Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (2024)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (1)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (2)

ThThisis r repeporort t wawas s cocompmpilileded b by y

G Glolobabal l HuHumaman n RiRighghtsts D Defefenencece

U URLRL: : wwwww.w.ghghrdrd.o.orgrg

@ @: : i infnfo@[emailprotected]

AuAuththoror: : JeJennnny y LuLundndstströrömm

PhPhototogograraphpherer::MaMar!r! j jn n VaVan n DaDamm

ReReseseararchch A Assssisistatancnce:e: R Racachehel l HaHarrrrigiganan & & JeJessssicica a DoDorsrseyey

EdEdititororiaial:l: J Jesessisicaca D Dororsesey y & & KaKajajal l SuSunununanann

DeDesisigngn: : Q Qaiais s AjAji*ziz & & V Visishahal l JaJanknkieie

G Glolobabal l HuHumaman n RiRighghtsts D Defefenencece

i in n 20200909..

L Laaaan n vavan n MeMeererdedervrvoooortrt 7 700

2 251517 7 ANAN T Thehe H Hagagueue

T Thehe N Netetheherlrlanandsds

P Phohonene: : +3+31 1 7070 3 34545 6 69 9 7575

F Faxax: : +3+31 1 7070 3 39292 3 34 4 1111

U URLRL ghghrdrd

Acknowledgements

Thank you to all the Bhutanese families who agreed to be interviewed in the Netherlands,

to Ram Chhetri who assisted us with the communica! ons and interpreta! ons, to GHRD

interns and volunteers, who assisted with transcribing and research: Rachel Harrigan,

Chi-Mee Song and Jessica Dorsey, to Ariane van Uyl, for her advice and sharing of

informa! on, and last, but not least, Mar! jn van Dam who documented the stories with

beau! ful photographs.

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (3)

R����������� !� T"� N��"�#�$�%�

I���#&!�'� '!�" B"(�$���� #�)(*���

GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENCE

Laan van Meerdervoort 70, 2517 AN The Hague, The Netherlands

2008 - 2009

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (4)

TITLE PAGE

Country Facts 1

» Chapter 1 - Introduc! on

1.1 About this Report 2

1.2 Method and Material 31.2.1 Criteria for Selec� on Process of Interviews 3

1.3 Limita! ons and Clarifi ca! ons 4

1.4 Outline 4

» Chapter 2 - Background

2.1 Bhutanese Refugees 5

2.2 UNHCR in Nepal 6

2.3 Third Country Rese# lement Programme 62.3.1 Selec� on Procedures 72.3.2 UNHCR Rese! lement Criteria 7

2.4 Netherlands and Rese# lement 72.4.1 Rese! lement Procedures in the Netherlands 82.4.2 Selec� on Procedures 82.4.3 Selec� on Criteria 8

» Chapter 3 - Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees

Mr. Rizal 9Mr. Khadka 10Mr. Rizal 11Mrs. Rizal 12Dekura 13Mrs Timsina 14Sabitra & Yog 15Laxman 16

3.1 About Bhutan: Becoming a Refugee 17

3.2 Life in Refugee Camps – A State of Merely Surviving 193.2.1 Discrimina� on 193.2.2 Food 193.2.3 Health 193.2.4 Educa� on and Employment 203.2.5 Situa� on for Women in the Nepalese Camps 20

3.3 Rese# lement 213.3.1 Thoughts on UNHCR and IOM 213.3.2 Informa� on About the Netherlands Prior to Departure from Nepal 223.3.3 Choosing the Netherlands 22

3.4 In the Netherlands 233.4.1 Residence Permit 233.4.2 The Controversy: Linking the Civic Integra� on Act and the Aliens Act (textbox) 233.4.3 Percep� ons of the Netherlands: Gender Roles and Equality 23

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Case Profi les

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (5)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (6)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE

3.5 At the COA centre in Amersfoort 24 3.5.1 Housing and Supplies 243.5.2 Communica! on with COA Case Managers 253.5.3 Health Care 253.5.4 Transi! on from the MOA (textbox) 253.5.5 Social Interac! on Within and Outside of COA Centre 26

3.6 Integra! on 273.6.1 Capacity for Integra! on 273.6.2 Percep! ons of Iden! ty and Maintaining Culture 283.6.3 Learning Dutch 28

3.7 The Future 303.7.1 Accommoda! on in a Dutch Municipality 313.7.2 Higher Educa! on/Professional Prospects 31

3.8 Women in Rese" lement 333.8.1 Rese" lement: Patriarchy Enforced 333.8.2 Inequali! es in Rese" lement Process 333.8.3 Exclusion and Isola! on 34

» Chapter 4 – Conclusion and Recommenda! ons

4.1 Conclusion 354.1.1 Misinforma! on/Lack of Informa! on 364.1.2 “First Learn Dutch, then Get a Job” 364.1.3 “Providing Realis! c Expecta! ons” 364.1.4 Prospect of Integra! on: Diff erences Between Genera! ons 364.1.5 Capacity of Integra! on: Cherry Picking? 374.1.6 Gender Stereotypes and Integra! on 37

4.1.7 Iden! fi ed Problems and Recommenda! ons 37

4.2 Recommenda! ons 384.2.1 To UNHCR and IOM 384.2.2 To Dutch Authori! es 39 End Notes 40

Appendix Appendix A: Map of Nepal 42 Appendix B: Legal Criteria for Asylum and Rese" lement in the Netherlands 43 Appendix C: Involved Agencies for the Rese" lement Process 44

Acronyms

• AMDA: Associa! on of Medical Doctors of Asia

• COA: Centraal Orgaan Opvang Asielzoekers

(Central Agency for the Recep! on of Asylum Seekers)

• GHRD: Global Human Rights Defence

• GoN: Government of Nepal

• IND: Immigra! e en Naturalisa! e Dienst (Dutch Immigra! on Service)

• IOM: Interna! onal Organiza! on for Migra! on

• MOA: Medische Opvaang Asielzoekers (Medical care for asylumseekers)

• TCRP: Third Country Rese" lement Programme

• UNHCR: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

• VWN: Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland (Dutch Refugee Council)

• WFP: UN World Food Programme

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (7)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (8)

COUNTRY FACTS � BHUTAN

• Capital: Thimphu

• Political system: Constitutional Monarchy (since 2008)

• Population: 0.7 million (approximately)

• Minority groups: Nepali speakers 35% (including Lhotshampas),

indigenous and others 15% (including Christians)

• Press index: 70 out of 175 countries (Reporters Without Borders, 2009)

• Corruption index: 49 out of 180 countries (Transparency International, 2009)

• National Human

Rights Institution: No

• UPR Review: December 2009

• Death Penalty: Abolished for all crimes

1

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (9)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (10)

Chapter 1

Introduc� on

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (11)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (12)

1.1 ABOUT THIS REPORT

‘Refugees’ are o! en referred to in the media and public in nega" ve,

or pi" ful words. Without even making the dis" nc" on between

refugees and asylum seekers, they are o! en described as a

hom*ogenous group that abuse the welfare system, or as helpless

vic" ms. With this report, GHRD want to emphasise that they are

neither. Indeed, as per defi ni" on, refugees have been vic" ms of

human rights viola" ons; however, they are neither helpless nor

do they owe their gra" tude. They are individuals, who have lived

through alot of hardship, and now they have the right to assistance.

In order to increase public and poli" cal support for refugees and

rese$ lement programmes, there is a need for objec" ve repor" ng,

and to be$ er emphasise this aspect. There is a need to report from

the refugees’ own points of view, an opinion shared by several of

the agencies involved with the rese$ lement.

Through its previous humanitarian missions with the Bhutanese

refugees in Nepal, GHRD discovered that the rese$ lement

programme, no ma$ er how worthy, has been supplemented

by rumours, misinforma" on, controversy and confusion. GHRD

therefore interviewed some of the Bhutanese refugees arriving in

the Netherlands, to obtain a fi rst insight into their experiences and

percep" ons of the rese$ lement process. The purpose has been to

collect their stories, to understand who these refugees are, were

they come from and where they see their future. For GHRD, it is

an important step towards devising future strategies for ac" on,

in the Netherlands and Bhutan/ Nepal, as well as to iden" fy and

collect tes" monies of human rights viola" ons. This report has been

compiled as a result of this process. It is touching upon many subjects

related to the refugees’ experiences throughout their rese$ lement.

With this report, we want to give voice to a group who otherwise

have few avenues to be heard. This is a group whose des" ny is

determined by various actors and ins" tu" ons, policies and laws that

involve the en" re Dutch and interna" onal society. Eff orts that are so

major and consuming, that there is o! en li$ le " me (priority given)

to hear the experiences of those directly involved: the refugees

themselves. We hope that it shall provide some new insights to

authori" es and individuals that are involved with rese$ lement.

Jenny Lundström

Human Rights Offi cer

Global Human Rights Defence

2009-10-02

The Hague, Netherlands

Chapter 1

Introduc" on

2

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (13)

1.2 METHOD AND MATERIAL

GHRD has monitored the rese� lement process since the beginning of 2007. Facts, fi gures and

data related to procedures have been derived from the relevant authori� es; the COA, (Centraal

Orgaan opvang Asielzoekers) UNHCR, IOM, Ministry of Foreign Aff airs, VWN (VluchtelingenWerk

Nederland). Interviews were conducted with representa� ves from the COA Head Offi ce, VWN, a

case manager and member of the Dutch selec� on mission team of COA in Nepal. However, the main

content of the report is based on structured interviews with Bhutanese refugees that arrived from

Nepal to the Netherlands with the rese� lement programme between 2008 and 2009. Interviews

were conducted with 12 out of the 22 Bhutanese who arrived to the Netherlands in the Spring

of 2008. It covers members of all families who arrived in this fi rst group, diff erent gender and age

groups, men and women between 16 and 48 years old. The excluded people (a total number of 10)

are mainly children and youth below 19 years of age. Seven structured interviews were conducted

with individuals from fi ve families (age 20-70) out of the 96 Bhutanese that arrived in three diff erent

planes during May, 2009. In total, eight women and eleven men from diff erent families were

interviewed.

The in depth interviews were structured (in accordance with a framework) along four main topics:

a) Life in Bhutan b) Life in Nepalese camps c) The rese� lement process/ The Netherlands d) Future

aspira� ons and integra� on. The aim was to gather informa� on on how they experienced the

rese� lement process, what obstacles and opportuni� es they have encountered and how they view

their new life in the Netherlands.

In addi� on, unstructured group interviews and open discussions were held with a number of

Bhutanese refugees from various age and family backgrounds during several occasions in 2008 and

2009. The interviews and mee� ngs took place in their temporary housing facili� es within the fi rst

few months of their arrival, at COA (Centraal Orgaan Opvang Asielzoekers) Amersfoort, where they

received a civic integra� on programme and language lessons, prior to their accommoda� on in a

Dutch Municipality.

1.2.1 CRITERIA FOR SELECTION PROCESS OF INTERVIEWS

a) A spread in age, gender and experiences, characteris� cs (e.g. religion, profession) was aspired.

b) Voluntary par� cipa� on. Some families and individuals declined to take part for personal or

security reasons. (Some were afraid that if they took part, their families may be persecuted

‘again’ ‘just like in Nepal’. Others were too weak because of illness.)

c) Children under the age of 16 were excluded.

Most of the interviewees belonged to the category that needed medical treatment, or whose family

member belonged to this category. Two of the interviewed were unaccompanied orphans (young

women).

For confi den� ality reasons, the quotes from the interviews are presented anonymously in this

report, solely indica� ng age and gender of the interviewee. The exact date of the interview is

withheld for the same reasons.

3

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (14)

1.3 LIMITATIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS

This is the fi rst report conducted by GHRD based on interviews with vic� ms of human rights

viola� ons in the Netherlands. It has been a small-scale project based on very limited resources. As a

result, whereas the fi rst group (arriving in 2008) has been truly represented, only a small selec� on

of the second group (arriving in 2009) are represented in this report. We are aware of the limita� on,

and neither are we claiming to generalise the experiences of the rese� led refugees. This report is

based on the stories and experiences of this par� cular (small) group. Rese� lement is a long process,

involving mul� ple agencies and procedures. This report’s main focus is on the fi rst phases, on the

situa� on for the refugees before and during the decision of rese� lement, un� l the arrival in the

country of rese� lement (the Netherlands). It would be crucial to follow up with the refugees to

learn of their experiences during and a! er their integra� on is expected, however it is beyond the

scope of this report.

Furthermore, the report is not conducted by experts in refugee law or Dutch integra� on policies.

Neither does it aspire to establish general human rights defi cits within rese� lement policies or

implementa� on.

Children are excluded from this report because of limita� ons, and the specifi c exper� se and

framework that is needed in order to conduct a child-rights analysis. That is to say a report like

‘Children in rese� lement’ would require its own research. Severe gender based discrimina� on and

women’s rights viola� ons were discovered throughout the research and interview process, although

this was not a specifi c focal point of this study. A specifi c research and methodology would also be

required to truly uncover the situa� on and diffi cul� es faced by Bhutanese women in rese� lement.

Finally, it is crucial to dis� nguish rese" led refugees from asylum seekers or ‘spontaneous arrivals’.

Rese� led refugees have already been iden� fi ed as refugees in need of protec� on, whereas the

second group s� ll need their asylum claims to be inves� gated. The inability to draw this dis� nc� on

amongst policy makers as well as authori� es involved with rese� lement and integra� on of refugees,

seems to be one of the key problems in the Netherlands. Sadly, this is also refl ected in legisla� on

and procedures regarding rese� led refugees.

4

1.4 OUTLINE

The fi rst chapter contained theore� cal and methodological star� ng points, as well as the aim and

future outreach of the report. The second chapter is empirical and briefl y outlines the background

situa� on for the Bhutanese refugees, as well as the rese� lement rules and procedures as described

by the relevant authori� es and in current legisla� ons and policies. The third chapter, the interview

analysis, is the main report which presents the result and analysis of the interviews with the

refugees. This sec� on is divided into sub-sec� ons, each of them rela� ng to a certain phase in the

rese� lement process: Life prior to rese! lement: Becoming a refugee, Life in the Nepalese Camps,

Views on the rese! lement programme, Arriving at the COA Centre in the Netherlands, and fi nally

Future aspira" ons in the Netherlands. ‘Women in rese! lement’ has received its own sec� on,

where aspects regarding women and gender discrimina� on during the rese� lement process is

discussed. Finally, Chapter 5, contains the author’s general conclusions and observa� ons, together

with iden� fi ed areas of concern as well as specifi c recommenda� ons addressed to the authori� es

involved in rese� lement.

