Protracted refugee situations in search of durable solutions : a case study of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal

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Dolkar, Dekyi
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While the total number of refugees in the world has reduced in the last twenty five years, a far larger percentage of refugees are living in exile for a longer period of time and often in a state of legal limbo with no foreseeable solution. By examining the difficult context of global protracted refugee situations and by evaluating the causes and consequences of its persistence, this thesis shifts from the conventional approach of care and maintenance of refugees and instead takes solutions-oriented approach. At the same time, it critically analyses the international legal and political framework for resolving refugee situations and the three traditional durable solutions. Subsequently, through a case study of Bhutanese protracted refugee situation in Nepal, this study argues that both the country of origin (Bhutan) and the host state (Nepal) have contributed to their persistence as they are reluctant to provide repatriation or local integration respectively as durable solutions. With resettlement as the only solution currently available to Bhutanese refugees and with the strong desire for repatriation by the refugee population, the piece concludes that the success of finding a lasting solution may lie in understanding the root causes of their flight. Ultimately, ending protracted refugee situations effectively may depend on employing those three durable solutions comprehensively and concurrently for the Bhutanese protracted refugee situation in Nepal.
Second semester University: University of Nottingham.
ethnic identity, exile, Nepal, refugee status, Tibetans, Tibet