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Refugees in Delhi

There are around one lakh refugees residing in India, and close to 25,000 living in Delhi itself. Due to various human rights abuses, severe restrictions on basic freedoms and widespread poverty within the States of Afghanistan, Burma and Tibet, a large number of population of these countries have fled to neighbouring countries in quest for protection and survival. Some 9,000 Afghans; 4,200 ChinBurmese and; 6,000 Tibetans are currently living in uncertain conditions and are dependant on other agencies to protect them. The report examines the lack of protection and adequate living conditions of Afghans, Chins and Tibetan refugees and asylum seekers in Delhi. Although UNHCR is currently registering and recognizing refugees in Delhi, these refugees wait long times due to processing delays. Resettlement is unduly slow and opportunities are limited. Even though, UNHCR supports several programes to provide for and improve the welfare of these refugees,many of these programes are limited, inadequate and ineffective to meet the needs of the community.The Tibetans on the other hand are being governed by the ‘Tibetan Government in exile’ which has though made a number of facilities provided to the community members, it still requires continuded assistance from the Indian Government as they do not fall under the UNHCR’s mandate. Therefore they are not the beneficiaries of the UNHCR ‘s progranes, which leads to furthering their plight.This paper thus aims to find solutions to make the living conditions of the refugees worth living so that they not only get the basic requirements well, but also manage to remove the tag of ‘refugees’ from their lives forever to lead a dignified and peaceful life.

Maina Sharma
Centre for Civil Society