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (15)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (16)

CHAPTER 2

Background

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (17)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (18)

CHAPTER 2

Background

5

2.1 BHUTANESE REFUGEES

‘People from southern Bhutan were talking about human rights, that

our own language and culture should be prac� ced freely.’ (70/M)

Bhutan is o! en pictured as a peaceful country, promo" ng gross

na" onal happiness and a hidden paradise (o! en referred to as

“Shangri La”). However, it is a country built on extreme measures

to maintain peace and preserve a hom*ogenous (Buddhist) culture.

100,000 mainly Hindu (Lhotshampa), but also converted Chris" an

minori" es have been forced into exile. Since the early 1990s, they

have endured as refugees in seven UN administrated camps in

Nepal.

The Lhotshampas (literally: Southerners) are descendents of

Nepalese who moved to the southern lowlands of Bhutan in the

nineteenth century. Although the majority are Hindu, Lhotshampa

include other religious and animist groups as well. Lhotshampas

remained largely unintegrated with Bhutan’s Buddhist Druk

majority. Under Bhutan's Na" onality Law of 1958 they were allowed

to hold government jobs and enjoy Bhutanese ci" zenship. However,

by the 1980s, Bhutan’s King and the ruling Druk majority expressed

concern over the rapidly growing Lhotshampa popula" on.

Under the policy of “One Na" on One People’, measures were

introduced to rigidly enforce the Druk dress code and forbid the use

of the Nepali language in the educa" onal curriculum. The general

outcome and focus of these polices was the social, economic

and cultural exclusion of the Lhotshampas. Special permission

was required for admission to schools and to sell cash crops. In

1985, new eligibility requirements for Bhutanese ci" zenship were

introduced, depriving many Lhotshampas of ci" zenship and civil

rights. Individuals who could not prove they were residents of the

country before 1958 lost their ci" zenship and had to leave.

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (19)

“ The 1st goal

of any refugee

should be to go

home. However,

after 17 years

of effort we felt

that the refugees

should be given

an alternative or

resettlement ”

(Ellen R

Sauerbrey, Fmr.

U.S Assist.

Secretary of State

for Population,

refugees and

migration’ 3 Nov

2007)

6

Riots and demonstra� ons erupted in 1990, with Lhotshampas calling for human rights and democracy.

The government’s response was to destroy their houses, rape, arbitrary arrest and torture, and to close

down school and health care in the South. Then it resorted to forced evic� ons and in� midated the

villagers into signing “voluntary migra� on forms” through torture and threats of life imprisonment.

Over 100,000 Bhutanese ci� zens were either evicted by force or fl ed the country with threats of being

killed if ever returning to Bhutan. By the end of 1990, large numbers were living in deplorable condi� ons

in temporary camps along the river of Kankai, in Southeastern Nepal. During the fi rst half of 1992, up to

1,000 refugees arrived daily, with that number diminishing in 1993.

Bhutan had been responsible for genera� ng one of the highest per-capita refugee popula� ons in the

world.

2.2 UNHCR IN NEPAL

The refugees have been residing in seven camps in the Jhapa and Morang districts ever since: Beldangi

I, Beldangi II, Beldangi II Extension, Khudunabari, Timai and Goldhap in Jhapa district, and Sanischare in

Morang district in Eastern Nepal. 1

According to the census conducted by UNHCR, in coopera� on with the Government of Nepal (GoN),

there were approximately 108,000 refugees from Bhutan living in these camps from November 2006 to

May 2007.

As a result of the third country rese! lement ini� ated in 2007, as of 7 September 2009, the offi cial

number is 90,978. 2

Nepal is not party to the 1951 Conven� on rela� ng to the Status of Refugees and has no refugee law.

Nepal’s 1992 Immigra� on Act allows the Government to exempt “any class, group, na� onality or race

from any or all of [its] provisions.” The 1958 Foreigners Act and administra� ve direc� ves determine

refugees’ legal rights.

2.3 THIRD COUNTRY RESETTLEMENT PROGRAMME

According to UNHCR, Rese! lement is: ‘a process that involves the selec! on and transfer of refugees

from a State in which they have sought protec! on to a third State which has agreed to admit them as

refugees with permanent residence status.’ 3 Unfortunately, The Netherlands is not complying with this

descrip� on, in terms of not gran� ng the rese! led refugees permanent residence status automa� cally. 4

The Bhutanese government refuses to allow the refugees to return, claiming they le# voluntarily and

renounced their ci� zenship. In the absence of prospect of local integra� on in Nepal, or voluntary

repatria� on to Bhutan, rese! lement remains the only durable solu� on available. The Third Country

Rese! lement Programme (TCRP) programme began in 2007 with the announcement in the camps that

rese! lement was to commence for all interested refugees from Bhutan. The United States of America

proclaimed that they would rese! le 60,000 refugees. Other rese! lement countries are Australia,

Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and the Netherlands. According to the UNHCR Rese! lement

Handbook, Rese! lement serves three equally important func� ons.

United Na� ons High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), gives interna� onal

protec� on for refugees while providing basic assistance. By early 1992, on the request

of the Nepalese government, UNCHR ini� ated an emergency assistance programme

together with World Food Program (WFP) and several non-governmental partners.

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (20)

First, it is a tool to provide interna� onal protec� on and meet the special needs of individual refugees

whose life, liberty, safety, health or other fundamental rights are at risk in the country where they

have sought refuge. Second, it is a durable solu� on for larger numbers or groups of refugees,

alongside the other durable solu� ons of voluntary repatria� on and local integra� on. Third, it can

be a tangible expression of interna� onal solidarity and a responsibility sharing mechanism, allowing

States to help share each other’s burdens, and reduce problems impac� ng the country of fi rst

asylum. 5

As of 15 June 2009, a total of 70,994 refugees had expressed their interest in rese" lement.

As of 7 September 2009, a total of 20,019 refugees have departed on rese" lement to the USA,

Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands.

2.3.1 SELECTION PROCEDURES

The rese" lement involves many steps and procedures. Once a refugee has decided to pursue

rese" lement, UNHCR will interview and assess whether the refugee is eligible for rese" lement

according to UNHCR rese" lement criteria.

2.3.2 UNHCR RESETTLEMENT CRITERIA 6

• Legal and physical protec� on needs

• Women-at-risk

• Survivors of violence and torture

• Medical needs

• Medical needs-with disabili� es

• Family reunifi ca� on

• Older refugees

• Children and adolescents

If the refugee is eligible, UNHCR will determine the best country of rese" lement for the refugee and

their family based on the family’s needs and if possible, the wishes of the refugees. Interna� onal

Organiza� on for Migra� on (IOM) also meets with the refugees to gather addi� onal details about

their situa� on to help the rese" lement country in their decision. UNHCR fi nally refers the refugee

and their family to the appropriate country for their assessment. Not all refugees who apply for

rese" lement are accepted. UNHCR fi rst nominates the candidates for rese" lement, in accordance

with their criteria. Second, the candidates must be selected by the rese" lement country mission

team ( Netherlands). However, UNHCR Nepal reports a high acceptance rate for refugees from

Bhutan for all rese" lement countries - as of August 2009 they reported an acceptance rate of

99.45%. 7

2.4 NETHERLANDS AND RESETTLEMENT

The Netherlands, as a member of the 1951 Conven� on, has integrated its provisions. It clarifi es that

‘the preferred durable solu� on for refugees is to return to their country of origin on a voluntary basis.

If return is not possible, local integra� on is the second durable solu� on.’ Rese" lement in a third

country is the solu� on when neither of these is accessible or available ‘in a reasonable � meframe.’ 8

Refugees have been rese" led in the Netherlands for more than 25 years. Each year, 500 refugees

are invited to the Netherlands through the global UNHCR rese" lement programme. This fi gure has

remained unchanged since 1987. Un� l 2004, the inten� on was to fi ll the quota of 500 rese" led

refugees per year with rese" lement requests submi" ed in wri� ng by UNHCR/Geneva, with

assessment (and selec� on) taking place in the Netherlands (assessment on paper). However,

it appeared to be diffi cult to fi ll the quota merely via dossier selec� on. In 2004 the government

decided to introduce a new policy that entered into force on the 1st of January 2005. This new

policy allows four selec� on missions per year to countries of asylum, as well as the submission of

individual cases directly by UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva and the fi eld. 9

The low number of refugees being allowed yearly to the Netherlands has been cri� zised by amongst

other, VWN. 10

7

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (21)

2.4.1 RESETTLEMENT PROCEDURES IN THE NETHERLANDS

The Ministry of Foreign Aff airs is responsible for the up-to-date country or theme-specifi c informa� on

that is required for a thorough selec� on procedure, and for the registra� on of personal details and

family rela� ons. 11 The Dutch Immigra� on and Naturalisa� on Service (IND) organises missions to the

camps and selects the refugees for rese� lement in the Netherlands, based on the fi les prepared by

the UNHCR. The Medical Advice Bureau: doctors of the IND conduct a medical examina� on. Addi� onal

interviews are conducted and employees of the COA establish to what extent the candidates already

have the ‘basic skills’ for civic integra� on. 12 IOM assists rese� lement countries in comple� ng medical

examina� ons if requested. Facili� es have been set up in Damak for this purpose. A mission to a refugee

camp usually lasts two weeks. 13

As soon as the refugees have been accepted for rese� lement in the Netherlands, travel and recep� on

arrangements are made in order to transfer them as soon as possible (the aim is to have the transfer

made within a couple of months a� er acceptance). The Government of Nepal fi nally issues exit permits

to those refugees accepted for rese� lement; Offi cers from the Ministry of Home, the Department

of Immigra� on and the Ministry of Foreign Aff airs in Damak complete this. IOM organises travel to

the third country, which includes (if needed) a “fi t-to-fl y” examina� on and provides refugees with an

orienta� on on what to expect upon arrival in the rese� lement country. 14 The Dutch government covers

travel expenses and the costs of visas.

2.4.2 SELECTION CRITERIA

The Netherlands focuses its a� en� on on refugees who are ‘extra vulnerable’, such as unaccompanied

women and minors, people with acute medical need who can undergo treatment in the Netherlands,

as well as their families.

The Netherlands is generally considered one of the best countries to go to for medical treatments and

the ill, as opposed to other countries e.g., the USA where the refugees are expected to work much

sooner, and given less assistance and � me to integrate in general. 15

Legal Criteria 16

- The Interna� onal Conven� on on Refugees

- The European Conven� on of Human Rights

- Humanitarian grounds

- The deriva� ve residence permit for family members

Persons will not be considered for rese� lement to the Netherlands

- if they meet the exclusion grounds laid down in ar� cle 1, notably 1F, of the Geneva Conven� on.

If one member of a nuclear family meets the exclusion criteria of 1F, present or not, the other

members of this nuclear family are also excluded, unless it is evident that the person involved is not

present and will not seek in future for reunion.

- if they have a criminal background and/or pose a threat to public order in the Netherlands.

- if they can return or integrate in the local region.17

8

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (22)

CHAPTER 3

Interview Analysis Stories of Bhutanese Refugees

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (23)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (24)

C��� P���!"��

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (25)

9

Mr R!"#$

‘We were arrested and taken to Samdurpgonker prison in 1991 for six months. I told

them I hadn’t done anything. Some of us were as young as 12 years old. They said

you are fi gh� ng against the country and we were beaten. Then we were taken to

Tashizang jail. They took me in a room where there was a bright light. They beat me

and hit me hard in my head with big s� cks. I tried to hide under the table, but they

dragged me out. I told them not to beat me and I will tell you everything. At night

they came and beat me again. In one way I was lucky because I wasn’t tortured as

much as many others. People were beaten in the room next to me. Under torture

they said anything and many died. They were pinned on the wrist with needles and

beaten on their ankles. In front of my eyes I saw one man die because his whole leg

was ro� en from the torture. Some� mes father and son were made to walk naked

so their whole family could see them in humilia� on. ‘Eventually, you just say yes

to anything. If you said no, you were beaten. All of us had to work there. A� er 11

months we were released. They said that if they us caught again they would kill

us. When I got home my older brother le� the village because he was accused of

having land in Nepal and he was put in category seven [non na� onal, migrant]. 18

A� er some months, I le� and joined my brother in Goldhap camp. I couldn’t sleep,

I thought someone would come and kill me.’

SURVIVORS OF VIOLENCE AND TORTURE

Mr Rizal was only a 16 year old student when

he was arrested, tortured and imprisoned

in Bhutan in 1991. He is s! ll scared of loud

sounds as it reminds him of the howling of

people being tortured.

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (26)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (27)

Mr K�����

‘I was detained at the notorious Family Planning building’ in Ghulepugh for six

months. I was kept in a lice infested room, unable to bathe for the en� re period and

without a new set of clothes. They would hang me by my wrists, � ed � ghtly with a

rope, which would cut the circula� on off my hands. I was detained in a garage for

another six months with no ven� la� on and no windows. With the radia� on of the

heat steaming inside, the bo� om of my feet would get burned and there were no

blankets for comfort. During my detainment, my land in Bhutan was confi scated.

On the day of my release, the offi cials did not inform me about anything but just

took me to the central part of town where they released me with a warning never

to disobey the government of Bhutan and that my family should leave the land or

otherwise they would be killed. On 22 July 1992, a� er being persistently visited

by the army while receiving threats of death we fl ed Bhutan and escaped to the

refugee camps in Nepal.’

SURVIVORS OF VIOLENCE AND TORTURE

Mr Khadka was kept in custody in Bhutan for 16

months, and would get beaten and tortured on a

daily basis, receiving minimal amounts of food.

With no validity of the arrest, he was told that he

had donated money to the demonstra! on, and that

it would not be tolerated to support such causes. He

s! ll has nightmares but is now receiving treatment

for his psychological and physical ailments and is

a" emp! ng to learn Dutch and live without terror or

fear.

