37 Bhutanese refugees leave Kathmandu to resettle in Britain
10th August 2010: Britain will soon have Bhutanese refugees on its shores. As many as 37 Bhutanese refugees have left the Nepalese capital Kathmandu to resettle in Britain.
The refugees were selected from refugee camps in Nepal. The entire process follows an offer by the British government to resettle approximately 100 Bhutanese refugees in 2010.
A statement to this effect was jointly made by the International Organization for Migration, the British embassy and the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
The British charge d’affaires, Sophia Willitts-King, said it’s heartening to meet the refugees about to leave for the UK to start new lives after so many years of uncertainty.
Willitts-King expressed confidence that they would integrate well into their new host community and wished them every success in the UK.
Britain is one of the eight countries that offered resettlement to the refugees. The other countries are the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands.
UNHCR representative in Nepal Stephane Jaquemet said they were hopeful that other countries would also consider resettling refugees from Bhutan.
Ever since the programme began in 2007, more than 34,500 refugees from Bhutan have departed to the eight resettlement countries.
Over 77,000 refugees have been living for almost two decades in seven refugee camps in eastern Nepal. They arrived in Nepal after ethnic violence began in Bhutan in the early 1990s.