It is the fundamental right of Bhutanese refugees to return to their hearth and home in Bhutan. But the refugees, who have spent nearly ten years in the UNHCR camps of Southeast Nepal, continue to be deprived of this right to return.
This status quo needs to be changed.
The primary reason for this stagnation has been Bhutan Government's claims in its negotiations with Nepal and in its international pronouncements that most of the people in the refugee camps are not Bhutanese citizens. It insists that those who claim for Bhutanese nationality may not necessarily be eligible for return to Bhutan under Bhutan's citizenship laws. This posture of the government in Thimphu appears to have given the various actors the benefit of doubt hence limited or non- action.
But the reality is in sharp contrast to this. A huge majority of the Bhutanese refugee population have ample and incontrovertible documentary evidences to prove their legal status of being Bhutanese in origin and nationality and the ownership of property in Bhutan since generations.
Therefore, in order to strongly and squarely counter this false claim of the Bhutanese government and to demonstrate that the refugees have been forced out of Bhutan under extremely appalling circumstances, this database had become an urgent need. This Documentation package, as an advocacy tool, will serve the purpose in a comprehensive and efficient manner. This would promote the early repatriation of Bhutanese refugees with guarantees of full restitution of their property.