September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Repatriation of Refugees

Country: India
Delegate Name: Raksha Karunanithy

In the realm of international humanitarian efforts, the repatriation of refugees stands as a critical challenge, demanding cooperative solutions. The Human Rights Council plays a crucial role in ensuring the rights of individuals who have fled their country, as it provides a universal base to collaborate with other countries and come up with solutions. As the amount of refugees in the world starts to increase, the amount returning is declining as only 1.2% of the 26 million refugees of the world in 2019, had returned to their country of origin. As the number of refugees globally rose up to 35.3 million in 2022, it raises a concern about how these refugees will find a way to get back home or start a new life which requires the collaboration of all countries. The ratio of refugees leaving, and returning is significantly different as more are fleeing and fewer are returning which will only significantly get worse if no action is taken.

At the end of 2022, India housed approximately 405,000 refugees and there is an increasing inflow of refugees from Tibet and Myanmar. India has no specific legislation addressing the topic of refugees. India is not a participating party of the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol which are key documents pertaining to refugee information. India currently houses an estimated 250,000 refugees who are often left vulnerable to poverty and neglect because India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Since the majority of these refugees in India are denied government documentation, they are usually excluded from formal systems of socioeconomic inclusion affecting not only themselves but also future generations. India deals with refugees under its general immigration and foreigner laws. Tibet and Sri Lankan refugees are managed directly under the government while those arriving from non-neighboring countries have to approach the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to determine their refugee status. India has engaged in discussions with Bangladesh on the repatriation of the Chakma refugees. They are also conversing with Sri Lanka about the repatriation of the Tamil refugees who fled during the Sri Lankan civil conflict. India is also in communication with Bhutan on relocating the Lhotshampas who were expelled from Bhutan in the 1990s, and there have been bilateral agreements that have aimed at making the return of these refugees possible. India has been in discussions related to the Rohingya refugee crisis and has expressed security concerns and is in favor of deporting the Rohingya refugees of Myanmar. This has been subject to international criticism as it violates the principle of non-refoulement. India is not part of any organization that addresses the repatriation of refugees and is struggling quite a bit to document and manage all their refugees. They haven’t signed any agreement or resolution addressing the repatriation of refugees.

Though India has been conversing with multiple countries on the repatriation of refugees and has documented a significant amount of refugees staying in the country, they still lack legislation that governs refugees. India stresses the importance of international collaboration regarding refugee crises. Coordinated efforts are essential to finding efficient solutions to these displacement issues. India also expresses the need to provide humanitarian assistance such as shelter, food, and medicine to host nations to ensure they can meet the basic needs of their refugee populations. India emphasizes conflict resolution and believes that solving the conflict that led to the fleeing is essential to creating a safe environment so the refugees can return back to their country.

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