10

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (28)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (29)

Mr R����

‘The health situa� on in the camp is very bad. The staff was untrained and I used

to get wrong medicines for my brain tumour. I used to have symptoms like the

swelling of legs and fi ngers and headaches. I thought it was a minor problem, so I

used to get basic medicine from Caritas and take that…[…] I had never heard about

the Netherlands. Now in the Netherlands, I have very good contact with the Dutch

people and I am very sa� sfi ed. Some� mes my Dutch friends come over. I have a

very posi� ve view of the future. I want to be se� led here. I am not thinking of

anything else. I am too sick to fi nd work and feed my family, so I would not be able

to survive in Australia or America. I encourage the sick and disabled in the camps

to rese� le for treatment. I get great treatment in the Netherlands and the people

are very nice. They are very disciplined and civilized. The people here cannot force

someone to do something. All the people are treated equally in the supermarket

and respect each other irrespec� ve of their ability or quali� es.’

MEDICAL NEEDS AND MEDICAL NEEDS WITH DISABILITIES

Mr Rizal has a brain tumour, but due to

the lack of specialised care in the camps,

it was not detected thus he was not given

the appropriate treatment. Finally, he was

given the chance to come to Netherlands

for treatment.

11

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (30)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (31)

Mrs R����

‘The government said, ‘you are not a na� onal of this country’: they were placing us

in diff erent categories and I was placed in number seven, which means you have to

leave the country. 19 I had given birth to my daughter, who was 22 days old, when

I had to fl ee the village. I asked the neighbours to carry my fi ve children. My feet

were very sore when I reached the border. There were no UNHCR camps, so we

lived by the Mai River for three months and my children nearly died by the sand

- there was no grass, everyone got sick. UNHCR then took us to Goldhap camp in

Nepal. I used to keep the children in the hut and worked as a cheap labourer in

Nepal. I plucked tea leaves or harvest maize. I could never work long because my

hands and feet would swell, whilst working in the tea gardens. It was a pathe� c

condi� on. Then my husband suddenly fell ill. We found out he had a brain tumour

which is a very big problem in our society. I was so worried, I cried and panicked. All

the children are small and my husband has a problem that can never be cured. We

then heard of rese� lement, we said if no one here can cure him, please send him

abroad where the treatment is free. Now, I have no educa� on, nor am I healthy. My

husband is sick. I don’t know what I will do here in the Netherlands. But the � me in

the camps was real torture, when the future was blank and everyone was looking

for their own future. Now, I have be� er hopes and I can smile again.’

Only three weeks a� er giving birth, Mrs. Rizal

was forced to fl ee her home country with her

husband, fi ve small children, and her newborn

daughter. A� er almost twenty years of having

lived in a refugee camp, and despite suff ering

many hardships, she can now look forward to

a brighter future here in the Netherlands.

WOMEN IN RESETTLEMENT

12

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (32)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (33)

D�����

‘I love Bhutan. I was born there, so I can never forget. But in this situa� on I cannot

go back. We are not allowed to cross the border. There are security forces and

check points everywhere. If the army sees us, they will shoot us.

People from my village, who are Lotshampas and southern Bhutanese, par� cipated

in a peaceful, pro democra� c rally. I watched the rally from the roof of my uncle’s

apartment in the city. There were protestors and then the army arrived and fi red

tear gas. People ran, but the army caught and beat them. The army came to each

house in my village, with guns during the night. They would break the door open, if

you did not open. In our village women were raped by the army, so we would hide

under the bed, in the ceilings or lock ourselves in the toilet. Women in our society

want to keep it a secret if they are raped. Many were raped. But our people are s� ll

dominated; they have to be silent, they don’t have any rights.

I lived in the camp in Nepal for 17 years, and worked as a high school teacher

outside the camp. I miss nothing at all - only my parents. My parents did not ask

me to go with them because it is not our culture. You must follow your husband. I

was 23 when I got married, it was arranged. My parent’s chose him and we were

also in love.

Here in the Netherlands, I am taking Dutch courses. It is diffi cult but I am trying. I

don’t feel like I have enough lessons. I want to learn more. I want to be a nurse and

I am told it is possible if I try. I think it’s be� er here, women have rights and I think

this country is very good for children.

I didn’t know anything about the Netherlands before. We were sent here without

any informa� on. On one side I was happy; I may have a good life in the Netherlands.

On the other side, I was feeling bad because I was separated from my parents

forever.’

Dekura was 12 years old when she was forced to

leave Bhutan with her family. She spent 17 years

in a refugee camp where she studied and prac� ced

as a teacher, on a low salary. She came to the

Netherlands with her husband’s family without ever

having heard about the country. Her parents were

rese� led to Australia, and she fears she is separated

from them forever.

WOMEN IN RESETTLEMENT

13

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (34)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (35)

Mrs Timsina

‘I had to choose not to marry with my Indian husband to-be because if a woman is

married to someone of a diff erent na� onal, she cannot migrate to the country, and

married women are being rese� led with her husband rather with her family. If the

woman wants to go with her family, then they (UNCHR) say you have to divorce

from the husband, and then you can go with your family. Many of my friends face

this problem because there is inequality between the men and women. I didn’t

want to choose between husband and family, but due to the health condi� ons of

my mother, the family was rese� led in the Netherlands and I decided to join them.

My family did not have a choice on where they would end up. But people are nice

here, and it’s comfortable, and they are taking care of the health of my mother.

There are a lot of challenges though: I had a good job, and my cer� fi cate and

training- here it is of no use and it means nothing. I also have to learn the language.

Before I can get a job I face many challenges. Everything is very uncertain, I can’t

decide anything that happens here so I do not know what will happen in the future,

and I share this uncertainty with my family. I plan to receive addi� onal training and

educa� on so that I may con� nue nursing and to con� nue learning Dutch.’

Mrs Timsina had to cancel her wedding with an

Indian man, so that she instead could rese� le

with her family in the Netherlands. According to

her, women and men are not treated equally in

the rese� lement process.

WOMEN IN RESETTLEMENT

14

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (36)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (37)

S������ � Y!"

h

‘Our hopes for the Netherlands is to se� le, get a house, and live without terror,

without fear, this is what you will get in the Netherlands- there’s no confl ict between

diff erent people, races, classes, so you will totally live in freedom in the Netherlands.

Yog: ‘I used to have nightmares and get up at night and scream but here I am feeling

comfortable. Now my wife, mother and father are ge� ng medical treatment and

that is sa� sfac� on. Sabitra: There are many diff erences here. In Nepal, women are

at home, here, women go to work; and children are very forward, we follow what

our parents say in Nepal, here they make more decisions. ‘I would like to look a� er

old people, or children. I don’t have a great educa� on, but I know how to look a� er

people. People are helpful here and the climate is also good.’

Sabitra and Yog had to endure three miscarriages

in the Nepalese camps, due to the poor health

situa� on and lack of medical access. The family

was relocated to the Netherlands, due to health

condi� ons, because it is known for its medical

system. Eight months a� er arriving with the

rese� lement programme to the Netherlands,

Sabitra gave birth to a healthy boy.

15

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (38)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (39)

L�����

‘In Nepal I worked in construc� on from 5am- 8pm every day because we didn’t

have parents to support us, and no one cared. I never got anything. I had to climb

up on high buildings carrying heavy cement and have damaged my hips now. The

Nepali insulted us, hit us, many old men didn’t receive pay, only food. O� en we only

received 100 rupees [less then 1 euro]. We never said anything because we were

not allowed to work. My father could not see all of us. He remarried and has three

children now. UNHCR said there is a chance to go to other country and I told them

about my situa� on. I didn’t decide to go to Holland, they said it was good for me to

go to Holland. I am feeling very good. I think in Holland there is good life.

In Nepal, you must work un� l you are 80. My life is changing! I learn Dutch for a

week, two days. Before I learnt four days per week. But now COA is telling they

don’t have money. I would like more lessons. I want to learn Dutch and I want to

learn electronics.

I am Chris� an – my family converted but my grandfather is Hindu in Nepal. He hit

my father because he converted and he forbid us to entry Hindus home. Here there

is freedom and I like it. When we go to church, many Dutch people are coming to

help us to learn Dutch, and they invite us to their house.

I feel good about my future. I don’t feel Bhutanese or Nepalese. I want to be Dutch.

I like to tell UNHCR; thank you for this chance.’

Laxman was four years old when his mother

died, and his father soon disapperared

with his new wife, leaving Laxman and

his siblings as orphans. In Nepal, Laxman

worked in slave like condi� ons in order

to survive with his younger brother and

sister. Now, he want to become Dutch.

16

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (40)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (41)

CHAPTER 3

Interview Analysis Stories of Bhutanese Refugees

17

3.1 ABOUT BHUTAN:

BECOMING A REFUGEE

‘My mother asked: “Why are you taking my husband?”...and the

army said you be� er be quiet and she got two slaps across the face

and then they took him to the family planning centre’ (39/M)

‘At gunpoint the army grouped us and took photographs and told us

to sign the form and show a happy face. Our ID na� onal card was

seized from all of us.’ (39/M)

Refugees are generated when their ‘na! onal system of protec! on’

for various reasons collapses, due to war or social unrest, or as in

the case of Bhutan: when the Government itself starts persecu! ng a

certain group. 20 And in accordance with interna! onal law, refugees

are en! tled to receive protec! on. A key provision is also that

refugees should not be forced to return to a country where they fear

persecu! on. One must not prove actual persecu! on; it is enough

that there is a well-grounded fear.

The refugees’ tes! monies on what led to the escape from Bhutan

included reports of many and severe human rights viola! ons

including: arbitrary arrests, torture, religious discrimina! on,

restric! ons of civil and poli! cal rights, restric! on of movement,

physical and sexual assault as well as rape. Women were reportedly

raped by the army: ‘The army came with guns to each house, every

night in my village.[…] Many women were raped, so we would hide

under the bed or lock ourselves in the toilet.’ (30/F)

The older refugees shared similar stories of how they were forced to

leave Bhutan between 1990-1992 due to repression (whether they

were Hindu or Chris! an): ‘We le! because we were deprived of our

rights; we raised our voices to claim our rights. Instead, the King

started to kill and torture people. We le! because of fear.’ (61/M)

They were threatened with imprisonment or violence, and given the

choice to either leave the country or convert to Buddhism, a choice

that was unacceptable as it meant erasing their iden! ty: ‘ Leave or

change religion, but I can’t change religion because that is who I

am’ (22/M)

“ Everyone had to leave, the

Government said. Even a small

child, all have to undergo the

same rules. No one was able to

be left behind ” (45/F)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (42)

The Lhotshampas were minori� es in their country, and they were forced to leave it as a result.

Furthermore, there was a general fear and percep� on that the situa� on in Bhutan had not changed

for the be� er for the minori� es since their evic� on in the early 1990s. The fear was confi rmed through

their families and friends who s� ll resided in Bhutan. The refugees have accepted that they never will

return to Bhutan. An older man responded to the ques� on if he ever thought of going back: ‘For a

long � me I dreamt of it but I have come to peace with the idea that it is not possible’. Another man

from the same genera� on said: ‘If democracy ever happens, if the administra� on changes, and some

voices are raised that those who le! should return […] then we would surely return. The problem is the

administra� on, not the country.’ (61/M)

The younger, raised or born in Nepal had none or few memories of Bhutan. They based their impression

on the stories their parents told them and thus shared their opinions of Bhutan as being a ‘bad country’

or they don’t remember or know anything about Bhutan: ‘I don’t ask; they don’t tell’ (18/M). ‘I don’t

know where Bhutan is, my father and mother were born there and I am afraid to go there. I don’t think

the poli� cal situa� on will ever change.’(17/F)

Ar� cle 1 1951 Interna� onal Refugee Conven� on defi nes a refugee as a person who is ‘outside his or

her country of na� onality or habitual residence, and has a well-founded fear of persecu� on for reasons

of race, religion, na� onality, membership of a par� cular social group or poli� cal opinion, and is unable

or, owing to such fear, unwilling to avail himself of the protec� on of that country, or to return there for

fear of persecu� on (UN 1951 Interna� onal Refugee Conven� on ar� cle 1)

The legal principle of non-refoulement – the idea that no one should be forced to return to countries

where they face persecu� on-has become customary interna� onal law and binding on all states.

Note: Neither Nepal nor Bhutan has ra� fi ed the 1951 Conven� on

18

“ They are

afraid, with the

Drukpa. 21

Drukpa

is always

searching

Nepali ”

(19/F)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (43)

3.2 LIFE IN REFUGEE CAMPS

A STATE OF MERELY SURVIVING

‘If they found out we were from Bhutan, we were hated so much. They called us ‘saranar� ’ - people who

have nothing’. (33/M)

The Bhutanese refugees were not only evicted, but also forced into statelessness and denied most of

their human rights. For 18 years, they have been forced to live in refugee camps, in small bamboo huts

with mud fl oor and plas� c roofs ‘wet in summer, cold in winter’.

The � me in the camps was described with words like ‘miserable’, ‘a prison’ as a ‘state of merely surviving.’

As interna� onal donors have become reluctant to provide funds in a refugee situa� on with no solu� on

in sight, many fundamental rights were compromised, including the right to adequate food, educa� on,

employment, freedom of movement, security, and integrity of a person. Almost every interviewee said

that the only things they missed from Nepal are friends and family.

The younger genera� on had generally more posi� ve memories from Nepal then the older. They could

go to school, and importantly they had ‘many friends and family’ there. One 19 year old girl described

the � me in Nepal with posi� ve words: ‘Good, I liked it very much. Because they are so many rela� ves,

all houses next to each other, its be! er to talk with people, talk about ones feelings to others.’(19/F)

The overall situa� on in the camps was reportedly improving over the years, par� cularly in regards

to educa� on for the youngest, although overall it was described as a miserable life with no future

opportuni� es.

