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Refugees International calls for international assistance for Chin refugees in India


Chin State
Chin State
US based advocacy group Refugees International (RI) says the international community along with the UNHCR needs to do more for refugees from Burma’s Chin ethnic group in India.
There are estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000 predominantly Chin refugees in Northeast India, along the border with Burma and thousands more in New Delhi.
However, India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and while it generally tolerates the presence of Burmese refugees, it does not afford them any legal protection.  This leaves them vulnerable to harassment, discrimination and deportation.
Many of the refugees cross the border to escape the ongoing famine in Chin State (See: CSW finds chronic food shortages and human rights abuses in western Burma).  Many Chin stay in the Northeast states of Mizoram and, to a lesser extent, Manipur, where there are large Chin populations.
However, the UNHCR is not allowed to maintain an office in the area. As a result, Chin refugees there receive little assistance or protection. However, there are several Chin community-based organisations in the area that work to support refugees.
The UNHCR does have an office in New Delhi and many refugees travel there in order to register and benefit from assistance programs run by the agency.
However, without legal protection, they are often subject to harassment in the city. RI notes, “Women refugees in particular are vulnerable to extensive assault and harassment in Delhi.”
RI is calling for overseas governments to support the Indian Government in developing and approving domestic refugee law to give legal status and protection to Burmese refugees and others. They also want the Indian Government to allow the UNHCR access to refugee populations throughout the country.
The also want the UNHCR to work with Chin community-based organisations to refine its assistance programs. They note, “International donors including the U.S UK, EU, and Australia should provide additional assistance to UNHCR for these programs.“
RI also wants international donors to provide support to Chin community-based organizations and Indian civil society groups to increase assistance to refugees in Delhi and the Northeast.
Chin State
Chin State
US based advocacy group Refugees International (RI) says the international community along with the UNHCR needs to do more for refugees from Burma’s Chin ethnic group in India.
There are estimated to be between 50,000 and 100,000 predominantly Chin refugees in Northeast India, along the border with Burma and thousands more in New Delhi.
However, India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and while it generally tolerates the presence of Burmese refugees, it does not afford them any legal protection.  This leaves them vulnerable to harassment, discrimination and deportation.
Many of the refugees cross the border to escape the ongoing famine in Chin State (See: CSW finds chronic food shortages and human rights abuses in western Burma).  Many Chin stay in the Northeast states of Mizoram and, to a lesser extent, Manipur, where there are large Chin populations.
However, the UNHCR is not allowed to maintain an office in the area. As a result, Chin refugees there receive little assistance or protection. However, there are several Chin community-based organisations in the area that work to support refugees.
The UNHCR does have an office in New Delhi and many refugees travel there in order to register and benefit from assistance programs run by the agency.
However, without legal protection, they are often subject to harassment in the city. RI notes, “Women refugees in particular are vulnerable to extensive assault and harassment in Delhi.”
RI is calling for overseas governments to support the Indian Government in developing and approving domestic refugee law to give legal status and protection to Burmese refugees and others. They also want the Indian Government to allow the UNHCR access to refugee populations throughout the country.
The also want the UNHCR to work with Chin community-based organisations to refine its assistance programs. They note, “International donors including the U.S UK, EU, and Australia should provide additional assistance to UNHCR for these programs.“
RI also wants international donors to provide support to Chin community-based organizations and Indian civil society groups to increase assistance to refugees in Delhi and the Northeast.