- NEED FOR A NATIONAL REFUGEE LAW AND ASYLUM/REFUGEE INSTITUTIONS
- Need for a framework that processes and recognises refugees, enables access to rights and entitlements and provides support while they are in India and if they choose to locally integrate.
- Acknowledge the discriminatory treatment between different refugee communities within India and the harm caused by their ad hoc status and ad hoc support.
The refugee discourse in India is primarily confined to the refugees catered by UNHCR or other INGOs. The Pakistani refugees get overlooked. Since the government is sympathetic to them, everyone may assume the situation might be better than the rest. That’s not the case. Pakistani minority refugees received certain rights and entitlements, but this is limited to those who arrived before 2014. There are huge gaps between policy and implementation due to limited access and support. Those coming after 2014 are not eligible for the same entitlements. Many Pakistani refugees had to return to Pakistan because they were not receiving similar support in India.
2. EXPAND THE SCOPE OF EXISTING REFUGEE PROTECTIONS AND ENTITLEMENTS
UNIFORMLY TO ALL REFUGEE COMMUNITIES
- Expand protection policies to all refugees in India.
- Recognise the harm caused by only relief-centric and ad hoc support resulting in refugees, an already vulnerable community, being pushed into cycles of poverty and dependency due to lack of institutionalised support from the government.
The refugees who come under the mandate of UNHCR in India, are entitled for a refugee card
and other emoluments for sustenance. A similar provision is not available for the religious
minorities from the neighbouring countries despite some policy provisions being introduced.
They are left to fend for themselves or rely on the support from civil society. The government
should consider a financial package for them as well.
3.RECOGNISE THAT NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL, REAFFIRM AND INSTITUTIONALISE
INDIA’S OPEN-DOOR POLICY
- Displacement today is a fact of everyday life; forced migration is an inevitable feature of the existing political environment and international system of states.
- Due process should be followed for refugee deportations.
- Recognise the jus cogens nature of non-refoulment when refugees who are forced to return risk facing persecution and torture
4.NEED FOR A REGIONAL REFUGEE FRAMEWORK
- Decolonising the existing refugee framework, focusing on South-South cooperation and
recognising our shared histories.
- Framing a regional refugee framework recognising the need for protection of refugees and
also those forcibly displaced due to disasters and climate change in the region.
5.NEED TO RECOGNISE AND SUPPORT REFUGEE-LED ORGANISATIONS
- Allow their registration and functioning as RLOs as CSOs/NGOs since they are from and closest to the affected community.
6.NEED FOR A TRILATERAL COOPERATION BETWEEN GOVERNMENT, UNHCR AND CSO
- Need for trilateral cooperation between the Government, UNHCR and Civil Society
- Organizations working directly with refugee communities irrespective of mandates to coordinate and exchange capacities, expertise and resources to serve refugee communities in India better.