South Asian Conference on Refugees starts

KATHMANDU: A South Asian conference on refugees commenced on Monday with the objective of deliberating on the problems faced by the refugees in South Asia and ways of addressing them.

Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Anup Raj Sharma inaugurated the two-day conference jointly organised by the Centre for South Asian Studies and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

On the occasion, the NHRC Chairman stated that economic, social and security challenges were growing in the context of Nepal due to the influx of refugees and stressed the need of their proper resettlement.

He stated that the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal had been sent to the Western countries for resettlement and the NHRC had been constantly monitoring the Bhutanese refugees and giving recommendations to the government on this.

Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies Nischal Nath Pandey said the conference has been held with the objective of resolving the refugee problem, which was becoming even more complicated.

According to him, there are 40,000 refugees in Nepal and the refugee problem is burgeoning in South Asia too due to various reasons including political and religious ones.

Nepal mainly has Bhutanese and Tibetan refugees. A large number of Bhutanese refugees have been sent for third country resettlement of late.

Delegates from all the SAARC member countries except Afghanistan are taking part in the conference in which each country will present a working paper on the situation of refugees and challenges in respective country.