The refugees in Nepal subsist in a state of limbo


The Government of Nepal and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have been unable to solve the prevailing refugee crisis in the country. According to the UNHCR - Nepal, the resettlement processes for religious and political asylum seekers have been halted due to lack of funds.

In addition, the Nepali government has allegedly introduced a fine of one million rupees to be paid by the refugees. The Bhutanese refugees are obviously unable to return to their country and other nationalities would not have any idea which nation to turn to.

Many single women as well as families from Afganistan, different African countries and Pakistan are also suffering from various health problems while UNHCR - Nepal remains incapable of addressing the issue. The refugees in Nepal I have talked to would all state the same; the lack of any organisation dealing with food, housing, medical care or education.

As a Pakistani woman, I can thoroughly comprehend the hardships they are going through. These people are illegal immigrants, with no permission to work nor possibility to leave the country. They simply have no way out of the limbo. Nepal certainly is a developing country with its own severe challenges but it cannot turn its back on the major refugee crisis on its own soil. Who is to be hold responsible in this kind of situation? Would it be the refugees themselves, the given government or the UNHCR?

More than a million immigrants and refugees have entered Europe in 2015 and 2016, sparking a crisis with countries trying to cope with the influx. According to news sources, there are increased numbers of refugees from countries like Afganistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia. The situation in Nepal is locked in stalemate. The refugees themselves have no way out.

As His Holiness the Dalai Lama said - there are too many refugees. The war in Syria is far from over. What are the reasons of the Arab countries not hosting most of them?

I am calling for an open discussion between the Government of Nepal and the UNHCR - Nepal to find a solution for an established status and an immediate resettlement plan for all the refugees in this country. - Eram Shahzjadi