Although refugees were leaving the camps for labour and educa� onal ac� vi� es over day and some� mes

also for longer periods, The Government of Nepal, can, and has, blocked exit from and entry to the

camps. 22

3.2.1 DISCRIMINATION

Almost all of the interviewed had experienced some form of discrimina� on in Nepal. They would

receive lower salary then the Nepalese for the same kind of work. 23 Because they were refugees,

the local Nepalese looked down on them. One family reported that they had been denied to exercise

certain cultural or religious tradi� ons in the camp, such as their right to bury their dead in accordance to

their tradi� on, un� l an interven� on was made by the UNHCR. 24 Security issues, violence amongst the

refugees and the general lack of opportuni� es contributed to the feeling of despair. A man described

the � me in Nepal: “It was very diffi cult. The situa� on was much more degrading then in Bhutan - and we

thought of being killed in Bhutan! The people in the camp they are like us, but they are not controlled - so

there were robberies, rapes. […] We are wasted. We have no life. Maybe because the young genera� on

they were in the wrong direc� on, there was no one to direct them, so it was not their fault. The level

of confl ict between the refugees-- among the people there was a kind of confusion maybe because of

what the Bhutan government infused, that we were belonging to a diff erent race, caste, and there were

some� mes clashes between the castes.’ (39/M)

3.2.2 FOOD

The World Food Program (WFP) provides food in the camps. There were iden� cal reports of the scarcity

of food provided: it was not enough to feed a family. They were given ‘5 kilograms of rice and daal every

two weeks’ many tried to work outside of the camps to earn some money to feed the family, but faced

addi� onal problems as they were discriminated against outside of the camps by the Nepalese.

3.2.3 HEALTH

The Asian Medical Doctors Associa� on (AMDA) provides primary health care. Medical considera� ons

are one of the main reasons for refugees to have been sent to Netherlands for rese! lement, it was also

refl ected in the group that GHRD interviewed. They reported that either the medical treatment was

not available, or the situa� on was becoming a ‘medical emergency’, and coming to the Netherlands

for treatment was considered essen� al in order to cure or improve their physical condi� on. For minor

issues (headaches, fevers) there was health care but not for bigger problems - there was an urgent lack

of exper� se, medicine and care for surgical and chronic problems.

“ The staff

was untrained

and as a

result he

was wrongly

diagnosed,

or received

wrong

medication ”

(48/M)

“ If they found

out we were

from Bhutan,

we were hated

so much ‘

They called

us ‘saranarti’-

people who

have nothing ”

(33/M)

19

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (44)

20

3.2.4 EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

According to the UNHCR, compulsory educa� on for the children is provided to refugees in the camps

un� l they surpass grade 8. At that point, Caritas extends the educa� on to grade 10 for everyone and

to grades 11 and 12 for some. The rules that bind refugees in camps prevents them from working

or genera� ng income with some excep� ons, although in prac� ce some of the small businesses are

tolerated within and outside of the refugee camps. According to a recent research by Susan Banki,

authori� es o� en allow illegal work when there are work shortages in sectors such as teaching and

health care (nursing). 25 The group who took part in this research was rela� vely highly educated,

with several working as nurses and teachers (more or less on a voluntary basis, both in or outside

the camps). However, some had been working in slavery-like condi� ons as (illegal) labourers outside

of the camps, in order to bring some extra food to the table. Women would pluck tealeaves outside

of their domes� c du� es, men worked in heavy construc� on. The work was physically exhaus� ng,

underpaid and as illegal workers the refugees were vulnerable for exploita� on and discrimina� on.

‘It was only possible to get a job if you lied about your iden� ty.’ They were given lower salaries for

the same work than the Nepalese. ‘Working outside the camps was very, very diffi cult. We had to

hide our iden� ty. (33/M)

GHRD did not interview any children (under the age of 17), but the older teenagers were generally

sa� sfi ed with their educa� on in the camps: There was nothing excep� onal to report according to

these interviews.

3.2.5 SITUATION FOR WOMEN IN THE NEPALESE CAMPS

Gender based violence is rife in the camps which has been documented by several independent

researches and well known human rights organisa� ons such as the Human Rights Watch, 26 as well

as by GHRD local observers in the past. Sexual and domes� c violence, including rape, child marriage,

forced marriage, violence stemming from polygamy, and traffi cking in women, is reportedly common.

Furthermore, as noted by Human Rights Watch, Nepal’s system of refugee registra� on discriminates

against women. Ra� ons are distributed through ‘male heads of household’, denying women equal

and independent access to food, shelter and supplies. This imposes hardship on women trying to

escape abusive marriages. 27 Human Rights Watch further concluded that: ‘Either these women

must stay in violent rela� onships, leave their rela� onships (and thus relinquish their full share of aid

packages), or marry another man, in which case they lose legal custody of their children.’ 28 It makes

them vulnerable for more violence if they decide to ask for help by the refugee camp management.

Although the interviews were conducted without specifi cally addressing or searching to iden� fy

discrimina� on against women, several women however, throughout the interviews shared stories of

violence and hardship for women in the camps. Social s� gma, a male dominated camp management

and bureaucra� c procedures make it diffi cult for women to obtain assistance. There is no specifi c

domes� c violence legisla� on in Nepal. The treatment that was off ered by the Refugee Coordina� on

Unit is reportedly inadequate. They focus on resolving domes� c violence through reconcilia� on,

without taking into considera� on the personal wishes, needs and safety of the women. 29 Several

women expressed a fear for the safety and wellbeing of their female rela� ves who were le� behind

in the camps, some with abusive (and polygamist) husbands and without assistance. The no� on that

women le� in the camps have nowhere to turn to for assistance was widespread and caused major

distress and fear amongst their female rese$ led rela� ves.

“ The men

are coming

[…] and

catching

and they

are doing

naughty

things. They

grab you

and I cry and

I run away ”

(21/F)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (45)

3.3 RESETTLEMENT

‘Some people were against it. They wanted to return to Bhutan and think rese� lement is an obstacle

for it. Rese� lement spreads everyone out…they also thought it would be harder to fi ght to return to

their own country if they rese� led.’ (29/M)

The TCRP has been divisive among the refugees. Some opposed the idea, saying they should remain

in Nepal and hope that someday they will be able to return to Bhutan. Especially at an early stage of

TCRP, there was a lack of informa� on, and misinforma� on within the camps about the programme

and about the status for those who le� . Rumours were spread and some pro-rese� lement

Bhutanese were in� midated or even a� acked. The access to informa� on and refugees thoughts on

rese� lement was therefore of main interest and focus during the interviews.

Naturally, the group in this research who have chosen rese� lement are genuinely grateful and

op� mis� c about this opportunity. They see the rese� lement as the only op� on to start a new life,

free from the many diffi cul� es experienced in the camps.

‘I am very posi! ve towards the rese� lement process as a whole and I think that the rese� lement

process is supported by all youths who are educated. Those who are illiterate, this mass is mo! vated

to go back to Bhutan, but not by themselves; they are being hypno! zed by the leaders that don’t

want rese� lement’.(33/M)

Higher educated refugees tend to be in the majority among those who chose rese� lement. They

generally have a be� er understanding for what rese� lement entails, a greater belief in their chances

of star� ng a new life in a third country, and are less afraid of the ‘unknown’ according to UNHCR

fi ndings as well as Susan Banki’s study in 2008. 30 The no� on that tendency to choose rese� lement

and educa� on is correlated was shared by several of the interviewees who took part in this research.

Others had been advised and encouraged by ‘higher educated’ friends:

‘I didn’t know much about it, but I talked about rese� lement with my colleagues and elders, many

of my elders are educated people so they advised me to go somewhere else, to get se� led, and fi nd

a be� er life.’(39/M)

The older considered rese� lement the only viable op� on for their children, whereas themselves

may have given up on a future: the move was for their children and grandchildren. In some cases it

was the younger who encouraged the decision to rese� le:

“My parents did not want to come to another country because it is totally diff erent from their culture

so they wanted to live where they belong, but my brother and I convinced them that we don’t have

a future there, with no ci! zenship there was no chance to fi nd a job in Nepal, and they were hiding

and working, and with no future in this place we convinced our parents to rese� le. ” (32/F)

3.3.1 THOUGHTS ON UNHCR AND IOM

There was gratefulness expressed towards the UNHCR and IOM, few problems reported with

prac� cali� es, iden� ty cards, passports and administra� on. There was a general cau� on towards

expressing anything that may be perceived as cri� que against the involved agencies, who ‘had

done everything for us‘. Some administra� ve problems were reported about the IOM in Nepal ‘IOM

in Nepal work the Nepalese way’ [slow and disorganised] It was quickly added: ‘But, we should

not complain about these organisa! ons that have done so much for us’ A woman (32) referred to

UNHCR as ‘our God mother. It’s done everything for us. It’s given us educa! on and food. It gives us

this golden opportunity to start our new life. Its like our God mother. I thank them from my heart.’

(32/F)

One family had been asked to leave before the ini� al date of departure, which was disturbing as

they had no � me to say goodbye to their remaining rela� ves and friends.

“ UNHCR

is an

organisation

who helps

the poor

and needy ”

(45/F)

21

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (46)

3.3.2 INFORMATION ABOUT THE NETHERLANDS PRIOR TO

DEPARTURE FROM NEPAL

In accordance with the Dutch policy, the candidates who are invited should get their fi rst introduc� on

to the Dutch language and the Netherlands in the refugee camp, prior to their departure. 31 However,

the amount of informa� on actually received varied amongst the groups.

- The fi rst group (2008) did not receive any informa� on about the Netherlands prior to their travels.

Most were also unable to conduct any research by their own, living in a bamboo camp with no

electricity or Internet.

- Some in the 2008 group had been invited to the UNHCR offi ce and given some informa� on leafl ets

about the Netherlands. These sessions was however not systema� c, and the level of informa� on

varied a lot in between the families. (Some had ac� vely searched for it)

- The second group (2009) had received adequate informa� on prior to the move.

As a result many in the 2008 group had not heard of the Netherlands prior to their move. With the

excep� on of a few whose family members had already moved to the Netherlands years before. The COA

case manager at Amersfoort ‘knew’ that this informa� on had not been provided, but did not know why.

COA head offi ce responded that: ‘In December 2008 COA par� cipated in the selec� on mission to Nepal.

‘In January 2009 most of the families were trained (Cultural Orienta� on training). Only some of families

came to the Netherlands already in December, so it is possible that it is them that have told you not to

have been off ered the CO-training.’ 32 Regardless of the reason, it is clear that this group arrived to the

Netherlands virtually unaware of what country they were moving to.

3.3.3 CHOOSING THE NETHERLANDS

‘It was not our choice. I wanted to go where my rela� ves are, in Australia but a! er they studied closely

our situa� on, they found that my mother and wife are sick, and my father is a torture vic� m, so these

were some of the reasons they placed us in the Netherlands. (39/M)

Most had been told that Netherlands was the best op� on based on their situa� on. One of the families

in the survey were given the opportunity to choose the NL, this seemed to be very rare, an excep� on.

‘In the interview they said it was good for you to go to Holland’ (21/M). Several of the interviewed

expressed a great relief for having been sent to the Netherlands, rather then par� cularly the USA or

Australia. A lot of nega� ve feedback was reported from these countries, e.g. that refugees arriving to

these countries are immediately pressured to fi nd work and to support themselves and that someone

ill would fi nd it diffi cult to survive there.

Almost all were content to have been sent to the Netherlands, with the excep� on of one family who had

received such nega� ve feedback from already rese! led refugees about the Netherlands, that they tried

to change country of des� na� on, but it was too late at that point as their case was already in mo� on.

‘They said it was not good because you’ll face language problems, there’s no job opportuni� es here…etc

they didn’t say any good things[].’ (32/F)

“ God helped

me to come

to the

Netherlands ”

(21/M)

22

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (47)

23

3.4 IN THE NETHERLANDS

‘ If you don’t learn Dutch you don’t get Dutch passport. I don’t know what will happen if I don’t get

a real passport.’ (16/F)

3.4.1 RESIDENCE PERMIT

Once the refugees arrive they are granted a temporary residence permit that is valid for fi ve years.

A" er fi ve years they can apply for permanent residency to stay in the Netherlands. GHRD felt that

this informa# on was not clearly communicated to the refugees who took part in this research, and

that there may be room for improvements and monitoring of the communica# on procedures of this

crucial informa# on. There was some confusion and misinforma# on amongst some of the refugees

in regards to these administra# ve/ legal procedures, and the diff erence between obtaining Dutch

ci# zenship and residence status. A female who was interviewed was concerned that her permit to

stay depends on her progress in her Dutch class. (see quote above)

3.4.3 PERCEPTIONS OF THE NETHERLANDS:

GENDER ROLES AND EQUALITY

‘The people are very disciplined and civilized. The people here cannot force someone to do something.

