Refugee Crisis & India

Published: December 19, 2019

According to the UN, there are around 70 million people around the world who left home countries because of conflict. Of these roughly 30 million are refugees.

The UN defines refugees as individuals who have fled their own country because of persecution, war or violence. More than two-thirds of all refugees come from five countries which include – Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. The largest host countries are Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan and Germany. The UN Global trends report around 37000 new displacements everyday day.

Current crisis

Burundi, East Africa sees a humanitarian crisis with economic decline, outbreak of diseases and food insecurity. The result is displacement within and outside the country to neighbouring countries like Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

Around 5.6 million people from Syria have left the country since 2011. Turkey see the largest number of refugees pegged at 3.3 million.

In 2017, Rohingya of Myanmar fled the country when violence broke out in the Rakhine state. Over 5.8 lack refugees have now settled in Bangladesh’s Cox-Bazar.

Countries which are facing a refugee situation include Europe, Yemen Central America, Africa, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Situation in India

India does not have a separate statue for refugees and has been dealing with them on a case to case basis. It is not a signatory to the 1951 convention on refugees or the Protocol relating to status of refugees, 1967.

The Union Government in 2011 circulated a SOP in all states and UT’s to deal with refugees. The Rohingya also started to arrive in India’s Northeast in late 2011. There are 14000 Rohingya refugees in India and there are estimated 40000 Rohingya living in India illegally. As per an affidavit filled before the SC, the government stated that the presence of Rohingya in the country has serious national security implications as some of the immigrants are said to have links with Pakistan based terror groups.

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