A week after the completion of 12-day long fasting-to-death by 12 women, including a Nepali and two Indian married to exiled Bhutanese demanding refugee status and other facilities, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has clarified that non-Bhutanese women married to Bhutanese refugees will not be accepted as refugees at any cost.

File photo : UNHCR’s Country Representative in Nepal, Stephane Jaquemet (Picture : Vidhyapati Mishra/BNS)

Talking to reporters in Beldangi on Tuesday, UNHCR’s Country Representative in Nepal, Stephane Jaquemet, expressed that no Nepalese citizens would be accepted as refugees in Nepali soil, including women married to refugees from Bhutan.

Hinting that the ongoing third country resettlement has motivated some Nepalese and Indian women to refugee camps, Jaquemet also mentioned that such cases have increased in recent years.

“The third country resettlement is meant for Bhutanese refugees, not for Nepali or Indian. The resettling countries will not accept non-Bhutanese for resettlement,” said Jaquemet.

However, children born of those mothers can obtain refugee status, he claimed.

According to him, resettlement for such cases would only be accepted by the resettling country to maintain the family ties on humanitarian grounds. “If they qualify for resettlement, they will be accepted by the resettling country as Nepali or Indian, but not Bhutanese refugees.”NEWS SOURCE:BNS