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.

Sharma, Maina
Centre for Civil Society