They are a posi! ve people. All the people are treated equally in the supermarket and respect each

other irrespec! ve of their ability or quali! es’ (48/M)

The general no# on of Netherlands as being an equal, peaceful society is well formulated in these

quotes above from a 21 year old and a 48 year old male. Next to general remarks on the climate

and environment, the diff erent posi# on of women and children, and the overall level of equality

between people was the most common observa# on of the Netherlands, and in what way it diff ers

from Nepal. Descrip# ons of the Netherlands were o" en made in a way that illustrated the hardship

of life in Nepal. A younger man explains:

‘Everyone is telling Netherlands is good and you are a lucky person and many things are free. The

Government give you money and when you are 60 years old you get pension. I think when I am 60

years old I don’t want to work. In Nepal, you work un! l you are 80 years old. My life is changing! In

Nepal I go to work at 5am. At 8pm I come back home. I don’t have parents to support me, no one will

care, if I didn’t work, I didn’t get anything.’ (21/M)

3.4.2 The Controversy

Linking the Civic Integra! on Act and the Aliens Act

The confusion among refugees in regards to their residence status may be well founded. The main

controversy at the # me of wri# ng this report is the new law that will take eff ect in The Netherlands

from January 1st, 2010. As a result of the linkage between The Civic Integra! on Act and The Aliens

Act, a new requirement is introduced. All refugees must have passed the language test and civic

integra# on in order to obtain the permanent residence status a" er January 1st 2010. 33 Refugees

who do not pass the test will not be sent back to Nepal, however they will remain with the asylum

status – a status that can be withdrawn for example for criminal acts. 34

This decision was strongly opposed and considered as a breach of the Refugee Conven# on, 35 of as

well VWN as UNHCR. 36

The main cri# que against this provision is that it does not separate rese% led refugees from

‘regular asylum seekers’. Rese% led refugees, with their very specifi c status and situa# on, should

be awarded permanent residence status regardless of their success in the integra# on course - t

‘inburgeringsexamen’. This is also the guidelines expressed by the UNHCR. ’Rese% lement is a

process that involves the selec! on and transfer of er refugees from a State in which they have sought

protec# on to a third State which has agreed to admit them as refugees with permanent residence

status.’ 37

“ In the

Netherlands

everyone is

equal and

the people

are very

nice, they

don’t hit

you, not like

in Nepal ”

(21/M)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (48)

24

The women were agreeing that posi� on of women in the Netherlands is be� er then in Bhutan/Nepal. In

par� cularly the younger women (age group 16-40) were expressing enthusiasms over the emancipa� on

and opportuni� es women have in the Netherlands, as opposed to Nepal. These quotes are from three

diff erent women between the age of 16-33:

‘In Nepal men work and women stay at home. I don’t believe that women should stay at home because

I see in other countries that women can work themselves, they don’t need others.’ (16/F)

‘I think it’s be� er, females have rights and I think this country is very good for children, children have

many rights.’ (30/F)

‘In Nepal, women are at home. Here, women go to work and children are more forward. We do as our

parents say in Nepal, here they take more decisions.’ (33/F)

However, some of the older men were showing scep� cism towards the posi� on of men, women

and children in the Netherlands. There was a no� on and fear that ‘too much freedom’ could lead to

confusion for the younger genera� on, and women, and that it would disrupt their development:

‘Women are more free here. Too much freedom is also not good.[…] They should stay within the limit.’

(61/M)

3.5 AT THE COA CENTRE IN AMERSFOORT

‘COA is a good person who have come from far away and they give us food and shelter.’ (45/F)

The COA is responsible for the ini� al recep� on facili� es in the Netherlands. On arrival the refugees

remain in a central recep� on facility in Amersfoort for three to six months, some� mes longer.

3.5.1 HOUSING AND SUPPLIES

In the central recep� on they are en� tled to:

• Shelter

• A weekly allowance

• A clothing allowance

• Recrea� onal and educa� onal facili� es

• Access to primary and secondary educa� on for minors (usually local schools in the vicinity of

recep� on centres)

• Free medical care

• Third party insurance

• Compensa� on for extraordinary expenses, if the COA acknowledges these expenses as necessary.

The accommoda� on and supplies provided at COA Amersfoort are basic, however s� ll of higher standard

than most were used to back in the camps, and there were no urgent materialis� c needs reported.

There was an acceptance that as a refugee, you have nothing, and can expect nothing and therefore you

should be grateful with what you have received, no ma� er how simple.

There are 203 refugees from countries as diverse as Iraq, Burundi, Afghanistan, Somalia living at AZC

Amersfoort as of 6 August 2009. The apartments are of various sizes and it is not uncommon that the

refugees are sharing a fl at and kitchen, bathroom with other families, from various countries. This was

considered a privacy intrusion for many: ‘People from diff erent countries shouldn’t be placed in one fl at

like we are here. We have to live together for 6 months.’ (39/M)

Refugees sharing a house with their own families, or other families from the same country naturally

reported less trouble then those who were forced to share with other na� onali� es. Some tes� fi ed

of constant arguments in these houses, in regards to cleaning and everyday prac� ces, and that it was

impossible to communicate due to language problems. But this was also considered ‘small prize to pay

for being able to rese� le’.

Some women were ‘worried’ of sexual abuse, as boys and girls are mixed with foreign families. However,

there were no stories of sexual or other physical or psychological abuse reported at the premises.

“ It’s nice

when both

men and

women

are equal.

Depriving

the women

is not good.

It should

be equal ”

(32/F)

“ What to

say, refugee

life, I have

nothing ”

(45/F)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (49)

25

3.5.2 COMMUNICATION WITH COA CASE MANAGERS

‘People go with complaints, but they don’t listen to them. When something goes wrong, like the

light, they want to get something fi xed, but they go and do not know the language, so they have to

go with translators, but they s� ll don’t listen.’ (39/M)

At COA, each family is assigned a ‘case manager’ as a reference point to help them with the

administra! ve ma" ers, informa! on about the integra! on, future accommoda! on and educa! onal/

occupa! onal ma" ers. The case managers speak English, and there are rarely translators. Especially

the older were not involved in communica! on due to language barriers. Several were very ‘sa! sfi ed’

with the communica! on with their case manager and felt that they were suffi ciently informed.

Others expressed frustra! on over ‘having decisions taken and told, rather then through a dialogue.

‘He [case manager] comes once in a blue moon, but he never asks what we want. We are very un-

happy with the case manager. He has already taken signatures for various things but it’s in Dutch so

we do not know what it is.’ (32/F) A few did not know who their case manager was: ‘some man.’ 38

Some claimed they were not properly informed that they would stay in COA Amersfoort for several

months: ‘We thought directly we would have a house. And I was surprised to see we were in camps

for so many months. If they had informed us it would not have been such a surprise.’ (30/F)

Others had no idea at all where in the Netherlands they were going or what was going to happen

next. The lack of/ or misinforma! on was higher amongst the elderly and women. They were clearly

depending on the informa! on provided by ‘the man of the house’. The English speaking men in their

thir! es to for! es were mostly in touch with authori! es. Women were o% en depending on their

husbands, elderly men on their younger sons – or daughters - who speak English.

3.5.3 HEALTH CARE

‘We never before got appointments and if we went it was costly so we had to go to private hospitals,

and I asked a loan from rela� ves and they could not give enough. Now my father, mother and wife

are ge! ng treatment. My wife had three miscarriages there due to lack of treatment in Nepal. Now

she’s pregnant and she’s due to give birth soon.’ 39/M

Refugees are en! tled to the same medical treatment and facili! es as Dutch ci! zens. This is also

in accordance with the 1951 Refugee Conven! on. 39 Medical reasons are one of the causes for

refugees to have been sent to Netherlands for rese" lement, it was also refl ected in the group

that GHRD interviewed. Either the medical treatment had not been available in the camps, or the

situa! on was becoming a’ medical emergency,’ or the coming to the Netherlands for treatment can

eff ect a substan! al improvement. There were only posi! ve reports on the accessibility of health

care in the Netherlands, at this point of their stay. Their treatment started in due ! me, and health

improvement was reported from the refugees GHRD spoke with. They seemed well aware of where

to go in case of health problems and everyone were sa! sfi ed with the treatment they had received:

there was nothing excep! onal reported. However, it should be noted that GHRDs interviews were

conducted at a very ini! al phase of their stay and treatment.

3.5.4 TRANSITION FROM THE MOA

The interviewees arriving in 2008 were s! ll receiving treatment through MOA (Medische Opvang

Asielzoekers). MOA used to be a special ins! tu! on handling the ini! al healthcare of refugees un! l

early 2009, where the collabora! on stopped and MOA ceased to exist. COA considers this transi! on

very posi! ve: ‘from an integra� ve point of view it is be" er to introduce refugees to regular ins� tu� ons

as fast as possible.’ 40 They do not believe that the quality of the care and services provided should

have been aff ected.

However, it was made clear during this research that some of the refugees have been subjected

to very specifi c viola! ons (torture and trauma) damages which may not be of the most common

kind in The Netherlands, especially in some of the remote areas where many refugees are placed.

Local groups are concerned that specialised care may no longer be made available for rese" led

refugees. Because of the transi! on from MOA the VWN is also concerned that the health care will

be less accessible in the centre. Regional departments of VWN no! ce that at the moment a refugee

is placed in the municipality the need for specifi c medical care is not always taken into account,

especially in rela! on to mental health care. 41

“ He [case

manager]

comes once

in a blue

moon, but

he never

asks what

we want ”

(32/F)

“ We thought

directly we

would have a

house. And I

was surprised

to see we were

in camps for so

many months.

If they had

informed us it

would not have

been such a

surprise ”

(30/F)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (50)

26

3.5.5 SOCIAL INTERACTION WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF THE

COA CENTRE

‘I live together and smile together and I sit together and if I understand some words we communicate

with hands.’ (F/45)

Some families had contacts with other Bhutanese who had already rese! led in the Netherlands.

However, apart from their daily contacts with COA staff , hospitals and the authori# es involved in

their civic integra# on programme, for example, the VWN, the refugees had fairly limited contact with

people outside of the COA centre, at this early stage in their rese! lement process. There was also li! le

interac# on with other refugees at the COA centre, due to language diff erences. The Chris# ans had

social contact outside of the COA centre, and they also knew Dutch people through the church. A young

Chris# an man (21) explained: ‘When we go to church, many Dutch people are coming to help us to learn

Dutch, they invite in house and to learn one and a half hour. I think it is good. I want to speak Dutch and

I want to make Dutch friends.’(21/M)

It was noteworthy that some of the younger people had obtained nega# ve concep# ons of ‘other

migrants’ (Moroccan) despite not have actually met them: ‘We talk about the language, educa! on,

cultures--they say NL is good but other people from Iraq, Morocco they are not good. In Utrecht there

are so many Moroccans. For children Moroccan speakers are not good. They said that. I have not met

them.’ 42 The same 19 year old girl con! nues: ‘Some are very bad, they used to steal bicycles from others

and sell them to us. And when we buy a" er a few days the police spoke to us. Last ! me my father buys

that bicycle. We have to take a bill from it. People from outside sold us, I think he is black man.’ 43

It was not clear who ‘they’ are and by who these percep# ons were established, however it is worrying

that refugees are infl uenced with racist prejudices in this early phase of their integra# on. Ul# mately

such prejudices and intolerances can undermine a successful integra# on process. It is a ma! er possibly

in need of further research and a! en# on during civic integra# on programmes.

“ I cannot talk,

so I cannot

quarrel ”

(45/F)

It is too soon to evaluate the impact that this transi# on will have for the quality and accessibility

of specialised care for rese! led refugees, but it is strongly advised that this process will be closely

evaluated and monitored to ensure that refugees obtain the specifi c care they require.

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (51)

27

3.6 INTEGRATION

‘We had a dilemma. We are from an Asian culture and we must move to a Western country.’ 44

In governmental policies as well as in the public debate, ‘Integra! on’ is o" en defi ned in terms that

emphasises on refugees obliga! ons – to learn the language and culture, to fi nd a job, to become

independent and adapt to their new country. The Dutch Minister for housing, communi! es and

integra! on claims that ‘Integra! on ensures that everyone who comes to live here can speak Dutch,

is aware of Dutch culture and the Dutch way of life, and knows about Dutch society and its history.’ 46

A COA case manager in Amersfoort explained that their goal towards integra! on is that the refugees

‘par! cipate in society, understand the language, to not be dependent or rely on the social system,

but to fi nd a job.’ 47

The a$ empted integra! on of refugees is achieved through civic integra! on programmes, including

Dutch language courses and cultural orienta! on. However, as emphasised by the VWN, integra! on

means more than that: refugees must also feel at home in The Netherlands. To achieve successful

integra! on it places obliga! ons on society as a whole: ins! tu! ons as well as the Dutch popula! on

to assist and take an ac! ve role to avoid segrega! on.

In spite of a lack of any sta! s! cs over the educa! onal profi le of the Bhutanese refugees, the COA

Head Offi ce was of the opinion that the Bhutanese group generally was less educated and required

more ‘integra! ve eff orts’ as compared to other refugee groups. However, a COA case manager

was of the opinion that they were an ambi! ous, educated group eager to learn the language and

fi nd work. GHRD had the same impression based on our mee! ngs and interviews. One of the

refugees refl ected that their rela! vely small number would contribute to a higher level of ambi! on

during language class: ‘Because of the very small numbers of Bhutanese refugees and our lack of

communica! on with other people, we are quite serious in the language class compared to other

Iraqi, Syrian and African refugees’ 48/M

Up to what extent their integra! on will succeed should be observed in the near future.

3.6.1 CAPACITY FOR INTEGRATION

Refugees are naturally obliged to respect the laws and regula! ons of their new country. 48 However,

the Netherlands has taken this provision a step further and iden! fi ed ‘capacity for integra! on’

as a criterion for selec! ng refugees for rese$ lement. 49 In prac! ce it implies that the Dutch will

only accept refugees that ‘fi t in Dutch society’. A submission by UNHCR will be rejected if there

are signs or behaviour that indicate this person will not be a good fi t in Dutch society (for example,

‘showing non-conformist behaviour or ideas, or some indica! on of an intent to cause social unrest’).

Integra! on capacity is some! mes a$ ached to the ac! vi! es undertaken in the refugee-camp, one’s

capacity or willingness to adapt to a new country, knowledge of a West-European language, any kind

of familial ! e with Dutch people or those with a residence permit who are living in the Netherlands,

and those who having an ‘open mind’ regarding Dutch or Western ideals and values. Poten! al

for integra! on should not be an issue when it concerns a conven! on refugee - when there is a

need for interna! onal protec! on. However, considering the tendency of authori! es to not always

make this dis! nc! on, such a concept becomes worrying also in this context. Capacity for integra! on

should always be irrelevant in regards to selec! on procedures. From a human rights perspec! ve,

the concept of ‘capacity for integra! on’ is problema! c as it risk leading to an unoffi cial governmental

policy to ‘hand pick’ refugees choosing the most ‘desirable’. Rese$ lement should be a humanitarian

eff ort, rather then a governmental profi t.

“ Integration

is a common

term for the

coalescence of

social groups

in society ” 45

“ Because of

the very small

numbers of

Bhutanese

refugees and

our lack of

communication

with other

people, we

are quite

serious in the

language class

compared

to other

Iraqi, Syrian

and African

refugees ”

(48/M)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (52)

28

3.6.2 PERCEPTIONS OF IDENTITY AND MAINTAINING

CULTURE

There may be a challenge to fi nd a balance between integra� on and maintaining ‘home culture’ and it

is clear and divided between the older and younger genera� on. Whereas it was perceived as harder for

the older genera� on to integrate, the parents maintained that the rese� lement was in the best interest

of their children: they have moved to The Netherlands to give them a new (read: be� er) future. ‘My

children may be Dutch one day. But we can never be the same. The language seems to be quite the issue.

