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UNHCR Country Operations Plan 2003 - Nepal
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UNHCR, at the request of His Majesty's Government of Nepal (HMG-N), has been playing an active advisory, co-ordination and monitoring role in protection activities and the provision of assistance to Bhutanese refugees since 1993. Law and order at the camps are maintained by the Refugee Co-ordination Unit (RCU) under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Care and maintenance for the concerned population continues with a strong emphasis on participation and self-reliance, including camp management and daily delivery of assistance. The assisted population, accommodated in seven camps in Eastern Nepal, will reach approximately 104,000 persons by the year 2003, unless durable solutions are agreed upon and implemented by then.
UNHCR works closely and effectively with its main Government counterpart (RCU) as well as with WFP and four Implementing Partners (AMDA, CARITAS-Nepal, LWF and Nepal Red Cross Society). This well-established arrangement is expected to continue in 2003.
As of June 2002, solutions to the population rest solely on bilateral negotiations between the Governments of Nepal and Bhutan. A breakthrough to the decade-long bilateral initiatives for solutions took place at the tenth round talks of Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) in Kathmandu (24-28 December 2000). Both the Governments agreed to adopt terms of reference for a Joint Verification exercise of the camp population. It was also agreed to establish Joint Verification Team (JVT) composed of government officials of both countries and to mandate it to interview the population for classification in accordance with four categories which the two countries had agreed upon in 1993. They are: (1) Genuine Bhutanese forcefully evicted; (2) Bhutanese who emigrated voluntarily; (3) Non-Bhutanese, and (4) Bhutanese who have committed criminal acts. While the bilateral nature of the negotiations and the verification process precludes a specific role for UNHCR in the verification process, the two countries have come to accept, to a limited extent, the Office’s advice, technical expertise and logistical support to facilitate the search of durable solutions.
The JVT's work started on 26 March 2001. Khudunabari camp (12,486 persons/1,964 families) was chosen as a test case camp. The verification of the population in the camp was concluded on 14 December 2001 without major disruption, even after the announcement of a nation-wide State of Emergency in Nepal in late November 2001. However, the 12th round of JMC, expected to discuss the next steps of verification, has not taken place. This is reportedly due to a lack of harmonisation of the respective positions on criteria for return. This has resulted in heightened tension and frustration of the refugee population and UNHCR continues to urge both Governments to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
#Refugees #AsylumSeekers #UNHCR
UNHCR ,   (2002 )
Type / Script:
Official Document in English
Thematic Group:
 UNHCR : Refugees and Migration
13.01.00  -  Protection Of And Assistance To Refugees And Displaced Persons
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