Rights experts demand policy on refugees


Human rights activists and various political party leaders today stressed the need to incorporate refugee rights into the new constitution.

Tibetan and Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal are facing tough times in social, administrative, economic, educational and travel sector due to the absence of appropriate laws, rights activist Sudip Pathak said at an interaction on ‘Human Rights-friendly Constitution and Refugee Rights’ in the Capital, wrote The Himalayan Times (THT), Sunday.

“We have also submitted memoranda to the leaders of major political parties demanding that refugees be protected in line with international laws and standard on refugees,” Pathak said.

According to rights activists, majority of Tibetan and Bhutanese refugees have no refugee cards, though they have been living in Nepal for 51 years.

Nepal has failed to ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention to ensure their fundamental rights. CPN-ML leader CP Mainali and Nepali Congress leader Dhyangovinda Ranjit urged the government to respect the refugees’ rights on humanitarian grounds, and clearly define their legal status.

THT further mentioned that CA members Kamala Panta, Mina Pandey and Kalyani Rijal flayed the government’s frequent crackdown and intimidation on refugees and demanded that the government bring a clear policy on refugees to safeguard their human rights.

Rights activists Subodhraj Pyakurel and Kapil Shrestha stressed the need to formulate refugee-friendly laws, it added.