Everything is problema� c for us because we are older. The children will learn faster and adjust faster.’

(46/ M)

At the same � me, the older genera� on fi nd it crucial to maintain ‘Bhutanese’ culture, language and

tradi� on in their new country. The older (age group 30-70) iden� fi ed themselves as ‘Bhutanese’ and

rarely Nepalese:

‘I was born in Bhutan. I have that na� onality, but in Nepal I had no na� onality so I cannot be from

Nepal.’ (45/F)

‘We like to speak our own language and teach our culture and tradi� on to our youngest. We like to

organise where all the Bhutanese can gather.’ (30/F)

The younger genera� on (age16-30) found it important to integrate, and had a modern take on how to

maintain their culture. One young man said: ‘Now I’m here, I’m Dutch’ ’ I can remember Nepal through

Google.’ (18/M) Some of the younger iden� fi ed themselves as Nepalese, others did not feel they belong

in either culture, or thought of the move to The Netherlands as the opportunity to fi nally fi nd an iden� ty.

Neither of the youngest iden� fi ed themselves as Bhutanese. ‘I do not feel Bhutanese or Nepalese. I

want to be Dutch. If we only see Nepalese TV and talk Nepalese, we don’t learn Dutch.’ (21/M)

To summarise, there was an implicit tension between the desires and view on integra� on and maintaining

culture between the younger and older genera� on. But to allow the youth to truly ‘have a be� er future’

in The Netherlands necessary implies to allow them to integrate; that is to adhere to Dutch customs and

culture. At the same � me they expect their children to maintain their ‘Non-Western’ culture. A ‘culture’

(country) that many of the youth did not even have any real memories of. It remains to be seen how

the parents will react when their children are star� ng to truly integrate, to adhere to ‘Dutch Customs’

that are considered unacceptable or incompa� ble with ‘tradi� onal values,’ such as consuming alcohol,

smoking, sexual experiences. Further research would be required to follow up on such issues in the

con� nuous integra� on process.

3.6.3 LEARNING DUTCH

All refugees must follow an introduc� on course, consis� ng of Dutch language classes and basic

knowledge about the Netherlands. 50 Educa� on is compulsory for all children up to the age of 16.

Children start school soon a! er arrival, which is outside the recep� on centre. The recep� on centre

provides cultural orienta� on and language training for adults. Children up to 18 are given Dutch lessons

every day (5 days per week) and they demonstrated a good knowledge in Dutch and quick progress. ‘I

know Dutch be! er then my parents, but they never ask me for help’ (16/F)

In the beginning, the adults received three hours of lessons, fi ve days a week. However, in 2008 the

prepara� ve language courses for adults was reduced to six hours a week, for 12 weeks, in total: 72

hours.

At this early stage in their integra� on process, the refugees were showing a strong interest and desire

to integrate into Dutch society. They were eager to learn Dutch, to start a new life in The Netherlands,

and to leave their old life behind. There was a general consensus that learning the Dutch language is

essen� al in this process, at the same � me it raised alot of worries: it was considered the major challenge.

‘Maybe COA is not sa� sfi ed because the people in the camps are not interested in learning the language?’

[Refl ec� on of a young woman on why the hours of the classes were decreased]

“ Now I’m

here, I’m

Dutch. I can

remember

Nepal

through

Google ”

(18/M)

“ For my

mother and

father it is

quite diffi cult

because they

do not speak

English or

Dutch, and

they cannot

speak or talk

to anyone else

so they only

stay here in

the house ”

(39/M)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (53)

29

Not being able to learn the language was one of the main fears amongst the refugees. The most

common requests were more Dutch classes. Every adult (those over 18) requested more Dutch

classes, they were agreeing that two days a week is not enough to learn as fast as they want. ‘

Listen, talk, write, read. I want more lessons. I like fi ve days a week, 9am-5pm.’ (18/M) It was clearly

ins! lled with the refugees that their future is very much dependent upon their ability to learn

Dutch. However, it is noteworthy that one English speaking man claimed not to have any ! me for

Dutch language classes as he alone was responsible for helping all the family members in their daily

errands (talk to hospitals, COA etc). In addi! on, one woman was not following the Dutch courses

‘because she was pregnant’

“ Integration also requires an effort from the native Dutch population ”

Ella Vogelaar (Dutch Minister of Housing, Communities and Integration (2007-

2008 November)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (54)

3.7 THE FUTURE

‘My hope is to se� le, get a house, and live without terror, without fear… this is what you will get in

the Netherlands – there is no confl ict between diff erent people, races, class, so you will totally live in

freedom. I’m feeling much more comfortable because I also have depression from the things I faced,

and now it is okay. I used to dream about horror and have nightmares and get up at night and used

to shout and maybe its from facing such bad things but now here I am feeling comfortable. Now my

wife, mother and father are ge� ng medical treatment and that is sa� sfac� on.’ (39/M)

3.7.1 ACCOMMODATION IN A DUTCH MUNICIPALITY

‘We cannot go were we like in the Netherlands. It is not exactly forced, but they say that if we deny

the place that they give us then it will be a problem. They told us this place is nice, it looks like Bhutan

some mountains [Limburg].. (39/M)’

‘Freedom of movement’ is an inalienable human right. Ar! cle 13 of the Universal Declara! on of

Human Rights s! pulate: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the

borders of each State.’ The right to ‘freedom of movement’ is also proclaimed in the UN Refugee

Conven! on, Ar! cle 26 states that ‘refugees have the right to choose their place of residence and to

move freely within its territory.’ This provision is mandatory, it is not a recommenda! on. However, in

prac! ce the right to freedom of movement is limited for the rese" led refugees. There are no legal

restric! ons on the refugees’ rights of movement but in prac! ce - the choice of housing is not for the

refugee to choose: housing will only be available for them in one par! cular municipality. According

to COA, they are trying to fi nd suitable housing based on individual interviews and criteria’s such as

distance to (close) rela! ves, or medical needs are taken into account. If possible, a group of refugees

from one country is housed in one par! cular municipality. 51

However, the lack of freedom of choice in regards to their future housing was the overwhelmingly

largest ma" er of concern reported from the majority of refugees GHRD met with. In prac! ce, the

refugees experienced that their freedom of movement was restricted, as they had no other op! on

than to move to the municipality where they were assigned. It was a large stress factor for many of

those interviewed.

They could not understand why they were being rese" led separate from their family members

in the Netherlands, and expressed major concerns with this. One family feared moving far away

from the hospital in which their family member(s) were receiving very good treatment. COA points

out that the medical treatment should be of the same standard everywhere in the Netherlands,

and therefore ‘this should not be of an issue’. 52 However, for some of the refugees the thought of

changing hospitals was a psychological stress factor. ‘We were going to be transferred to the village

(Limburg) so it is very far from the hospital. She is undergoing good treatment here and is going to

have hip surgery, so now she’s worried.’ (32/F)

To be separated from one’s family and friends, in a ! me when everything is new and a major

challenge added to the stress factor and was of great concern for the refugees. At the same ! me,

some expressed guilt for this feeling, as ‘they should not complain since they have been given this

opportunity.’

The need of a greater fl exibility in terms of accommoda! on prospects for rese" led refugees was

also one of the main conclusions drawn at the expert mee! ng on rese" lement that was held in the

Hague in December, 2009. 53

30

“ The only

problem is

people are

brought here

and then

they are

scattered all

around the

Netherlands.

That makes

it hard to

socialize

with others ”

(61/M)

“ But they will

choose us one

contact person

and he is doing

whatever he

wants. He

found a house

one hour from

the village,

there’s no

transportation,

so we are

confused to

what to do ”

(32/F)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (55)

3.7.2 HIGHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL

PROSPECTS

‘We will try to study the language fi rst, then we will re-evaluate our op� ons… If we try hard, we will

deal with problems that will come to us… step by step. It will be be� er here in the future.’ (61/M)

The Dutch Minister for housing, communi! es and integra! on emphasises that ‘in order to

par! cipate eff ec! vely in Dutch society, it is also essen! al that people fi nd employment or in some

way contribute to society. Employment ensures that individuals are economically independent and

can interact with others on an equal foo! ng. Working together breaks down barriers of ethnic,

religious and cultural diff erences.’ 54

At the same ! me, educa! onal qualifi ca! ons obtained by the refugees in their country of origin are

assessed in the light of the standards that apply in the Netherlands. In order for some professionals

to become recognised in their fi elds in the Netherlands, o$ en, addi! onal courses or prac! cal work

experience is necessary. There is the possibility for refugees to a% end special voca! onal training

in loca! ons that require only a minimum profi ciency in Dutch. From the day of arrival in the

Netherlands, refugees do have the ability to work. However, fi nding employment is diffi cult without

knowledge of the Dutch language. The government does provide an allowance for the refugees un! l

they fi nd employment. Dutch integra! on policy has long been: ‘First learn Dutch, then get a job’

thus the authori! es have been encouraging refugees to learn Dutch fi rst, before star! ng to think

about higher educa! on. However, VWN reports that over the last few years ‘duale trajecten’ have

become more popular: to learn Dutch in combina! on with a job or a work se' ng. For 2010 the goal

is that 80% of the integra! on programmes should consist of ‘duale trajecten’.

It was striking how all the interviewed expressed their desire to take up a higher educa! on, and the

younger age group (those between 16-30) wanted to work in the health sector, the women (and

some men) wanted to become nurses ‘because I have seen bad things’ 55. But they all expressed a

general uncertainty in regards to how to go on about doing this. In fact, it was an aspect that almost

every interviewee expressed: that they lacked in informa! on about job and educa! onal training,

and many felt frustrated and requested more informa! on on this. Parents too, felt concerned that

they did not know how to proceed to support their children to pursue a higher educa! on. ‘My son

is a graduate, and we are in the dark about educa� on opportuni� es. The case manager told us that

another organisa� on will come, but we have no details so far’ (61/M) ‘I worry more about their

educa� on than my illness,’ said a father with a chronic disease.

Several were already higher educated and with professional experience (for example, there were

those ac! ve in the governmental sector, teachers and nurses). They too expressed frustra! on

and fear about not being able to use their knowledge and training in the Netherlands. A female

nurse in her early thir! es who planned to obtain addi! onal educa! on to con! nue working in the

Netherlands said: ‘I had a good job, but my cer� fi cates and training are of no use, it means nothing.

I face many challenges. I have to learn the language, everything is very uncertain. I share this feeling

of uncertainty with my family.’ (32/F)

The younger women (age group 16-40) were either educated nurses, working as nurses prior to

rese% lement, or they wanted to become nurses in the Netherlands. ‘I don’t have a great educa� on,

but I can look a! er people’ (33/F)

The older women were insecure of what to do next ‘ take care of their family ‘as they have ‘no

educa! on or skills’. ‘I have no educa� on, nor am I healthy, my husband is sick, I cannot run big

machines, I do not know what I shall do. I shall cook and feed him.’

A case manager at COA informed us that ‘the refugees o$ en arrive full of hope and great expecta! ons

for the future’, and that COA’s task is to provide a ‘realis! c’ idea to the refugees in regards to their

future prospects, to avoid their disappointment. ‘A doctor should not be disappointed with a job in

the service sector,’ she explained.

Some younger girls felt discouraged from the COA case manager in regards to how to achieve their

goal:

‘COA has not told me how to be a nurse and has not asked me what I want to do. When I am through

with school, COA is closed and there is no one for me to ask how to achieve my future. Also, I don’t

have any books to study to be a nurse’. 56

31

“ I would like to

get a job in the

Government or

in agriculture

like in Bhutan.

I was teaching

English in

Nepal as a

second option.

The case

manager told

us that it is

diffi cult for

elderly people

to get a job

here ”

(61/M)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (56)

‘My case manager say it is very diffi cult to study to become a nurse, and I think it is right but I try and

study more. If they can give me to read.’ (21/F)

Experiences varied, however. Another young woman (already educated nurse) felt op� mis� c and

expressed how her case manager had been encouraging and given her the right informa� on in regards

to how to proceed to con� nue working as a nurse in Netherlands. Another, higher educated man said:

‘My case manager told me I’d get the scholarship, and said it’ll be sure I’ll get the job a! er. I feel op" mis" c

about the future.’ (39/M)

32

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (57)

33

3.8 WOMEN IN RESETTLEMENT

‘I have my sister, she is s� ll there. Her husband has married three more women and le� my sister and

their three small children in the camp. Some� mes he used to come to my sister and he does not treat

her well. She has a very bad life without a husband and three small children. He quarrels with her,

fi ghts with her and some� mes beats her. She’s uneducated, she does not like to expose her things,

so does not go to hospital. I want to bring her here because I have no family here. She appealed to

UNHCR. There are many such cases, maybe she is on the queue.’ (30/F)

Women were addi! onally vic! mised and discriminated against as a result of women’s subordinate

posi! on in the Nepalese/Bhutanese society. Star! ng with the stories from Bhutan and the ! me of

evic! on, where women were raped by the army, ending with the lack of equal opportuni! es in the

Netherlands: gender based violence and discrimina! on against women was iden! fi ed throughout

the en! re rese# lement and refugee process. The main refl ec! ons and overall concerns that arose

throughout this research process is refl ected upon in this separate sec! on. The topic of Bhutanese

women in rese# lement would certainly require further and specifi c research.

Four women were unmarried, (one cancelled her wedding to join her family for rese# lement, three

were ‘unaccompanied minors’). The remaining women were rese# led with their husbands from

arranged marriage (50%). The married women o& en talked about rese# lement from their family’s

perspec! ve, from their husbands, or their children’s, rather then from their own. ‘My husband is

ge! ng treatment and ge! ng be" er day-by-day. And my children are going to school.’ 57

3.8.1 RESETTLEMENT: PATRIARCHY REINFORCED

Bhutan and Nepal are tradi! onally patriarchal, male dominated socie! es. The posi! on for women,

in private as well as the public sphere, is weak. The no! on of the man as the head of the family

was reinforced in the rese# lement and in the move to Netherlands. For example, in several cases,

the family would emphasise the ‘importance’ of having the ‘man of the house’s’ story told fi rst and

foremost. Some! mes, the older woman was wri# en off as ‘irrelevant’ to take part in the research

by the male rela! ves, for various reasons, for example, ‘because she is illiterate.’ In some case the

woman would fi rst refuse to talk to GHRD without having her husband present. 58 Some! mes the

informa! on provided by the women was diffi cult to decipher. Even if the interviews were conducted

in private and with confi den! ality, there was o& en a strong reluctance to talk about anything that

could be perceived as cri! cism or discontent against one’s family or life situa! on.

