps continue to operate 15 years after they were created, and the path to repatriation or resettlement continues to be confusing and unknown. The children in the camps acknowledge their human rights situation and express a deep desire to improve their lives through resettlement. Human Rights Watch urges the United States to: continue diplomatic pressure to restore Bhutanese citizenship to the refugees, work with the UNHCR to improve information about resettlement, proceed quickly with the resettlement process, and encourage the Nepali government to allow the refugees to naturalize.
The Health of Refugees from Bhutan. International Rescue Committee (IRC) 1 page . February 2009. . http://www.cal.org/co/email_discussion/Attachments/IRC-Bhutanese_Health_FactSheet.pdf
This 1-pager covers the primary causes of Bhutanese refugees' health concerns and the health problems they experience when transitioning to America.
Trapped by Inequality: Bhutanese Refugee Women in Nepal. Human Rights Watch 77 page s . 2003. English . http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/nepal0903/nepal0903full.pdf
Documents the pervasive problem of gender-based abuse experienced by Bhutanese refugee women who are trapped by the bureaucracy of housing and ration card distribution administered under the male head of household in the refugee camps where they live. The camps, governed jointly by the government of Nepal and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), register women with their husband, brother, or father with very few single, divorced, or widowed women registered independently. If domestic violence or rape occurs, the women cannot access food, clothing, or housing. Access to aid is also restricted if the father of the child is not a refugee but the mother is. Reform of the camp registration and ration distribution system by the government of Nepal will support women who need to leave abusive homes. UNHCR can address gender-based violence by demanding independent access to humanitarian aid and adhere to strict retribution for sexual violence offenses as well as increase information campaigns and outreach programs.
Who am I? Assessment of Psychosocial Needs and Suicide Risk Factors among Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal and After Third Country Resettlement. IOM's Migration Health Division / Mental Health and Psychosocial Section 28 page s . March 2011. English . http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/shared/shared/mainsite/published_docs/studies_and_reports/Bhutanese-Mental-Health-Assessment-Nepal-23-March.pdf
This report summarizes the results of a mental health assessment conducted because of the high number of suicides among Bhutanese refugees in camps and upon resettlement. Vulnerable and separated families were among the groups found to be at risk. A supplemental PowerPoint presentation, that summarizes the report, is also available.