Last Hope: The Need for Durable Solutions for Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal and India
Human Rights Watch
New York, NY: Human Rights Watch
v.19 n.7, May 2007, 88 pages
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.