UNHCR seeks refugee protection laws

Kathmandu, June 28:

Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nepal, Abraham Abraham, today appreciated the country’s “humanitarian response and contributions and ardent efforts” in finding permanent solutions to the protracted Bhutanese refugee crisis.

Abraham, however, said that despite Nepal’s ratification of most of the United Nations conventions on human rights, the country has not acceded to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, nor to its 1967 Protocol.

Launching the two handbooks — “Nationality and Statelessness,” and “International Refugee Law: A Handbook for Parliamentarians” — in Singha Durbar, the UNHCR’s representative said the “Long March” started by the Bhutanese refugees was a “legitimate right.”

Abraham, however, said that such rights should not “jeopardise” the safety and security of the Bhutanese refugees and the local people.