Resettled Bhutanese in the Netherlands face problems of family split and dispersion, a report reveals.
In a meeting on ‘Promotion of resettlement in the European Union through practical cooperation between member states and other relevant stakeholders’, Bhutanese refugees’ resettlement in The Netherlands was figured at the top of the discussion.
Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD), a Hague based international human rights group presented its final report on ‘Bhutanese refugees’ resettlement in The Netherlands’ through power point presentations after two years of its research on the issue.
In its report GHRD highlighted several difficulties that Bhutanese refugees have faced in The Netherlands especially due to massive family splits and their relocations in various parts of the country against their wishes to live together in certain areas of the Netherlands.
Nawaraj Gazmere and Arjun Chhetri , two of the Bhutanese youths resettled from refugee camp in Nepal also participated in the deliberation.
Gazmere briefed the dignitaries on ethnic cleansing in Bhutan and how Bhutan denied taking back its citizen even after waiting for 20 years in UNHCR aided refugee camps in miseries.
He further informed the experts on the current resettlement programs in Nepal and thanked the European Union states for its generosity in helping 120000 Bhutanese refugees with food and other relief in the camps and eventually taking active part in their resettlement. He also narrated his post-resettlement experiences during the occasion.
With Jenny Lundstrom , a human rights officer at the GHRD , Gazmere answered the queries of representatives from various national and international organizations including IOM and UNHCR.
Responding to the report and the stories of Bhutanese youths, Netherlands’ organizations associated with refugees requested the Dutch government to take serious steps to solve the existing problems faced by the invited refugees. Janneke van Etten, an officer from Dutch home ministry stressed the need to unite all the stakeholders in refugee resettlement for their proper resettlement and integration in the local society.
It was the first ever high level expert meeting on resettlement that was ever attended by the Bhutanese representatives in The Netherlands. With this participation Bhutanese Dutch have started getting attention of the major stakeholders in the resettlement programs in the European Union.
(With input from Ram Bahadur Karki, Netherlands)