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UNHCR Country Operations Plan 2006 - Nepal
His Majesty’s Government of Nepal (HMG-N) has neither acceded to the 1951 Convention / 1967 Protocol nor adopted national refugee legislation. Refugee rights are governed by the Aliens Act and administrative directives that are caseload-specific and incomplete. There are four major groups of persons of concern to UNHCR within Nepal, distinguished by the country of origin and the level of rights and type of recognition accorded; - Tibetans who arrived before 1 January 1990 were recognized as refugees by the Government of Nepal and permitted to reside in Nepal. Although not legally allowed to engage in gainful activities, the HMG-N has adopted a tolerant approach to this population, and no relief assistance is provided to them by UNHCR. However, proper registration and documentation remains a concern. - Tibetans who arrived after 1990 are assessed to determine if they are of concern to UNHCR and their onward travel to third countries is arranged and facilitated by UNHCR. They are not permitted to remain in Nepal, and for the moment are not considered as refugees by UNHCR but ‘others of concern’. UNHCR provides food and other care during their transit stay in Nepal. - Bhutanese refugees and asylum-seekers who arrived between 1991 and June 1992 were given prima facie refugee status by HMG-N, while those arriving after June 1992 have had their status determined individually by the Nepalese authorities. This population is largely, if not entirely, supported by the international community. - Asylum-seekers and refugees from other countries who are largely concentrated in Kathmandu and for whom individual refugee status determination (RSD) is performed by the office under its mandate. Most recognized refugees are submitted for third country resettlement with a few exceptions such as Iraqi asylum-seekers and refugees. UNHCR provides monthly stipends to all asylum-seekers and refugees, as well as medical care and special assistance as required. As a result, asylum-seekers and refugees are dealt with by the government with variable flexibility, and are subjected to discretionary interpretation by relevant government officers. For example, “The Camp Rules” an administrative directive of HMG-N relevant for the Bhutanese refugees, restricts the freedom of movement of refugees and prohibits them from engaging in gainful activities, including cattle breeding. However, to some extent, the Government has turned a blind eye to refugees working outside the camps, particularly if local cadres, such as teachers in remote schools, are found to be insufficient. The bilateral process between the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGB) and HMG-N to seek solutions for the Bhutanese refugees has failed to meet the expectations of the refugees or HGM-N, forcing the consideration of alternative solutions such as resettlement. RGB remains unhappy towards UNHCR, claiming that the establishment of refugee camps by UNHCR created a pull factor for people who would have otherwise remained in Bhutan or dispersed without problems in India and Nepal. The results of the joint verification process, a direct outcome of the bilateral discussions, showed that Bhutan considers only a small minority (over two per cent) of the population to be of Bhutanese origin, and therefore eligible to return to their homes. However, all parties remain hopeful that return will become a reality at least for a reasonable segment of the population. #Refugees #AsylumSeekers #UNHCR
Publisher: UNHCR Type / Script:
Official Document  in  English
Thematic Group:
UNHCR, (2005)
13.01.00 - Protection Of And Assistance To Refugees And Displaced Persons
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