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Bhutanese Refugees

Bhutanese Refugees

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Bhutanese Refugees

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  1. Bhutanese Refugees Living in Refugee Camps in Nepal

  2. Bhutan • Bhutan is a small, remote and very poor country between two powerful neighbours – China and India. • Bhutan is a conservative Buddhist kingdom high in the Himalayas.

  3. In 1990 the Bhutanese government (monarchy) implemented harsh rules to enforce a depopulation and ethnic cleansing policy. • Their aim - one people – one language – one religion – one culture. • This lead to one of the largest ethnic expulsions in the world.

  4. The Bhutanese had to provide proof of 20 years continuous residence in Bhutan and knowledge of the language and culture of Northern Bhutanese communities. • As the Southern Bhutanese were mostly of Nepalese origin and Hindu, they did not fit the criteria.

  5. Around 103 000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanese were forced to flee their homes (many in appalling situations), and ended up in 7 refugee camps in Nepal. • There are now over 107 000 people in these camps, living in 17 730 shelters.

  6. Bhutan will not let the people return because they are not of pure Bhutanese ethnic origin. • Nepal will not let them out of the refugee camps and into the country because they are Bhutanese.

  7. In close collaboration with the UNHCR, Lutheran World Federation Nepal has been providing basic services like care and maintenance of shelters, service-centres, water supply and sanitation and providing community services to the refugees since the beginning of the crisis.

  8. After many meetings, the governments of Nepal and Bhutan cannot come to a decision about what to do with the refugees, and so they remain in limbo – their lives on hold. • The refugees want to return to their homes in Bhutan, but after 16 years, not one single refugee has been allowed to return home. • Lutheran World Federation continue to advocate for the rights of the refugees.

  9. This refugee crisis is one of the largest and longest-standing in the world. • There is tension, stress and strain in the camps, as people grow more frustrated with their situation, and loose hope in the future for themselves and their children.

  10. Lutheran World Federation are doing what they can in some very difficult circumstances – there are many problems in Nepal (a very poor and politically unstable country) that they need to overcome to help the people in the refugee camps.

  11. Will you help bring hope to the Bhutanese people living in the refugee camps in Nepal?

  12. Learn about the situation. Be an advocate for change. • Pray for a solution. Pray for the people. • Raise some money for books or desks and benches for the schools in the refugee camps.

  13. The poor and the homeless won’t always be forgotten and without hope. Psalm 9:18