3.8.2 INEQUALITIES IN THE RESETTLEMENT PROCESS

‘If a woman is married to someone of a diff erent na� onality, she cannot migrate to the country, and

married women are being rese" led with their husbands rather than with their family. If the woman

wants to go with her family, then they (UNCHR) say you have to divorce from the husband, and

then you can go with your family. Many of my friends face this problem because there is inequality

between the men and women.’ (32/F)

Gender inequality is also ins! tu! onalised in the rese# lement process. None of the women in our

survey had been given a choice to rese# le with their birth family; they are automa! cally expected to

rese# le with their husbands. As a result many women are separated from their own birth families.

The women were torn between the expecta! on (and, of course in some cases genuine desire) to

go with her husband and to separate from the birth family, in many cases on a permanent basis. A

young woman explains: ‘On one side I was happy; I may have a good life in the Netherlands. On the

other side, I was feeling bad because I was separa! ng from my parents forever. My parents did not

ask me to go with them because it is not our culture. You must follow your husband’ 59

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (58)

34

3.8.3 EXCLUSION AND ISOLATION

‘Those who know the language they can talk and have interac� ons, I don’t know how to talk so I have

to be quiet.’(45/F)

Several women felt isolated and disempowered: ‘ I am lonely. All my brothers and sisters are going with

my parents to Australia. I am married so I must follow my husband, not my parents. I don’t want it by

my heart, but I have to do it. It is necessary for my husband to be here, so I am here. I am hoping to see

my family in the future.’ 60

Another, young girl explained: ‘I miss my sister, who lives in Nepal with her husband. She is lonely now

when her family moved to The Netherlands’ (16/F)

The situa! on is of major concern, as the women are not only separated from their family, but they are

also isolated and placed in an extremely vulnerable posi! on. Taking into account that in accordance

with Asian cultural tradi! on their marriages are mostly arranged, and furthermore when the woman

was very young (between 17-20 years old on average). Hence, the women are sent away to a country

they never heard of before, where she does not speak the language and has no previous contacts.

Thus her only channel of communica! on is her husband who - in addi! on – she is subordinate to. ‘In

our society it’s a man dominant society so if I am married I can only do what he would say to do. If one

woman is talking to another man then the whole society gets together and asks ques� ons. Simple talking

creates a problem.’ 62 Language barriers and the lack of translators was another aspect to exclusion.

Women who did not speak English have an even harder ! me to integrate, ac! vely take part in the

rese" lement process then others. They were addi! onally made dependent on their male rela! ves,

o# en their husband, to translate for them. The contact with the outside world was limited to what their

husband chose to share with them. In this se$ ng, she is virtually unprotected in case of domes! c abuse

or other forms of exploita! on. For these women, it hardly ma" ers whether the Netherlands has ra! fi ed

and implemented interna! onal trea! es for the protec! on of women (for example, CEDAW), the fact

women are s! ll denied their fundamental rights.

Gender inequali! es and the vulnerable situa! on for women must be considered by all agencies

involved in rese" lement of refugees. Par! cularly the dependency and poten! al isola! on of women in

rese" lement should be taken into account at all levels, and serious measures should be taken to protect

these women and ensure their inclusion in society.

“ Her future?

She will stay

back at home,

cook for her

husband and

children and if

she has time,

she will go to

work ”

Ar! cle 1 of CEDAW defi nes discrimina! on against women as “any dis! nc! on, exclusion, or restric! on

made on the basis of sex which has the eff ect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recogni! on,

enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespec! ve of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and

women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the poli! cal, economic, social, cultural, civil or

any other fi eld.”

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (59)

CHAPTER 4

Conclusion and

Recommenda� ons

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (60)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (61)

CHAPTER 4

Conclusion and

Recommenda� ons

4.1 CONCLUSION

A main criterion for rese! lement is that it is a voluntary, ‘informed

decision’ based on ‘accurate informa� on’. However, prior to

conduc� ng the research, GHRD had heard from its Bhutanese

sources that the rese! lement process was complicated and

characterised by a lack of informa� on, or misinforma� on related

to rese! lement amongst the refugees. As a result rumours,

o" en based on misunderstandings, were spread and reinforced

these misconcep� ons. These interviews confi rmed this claim;

misinforma� on or lack of informa� on was strikingly common and

appeared at all levels, amongst all groups in the process, including:

referring to crucial aspects and implica� ons of the rese! lement,

including rules, grounds and criteria’s for rese! lement, informa� on

rela� ng to the Netherlands and future life and opportuni� es. It was

not limited to a certain group; various levels of misinforma� on/

lack of informa� on and frustra� on as a result was found in all

groups regardless of gender, literacy rate and educa� on. It may be

the result of a combina� on of factors: inadequate communica� on

from the authori� es, stemming from a lack of (� me) and fi nancial

resources, including translators, and misunderstandings due to

cultural and language diff erences. Women were also excluded

from informa� on and decision-making processes due to the

tradi� onal family patriarchal structure. Rese! lement can only be

truly voluntary if it is a decision based on accurate informa� on, or

informa� on at all. Misinforma� on/ lack of informa� on is resul� ng

in unnecessary stress for the individuals, disappointments and

frustra� on, despera� on, fear and ul� mately - it undermines the

successful integra� on process.

35

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (62)

4.1.1 MISINFORMATION/LACK OF INFORMATION

Refugees were missing informa� on in par� cular, about:

• The Netherlands prior to rese� lement (2008) group.

• Rules and procedures for grounds and criteria’s for rese� lement.

• Criteria’s for Family reunion (how to bring remaining family to Netherlands).

• Informa� on regarding higher educa� on of adult children in the Netherlands.

• Regarding rules and procedures rela� ng to their residence permit and stay in the Netherlands.

4.1.2 FIRST LEARN DUTCH, THEN GET A JOB

It is agreed that refugees must learn Dutch to have a chance at the labour market, and learning the

language is undeniably crucial for successful integra� on. Dutch policies assert fi rst learn the language,

then you get a job. But In their own opinion, the refugees are not given enough classes during their stay

in the centre in order to live up to those expecta� ons and learn the language fast enough. As refugees

are staying for several months at the centre, and the real integra� on programme only will start when

they are moved to their municipality, the � me in the centre should be reduced.

4.1.3 PROVIDING ‘REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS’

Whereas it is understandable that authori� es must be realis� c and honest about refugees opportuni� es,

there is a diff erence between ‘providing realis� c expecta� ons’, and in repressing ambi� on in a sense

that actually undermines their opportuni� es, so that ‘lack of opportuni� es’ becomes a self fulfi lling

prophecy. It is one thing to ‘provide a realis� c picture’ and be honest about the tough labour market,

another to ins� l the ideas that the refugees right posi� on is to serve. Indeed, to repeat the mantra of an

inaccessible labour market for refugees may rather discourage them from par� cipa� ng in society, from

becoming independent and searching a job. This contradicts the goal of integra� on and independency

and thus undermining the poten� al for successful integra� on.

4.1.4 PROSPECT OF INTEGRATION:

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GENERATIONS

Throughout the en� re process, the younger refugees were full of op� mism, and the older had their

children’s best interests at heart. The older genera� on generally disliked their � me in the Nepalese

camps more then the younger. At the same � me the younger genera� on are more open to integra� on,

to se� le for a new life and leave the past behind. But it remains to be seen how the parents will react

when their children are star� ng to truly integrate, to adhere to ‘Dutch Customs’ that are considered

unacceptable or incompa� ble with their parents ‘tradi� onal values,’ such as consuming alcohol,

cigare� es, and sexual experiences. And what values may clash with the parents’ no� on of ‘maintaining

their tradi� onal culture’ and ‘successful integra� on’ as defi ned by the Dutch policies? Further research

would be crucial to follow up on the con� nuous integra� on process of the Bhutanese refugees.

36

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (63)

4.1.5 CAPACITY OF INTEGRATION � CHERRY PICKING?

The Dutch concept of ‘Capacity for integra� on’ is fundamentally problema� c from a human rights

perspec� ve. The idea that a country selects which refugees ‘fi t in their society’ may, morally,

contradict the fundamental principle of universality - human rights for all. It certainly becomes

problema� c if the weakest are denied the opportunity for rese� lement. Rese� lement should be

about what is best for the refugees, to save and protect human rights, rather then economical and

poli� cal benefi t for the third country.

It is crucial to evaluate the pre-selec� on procedures, to iden� fy factors that may or may not contribute

to a selec� on, and to understand which refugees are excluded from the ‘golden opportunity’ of third

country rese� lement. Such research must take place on the ground, over a long period of � me. 63

4.1.6 GENDER STEREOTYPES AND INTEGRATION

Following Asian patriarchal tradi� on, the ‘father of the house’ tradi� onally controls Bhutanese

families. Such structure aff ects both women and men nega� vely as their autonomy and capacity

of integra� on may be restricted when they are le� with certain gender specifi c expecta� ons. Some

women are excluded from vital informa� on and decisions regarding their life situa� on, and men

on the other hand are le� with the burden of main responsibility for the family, which becomes

overwhelming and some� mes a hindrance in taking part in the civic integra� on programme.

4.1.7 IDENTIFIED PROBLEMS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

• Lack of informa� on or misinforma� on in regards to rese� lement, rules and procedures,

including family reunion, reinforcing misinforma� on and the spread of rumours.

• Inequali� es in the rese� lement policies for women and men, (e.g unequal access to informa� on)

• Separa� on of families to diff erent countries (parts of the world) as a result of rese� lement. This

par� cularly aff ects women.

• Insuffi cient amount of Dutch classes for adults.

• Lack of privacy; cultural sensi� veness in accommoda� on facili� es in COA refugee centre.

• Nega� ve racial stereotypes against other Dutch migrants amongst some of the younger refugees

were iden� fi ed.

Main (most common) worries reported by the refugees

• Learning the Dutch language

• Spreading out the refugees in Netherlands – lack of autonomy in fi nding accommoda� on.

• Fathers and mothers (genera� on aged 45+) worried most of the future and educa� on for their

children

• Lack of access to informa� on regarding how to achieve higher educa� on.

• Worries about remaining family members in Nepal. Especially women expressed their worries

for family that remained in Nepal. This is a direct result of them being separated from their birth

family and sent away with their husbands.

• Concern about never being able to visit family members rese� led in other countries (especially

women)

37

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (64)

4.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

GHRD would like to provide the following recommenda� ons to par� cularly the Dutch, but also other

interna� onal, authori� es involved with the rese� lement of refugees. The recommenda� ons are dra� ed

taking in considera� on the interest of the refugees, acknowledging the specifi c needs as expressed by

refugees themselves, including fi nding a balance between their successful integra� on in the Netherlands,

in a non-discriminatory, equal manner, whilst preserving and guaranteeing their fundamental rights.

4.2.1 RECOMMENDATIONS TO UNHCR AND IOM

• Improve the process to provide adequate and correct informa� on related to the rese� lement

process, including the criteria’s for family reunion prior to arrival. Find crea� ve and effi cient ways

to ensure the accessibility of informa� on for all refugees, regardless of their level of educa� on and

other posi� on in society.

• Involve refugees in steps and important decisions rela� ng to their rese� lement, including poten� al

changes in � me and date for their departure.

• Be aware of Dutch rese� lement policy that entails ‘capacity for integra� on’. The prac� cal

implica� on of this policy should be cri� cally evaluated and monitored to ensure its conformity

with interna� onal human rights standards, and to ensure that it is not being prac� ced in regards

to Conven� on refugees. Monitor the rese� lement countries selec� on process and promote a true

human rights based approach in selec� on criteria’s, to avoid ‘cherry picking.’

• Encourage the member states not only to receive and rese� le refugees, but also to improve

mechanisms for follow up and monitoring of their situa� on, in order to improve their prospect of

successful integra� on and fulfi lment of rights.

• Emphasise to member states the obliga� on to diff eren� ate between rese� led refugees and asylum

seekers in all polices and strategies, aff ec� ng their quality of life and prospect of integra� on and

fulfi lment of rights.

38

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (65)

4.2.2 RECOMMENDATIONS TO DUTCH AUTHORITIES

• Recognise the specifi c needs and circ*mstances for rese� led refugees. Rese� led refugees

should be awarded permanent residence upon arrival, in accordance with the guidelines

expressed by the UNHCR.

• ‘Capacity of integra� on’ should not be relevant as a selec� on criteria for (any) rese� led

refugees.

• Ensure adequate and correct informa� on related to the rese� lement process, in par� cular

the residence status, family reunion and refugees op� ons in the Netherlands. Find crea� ve

and effi cient ways to ensure the accessibility of informa� on and decisions for all, including

women and those less educated. Stronger eff orts can be made at the COA centre to ensure that

informa� on is accessible to everyone of the family: through individual mee� ngs, the regular

‘house visits’, for example, provide translators.

• Provide informa� on rela� ng to higher educa� onal opportuni� es. The policy of ‘fi rst learn the

language, then fi nd a job’ should not be pursued in a way that it is undermining ambi� ous

refugees aspira� ons, discouraging their integra� on.

• Improved communica� on between COA case mangers and refugees is needed, enhanced

dialogue must be achieved in order to avoid having the refugees feel as though they have no

say regarding their decisions on their new life situa� on.

• Gender sensi� veness. The dependency and poten� al isola� on of women in rese� lement

should be taken into account at all levels, and strong measures should be taken to protect these

women and ensure their inclusion in Dutch society. Look out for warning signs of abuse and

be aware of the vulnerable posi� on women may be in. Women should be assigned a female

case manager. Further monitoring is required to evaluate the posi� on for Bhutanese women

rese� ling in the Netherlands.

• Cultural sensi� veness. Privacy during their stay at AZC will reduce the stress for the refugees

during their fi rst � me in the Netherlands.

