UK to take in Bhutanese refugees

United Kingdom has expressed its willingness to help resettle Bhutanese refugees living in seven camps in eastern Nepal.
Officials at the Home Ministry said UK will be resettling the refugees as part of Gateway Protection Program operated by the UK Border Agency in partnership with the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“Necessary preparations are underway in the context of UK expressing its willingness to help resettle Bhutanese refugees,” said Under Secretary Prahlad Pokharel at Home Ministry.
Pokharel said International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNHCR, the UK government and the ministry will jointly work to expedite the process.
The UK government has announced to resettle up to 750 refugees in 2010/2011 from different locations including eastern Nepal. It plans to take in around 100 Bhutanese Refugees from Nepal in the year 2010.
Ministry officials said UK Boarder Agency is expected to send a Refugee Resettlement Mission to Nepal sometime in May to conduct preliminary interviews for departure at a future date to expedite the resettlement process in the UK.
The UK is the eighth country to join hands to help resettle the Bhutanese refugees who have been languishing in seven camps in eastern Nepal for almost 20 years now. Altogether seven countries including the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Denmark and the Netherlands have already started taking in the refugees.
The first batch of 100 refugees left for Arizona in the US in March 2008.According to figures provided by the Home Ministry, the IOM has already helped resettle 28,974 of the total 108,000-plus Bhutanese refugees in third countries as of March end. These include 25,401 in the US, 1,298 in Australia, 407 in New Zealand, 326 in Denmark, 319 in Norway and 129 in the Netherlands.
The IOM has been working with UNHCR and the countries concerned to facilitate refugee departures from Nepal since October 2007. This includes the processing of cases for resettlement countries as well as medical screening, cultural orientation and travel arrangements.
The refugees are Bhutanese citizens of Nepalese origin and are known as “Lhotsampas” in Bhutan. They have been living in the camps since being evicted in 1990 from their homes by the Bhutanese government, which introduced a law stripping them of their citizenship and civil rights on the ground of their ancestry.(republica)

One Response

  1. its a good news to hear. it was only seven, now became eight. great news.
    hey guys, where ever we are, let us live happily and smoothly.
    cheer up guys!!!

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