Resettlement of Refugees from Bhutan Passes 20,000 Mark


Sept 07: The UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration on Tuesday announced that over 20,000 refugees from Bhutan have left camps in Nepal for resettlement countries since the beginning for programme in November 2007.

The United States has accepted the largest numbers – 17,612, many of whom have resettled in Texas, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and California.

Departures to Australia total 846, Canada 674, Norway 299, New Zealand 294, Denmark 172, and the Netherlands 122.

“We are grateful to the resettlement countries for generously giving a chance to the refugees to start their lives afresh in a new country,” said Diane Goodman, UNHCR Acting Representative in Nepal.

“We are equally thankful to the Government of Nepal who has generously hosted the refugees for so many years, and without whose support this programme would not be successful,” added Diane.

UNHCR continues to ensure that refugees are able to make free and informed decisions regarding solutions. For this purpose, comprehensive and transparent information on resettlement and other durable solutions are provided to the refugees through regular information sessions, focus group discussions and individual counseling, using a wide variety of media. Special information sessions are organized for marginalised and vulnerable refugees.

The International Organization for Migration works with UNHCR and the resettlement countries to facilitate refugee departures from Nepal. IOM activities include the processing of cases for resettlement countries, notably the USA, as well as medical screening, cultural orientation and travel arrangements.

“IOM has an established infrastructure and trained professionals to facilitate the departure of 2,000 refugees every month. We anticipate more than 25,000 refugees will depart Nepal by the end of this year,” said Sarat Dash, IOM Chief of Mission in Nepal.


  1. this is the good news for us. 17 years in refugee camps. Oh my god, how we passed that time. I hope all bhutanese refugees will be settle in this year and i hope in 2010 will be completed for resettlement of Bhutanese refugees. Thanks for UNHCR and thanks Nepal government to provide service for Bhutanese refugees till this days. I hope we will able to successful life now and rest life our next generation. Thanks everybody for supporting resettlement process for us.

    Ramesh Adhikari

  2. I am pleased to hear a positive news regarding resettlement process passing 20 thousand within a very short span of time. I remember the days when the so-called Bhutanese attacked my poor hut in Timai Camp in the beginning of last year. Also, getting sad on the question of personal security of individual refugees in the Camps, I am pleased to know that more than 25 thousand refugees will be eligible to get resettlement opportunity within this year. What happens if more than that figure is resettled? I feel happy in hearing the news of formation of Bhutanese communities in different countries in a very short period of time. But, it is important for UNHCR and IOM to maintain political security in the Camps byencouraging individual refugees to participate in various programmes in which it is involved. Not only USA but all other countries should formulate criteria to take as many Bhutanese refugees as possible so that this problem gets resolved easily and decently without harming the parties involved.