Mission Geneva: lobby begins

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Dec  02: A group of the Bhutanese refugees resettled and had relocated in different parts of Europe some years back started its formal mission in Geneva from December 1 where Bhutan is presenting its first human rights report.

A team of two persons from the Netherlands and another team of three persons from Norway had landed in Geneva in the mid-day Tuesday. Soon after its arrival in Geneva, the group was seen busy for different initial appointments and arrangements for demonstration and accreditation for the sixth session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Human Rights. All the sixteen participants have been accredited to present physically in the UPR Session.

The group attained a meeting with The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Department of World Service in its meeting hall Wednesday evening.

“We thanked the LWF officials for its continuous support to the Bhutanese refugees and also discussed about the procedures to take up advocacy works in regards to the human rights situation of Bhutanese people”, said Durga Giri after attending the meeting. The meeting was organized with the top ranking five LWF officials including Peter N Prove, Assistant to the General Secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights.

The group also had a separate meeting with Thomas Hunecke, Human Rights Officer, Asia-Pacific Unit in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The officer was informed about the gross human rights violations in Bhutan for last two decades, the rights of the Bhutanese children, the cause of the refugee issue and present situation of human rights inside Bhutan.

The remaining other members from Germany and Norway are scheduled to reach Geneva by Wednesday afternoon.

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