United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


Nadja Najjar

Cite as

Country: Republic of India

Committee: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Name: Nadja Najjar

University: University of Natural Life Science Vienna

Topic Area B: Improving Basic Living Conditions in Refugee Camps/for Refugees

"People who are searching shelter in India have never been turned back. Throughout history the Republic of India has sought refuge for persecuted groups and demonstrated their open door policy and developed situation-specific responses," our Councellor Mr. Mayank Joshi stated at the UNGA 71th Session of the Third Committee incorporating the Indian humanitarian spirit. Afghan, Tibetan, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and most recently the Rohingya people from Myanmar have found shelter in India.

Almost 90 % of all refugees are hosted by developing countries. They are often the ones already struggling with fragile economies and domestic poverty and therefore responding adequately is a hard task (UNHCR 2014). International cooperation and burden-sharing measures we therefore envision as the norm for further development. The Republic of India is unyieldingly trying to improve the refugee situation and find durable solutions. Despite the fact that we are not a signatory of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, the protection of refugees and asylum seekers is of utmost high importance. The human rights of refugees and asylum-seekers are protected by our constitution and the Foreigners Act 1946 and the Citizenship Act 1955. Recognised refugees receive free education in public schools and have access to free healthcare (Bose 2012).

The largest groups of refugees in India, 150 000 Tibetans and 90 000 Sri Lankans, which do not fall under UNHCR's mandate, are assisted by the Indian government and grant...

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