‘Bring them back home’

Southasia - - Briefing -

The U.S. has urged Bhutan to take tan­gi­ble and im­me­di­ate steps to help re­solve the Bhutanese refugee prob­lem and show Bhutan´s com­mit­ment to­wards demo­cratic val­ues and hu­man rights.

Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for the Bu­reau of Pop­u­la­tion, Refugees and Mi­gra­tion, Kelly Cle­ments vis­ited Bhutan last month, to dis­cuss hu­man­i­tar­ian pro­tec­tion and as­sis­tance is­sues for refugees and other vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions in the re­gion.

Dur­ing these dis­cus­sions, the vis­it­ing of­fi­cial re­minded the Bhutanese gov­ern­ment to re­it­er­ate its April 2011 of­fer to the gov­ern­ment of Nepal to en­gage once again in bi­lat­eral dis­cus­sions as soon as pos­si­ble on the modal­i­ties for vol­un­tary re­turn and rein­te­gra­tion of refugees with le­git­i­mate cit­i­zen­ship claims to Bhutan.

Cle­ments stressed that the U.S. gov­ern­ment and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity are ready to help the gov­ern­ments of Bhutan and Nepal sup­port a process to man­age the re­turn and rein­te­gra­tion of refugees, once agree­ments are reached.

Cle­ments also met gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials dur­ing her two-day stay in Nepal to urge the gov­ern­ment to en­sure safe transit of new ar­rivals of Ti­betan refugees to In­dia and to re­spect the ba­sic rights of Ti­betan res­i­dents in Nepal.

Cle­ments also ex­pressed con­cerns of the U.S. gov­ern­ment re­gard­ing the pop­u­la­tion of state­less per­sons in Nepal.

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