• Reduce the � me refugees stay in the COA centre in order to start the real integra� on programme

sooner, and achieve sucessful integra� on.

• Ensure autonomy in regards to choice of housing taking the refugees best interests and desires

into account to the largest extent possible.

• Con� nue to monitor and evaluate the integra� on process, encourage and dedicate funding

for local organisa� ons, and community networks for assistance to ensure full and successful

integra� on.

• Ensure close evalua� on and monitoring of the implica� on for refugees and their accessibility

to health services a� er the transi� on from the specialised MOA to the general health sector, to

ensure that the refugees specifi c needs are fully met.

39

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (66)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (67)

END NOTES

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (68)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (69)

END NOTES

40

1. UNHCR Fact Sheet November 2008 ‘UNHCR In Nepal.’ h! p://www.un.org.np/unhcr/docfi le/2008-12-16-unhcr-nepal-fact-

sheet.pdf

2. See Appendix A for the most recent UNHCR map of the loca# on of the camps.

3. UNHCR: ‘The Netherlands’ Rese! lement Handbook Department of Interna# onal Protec# on Geneva, 2004 1st ed.July 1997,p

2. Informa# on confi mred by Nina Gurung, UNHCR, Department of External Rela# ons, Kathmandu Nepal 2009-09-10.

4. See more details under chapter 3, ‘In the Netherlands – Residence Status’ p 18

5. UNHCR: ‘The Netherlands’ Rese! lement Handbook Department of Interna# onal Protec# on Geneva, 2004 1st ed.July 1997.

6. For elabora# ons, See Appendix B UNHCR, Rese! lement Criteria

7. As reported by UNHCR, Nina Gurung, Department of External Rela# ons, Kathmandu, Nepal 2009-09-10.

8. UNHCR: ‘The Netherlands’ Rese! lement Handbook Department of Interna# onal Protec# on Geneva, 2004 1st ed.July 1997.

9. UNHCR: ‘The Netherlands’ Rese! lement Handbook Department of Interna# onal Protec# on Geneva, 2004 1st ed July 1997.

10. VWN, offi cial le! er to the commission for Integra# on and Asylum, Minsistry of Jus# ce: Aan de woordvoerders inzake

Integra# e Asielbeleid van de vaste commissie voor Jus# # e van de Tweede Kamer, Algeemen Overleg inzake ‘uitgenodigde

vluchtelingen 2008-2011’ kenmerk o.2.2.-8199AU 2008-06-10

11. Each step during the mission is described in UNHCR: ‘The Netherlands’ Rese! lement Handbook Department of Interna# onal

Protec# on Geneva, 2004 1st ed July 1997. This handbook also states which organisa# on is responsible for which part of the

mission.

12. Mee# ng with Mariska Heijs and Andre Baas, COA head offi ce 2009-03-11

13. As reported by UNHCR, Nina Gurung, Department of External Rela# ons, Kathmandu, Nepal 2009-09-10

14. Informa# on received from Nina Gurung, UNHCR, Department of External Rela# ons, Kathmandu Nepal 2009-09-10

15. This view was shared by many refugees and several agencies involved with rese! lement.

16. For elabora# ons see Appendix B ‘Legal Criteria for Asylum and Rese! lement in The Netherlands’

17. UNHCR: ‘The Netherlands’ Rese! lement Handbook Department of Interna# onal Protec# on Geneva, 2004 1st ed. July 1997.

18. In 1988, Lhotshampas were divided into seven categories:

1. genuine Bhutanese;

2. returned migrants;

3. people not available during the census;

4. a non-na# onal woman married to a Bhutanese man;

5. a non-na# onal man married to a Bhutanese woman;

6. children legally adopted;

7. non-na# onals - migrants and illegal se! lers

19. In 1988, Lhotshampas were divided into seven categories:

1. genuine Bhutanese;

2. returned migrants;

3. people not available during the census;

4. a non-na# onal woman married to a Bhutanese man;

5. a non-na# onal man married to a Bhutanese woman;

6. children legally adopted;

7. non-na# onals - migrants and illegal se! lers

20. UNHCR The 1951 Refugee Conven# on Ques# ons and Answers, 2007 edi# on h! p://www.unhcr.org/3c0f495f4.html

21. Drukpa is a branch of Buddhism, the majority of Bhutan. ‘Southern Drukpa’ is led by the King of Bhutan.

22. It happened during the April 2008 elec# ons.

23. 30/F

24. 29/M

25. Susan Banki, part of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage research project, Briefi ng paper: Bhutanese refugees in

Nepal: an# cipa# ng rese! lement, June 2008

26. See for example Human Rights Watch Report: Trapped by inequality: Bhutanese Refugee Women in Nepal, 2003

27. Human Rights Watch Report:Trapped by inequality: Bhutanese women in Nepal, 2003

28. ibid

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (70)

41

29. This was confi rmed by several women who directly or indirectly experienced this. Also noted by Human Rights Watch, in

their Report:Trapped by inequality: Bhutanese women in Nepal, 2003

30. Quoted in ‘Susan Banki, Briefi ng paper: Bhutanese refugees in Nepal: an� cipa� ng rese� lement, June 2008’

31. IND: ‘Rese� lement of refugees in the Netherlands’ (found at h� p://www.ind.nl/en/Images/0904%20ENG_brochure_HVZ_

tcm6-183831.pdf) Confi rmed by COA strategic advisor Andree Baas and Mariska Heijs 2009-03-11

32. Email from Mariska Heijs, project manager, COA Head Offi ce, 2009-11-04

33. IND: ‘Civic integra� on examina� on required for permanent residence permit/con� nued residence’ h� p://www.ind.nl/en/

inbedrijf/actueel/Inburgeringsexamen_eis_verblijfsvergunning_onbepaalde� jd_voortgezet_verblijf.asp

34. Mee� ng with Ariane van Uyl, policy offi cer at VWN 2009-11-23

35. Refugee Conven� on Ar� cle 34: ‘states shall as far as possible facilitate the assimila� on and naturaliza� on of refugees. They

shall in par� cular make every eff ort to expedite naturaliza� on proceedings ad to reduce as far as possible the charges and

costs of such proceedings’

36. VWN, offi cial le� er to the Integra� on and Asylum, of the Permanent Commission for Jus� ce of the Second Chamber of

Parliament: Aan de woordvoerders inzake Integra� e Asielbeleid van de vaste commissie voor Jus� � e van de Tweede Kamer

Countourennota – ‘Herziening van het inburgeringstelsel’, 2 Juni 2004, kenmekr O.2.2.- 438.EL/RWUNHCR , offi cial le� er to

the Integra� on and Asylum, of the Permanent Commission for Jus� ce of the Second Chamber of Parliament, Brussels, 29

June 2004

37. Informa� on recieved from Nina Gurung UNHCR, Department of External Rela� ons, Kathmandu Nepal 2009-09-10.

38. 19/F

39. UN 1951 Refugee Conven� on ar� cle 24

40. Interview with COA strategic advisor Andree Baas and Mariska Heijs Coa Head Offi ce 2009-11-03

41. Mee� ng with Ariane van Uyl, policy offi cer at VWN 2009-11-23

42. 19/F

43. 19/F

44. 61/M

45. Quote from Dutch minister for housing, communi� es and integra� on The Netherlands: Discrimina� on in the name of

Integra� on, p. 7, 2009.

46. Dutch Minister for housing, communi� es and integra� on found at www.interna� onal.vrom.nl/pagina.html?id=37564.

47. Mee� ng with Eva van Leuveren, COa Case Manager, 2008-10-07

48. Ar� cle 2, Interna� onal Refugee Conven� on

49. In accordance with a decision by the Dutch Minister for Aliens Aff airs and Integra� on see UNHCR: ‘The Netherlands’

Rese� lement Handbook Department of Interna� onal Protec� on Geneva, 2004 1st ed. July 1997.

50. Voorbereiding op Inburgering 1 (V-inburgering 1)

51. Interview with COA strategic advisor Andree Baas and Mariska Heijs Coa Head Offi ce 2009-11-03

52. ibid

53. ‘Conclusions’ - Expert mee� ng on refugee rese� lement, December 16 2009, the Hague, organised by the University

Associa� on Fund, Dutch Refugee Council, and UNHCR

54. Dutch Minister for housing, communi� es and integra� on h� p://interna� onal.vrom.nl/pagina.html?id=37564

55. 19/F

56. 16/F

57. 45/F

58. For reasons of confi den� ality and reliability of informa� on, no interviews were conducted in the presence of husbands.

59. Iden� ty withheld for confi den� ality reasons.

60. Iden� ty withheld for confi den� ality reasons.

61. 45/F

62. Iden� ty withheld for confi den� ality reasons.

63. Susan Banki, part of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage research project, Bhutanese refugees in Nepal: An� cipa� ng

the Impact of Rese� lement

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (71)

APPENDIX

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (72)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (73)

APPENDIX

42

APPENDIX A: MAP OF NEPALMap found at ( h! p://www.unhcr.org/44103ca70.html )

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (74)

43

APPENDIX B: LEGAL CRITERIA FOR ASYLUM AND RESETTLEMENT IN THE

NETHERLANDS

From the UNHCR Rese! lement Handbook: The basis for asylum is laid down in the Aliens Act 2000, ar" cle 29, which has six

grounds for admi! ance:

a) 1951 Conven" on;

b) European Conven" on for Human Rights;

c) Na" onal protec" on for humanitarian reasons;

d) Na" onal protec" on for special categories;

e) Family reunion

f) Extended family reunion

From the Dutch Immigra" on Service, the criteria used for review frameworks for accep" ng refugees are:

- The Interna" onal Conven" on on Refugees.

- The European Conven" on of Human Rights (ECHR).

- Humanitarian grounds

- The deriva" ve residence permit for family members.

From UNHCR country report/rese! lement handbook on medical necessity:

In medical cases the Netherlands use the following criteria:

• the cases must fi t in the medical category as laid down by UNHCR;

• the medical treatment is not available and non-treatment will result in a medical emergency situa" on. Non-treatment that will

in the short-term lead to death, invalidity or other serious physical or mental damage. The fact that medical treatment is not

accessible in countries of origin is not an argument for gran" ng a permit, unless access is prohibited on grounds men" oned in

the 1951 Conven" on (for example, because of religion, race or na" onality);

• the condi" on of the submi! ed persons should be such that their coming to the Netherlands for treatment and supervision can

eff ect a substan" al improvement.

UNHCR Rese! lement Criteria

Legal and Physical Protec" on Needs: In accordance with the UNHCR Rese! lement Handbook, Legal and Physical Protec" on Needs

are linked to immediate or long term threat of refoulement to the country of origin or expulsion to another country from where the

refugee may be refouled, threat of arbitrary arrest, deten" on or imprisonment, and the threat to physical safety or human rights

in the country of refuge analogous to that considered under the refugee defi ni" on and rendering asylum untenable.

Women-at-Risk: Rese! lement should be considered for women-at-risk who face precarious security or physical protec" on threat

as a result of her sex, have specifi c needs arising from past persecu" on and/or trauma" za" on, face severe hardship resul" ng in

exposure to exploita" on and abuse, or lack access to tradi" onally available support and protec" on mechanisms.

Survivors of Violence and Torture: Rese! lement should be considered for those refugees who are survivors of violence and

torture in accordance with the UNHCR Rese! lement Handbook, and the situa" on in the refugee’s country of asylum does not

cons" tute the climate in which s/he can re-establish his/her life a% er the violence s/he has endured in his/her country of origin.

Medical Needs: The criteria for rese! lement on the basis of medical needs in accordance with the UNHCR Rese! lement Handbook,

requires that the refugee has a health condi" on that is life-threatening without proper treatment; or risks an irreversible loss of

func" ons; or has a health condi" on that presents a signifi cant obstacle to leading a normal life and achieving self-suffi ciency;

and adequate treatment is not available in the country of asylum due to lack of medical facili" es and exper" se; in the case of

a disability, the situa" on in the country of asylum prevents the individual from becoming well-adjusted and from func" oning

at a sa" sfactory level; and there is a favorable prognosis that treatment and/or residence in the country of rese! lement would

successfully address the health problem; and it is the expressed wish of the individual.

Medical Needs-People with Disabili" es: The criteria for rese! lement on the basis of medical needs in accordance with the UNHCR

Rese! lement Handbook, requires that the refugee has a health condi" on that presents a signifi cant obstacle to leading a normal

life and achieving self-suffi ciency; the situa" on in the country of asylum prevents the individual from becoming well-adjusted

and from func" oning at a sa" sfactory level; and there is a favorable prognosis that treatment and/or residence in the country of

rese! lement would successfully address the health problem and, if possible, given the expected state of health a% er treatment/

reloca" on, enable the individual to gain par" al or total independence; and it is the expressed wish of the individual.

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (75)

44

Family Reunifi ca� on: The criteria for rese! lement on the basis of family reunifi ca# on in accordance with the UNHCR Rese! lement

Handbook, states that the unity of the family, the natural and fundamental group unit of society, is an essen# al right of the refugee

and rese! lement would ensure that the unity of the refugee’s family is maintained par# cularly in cases where the head of the

family has fulfi lled the necessary condi# ons for admission to a par# cular country.

Older Refugees: An older refugee and qualifi es for rese! lement in accordance with the UNHCR Rese! lement Handbook, which

states that older refugees may be par# cularly vulnerable, especially in camp like situa# ons. The stresses of being forced to fl ee and

then having to adapt in a new environment during the fi rst stages of exile, par# cular for those without the support of family, place

untold demands on the coping ability of many older refugees.

Children and Adolescents: A Best Interests of the Child determina# on is completed for all separated, unaccompanied or orphaned

children. A% er such assessment, rese! lement may concluded that rese! lement is the most durable solu# on for the refugee in

accordance with the UNHCR Rese! lement Handbook.

APPENDIX C: INVOLVED AGENCIES

Caritas Nepal is a non-governmental organiza# on established in 1990. The La# n word “Caritas” means “Love”. Caritas Nepal spreads

this “love” by working in solidarity with the poor and marginalized people of Nepal. Since its establishment, Caritas Nepal has been

empowering people of rural communi# es of Nepal to overcome poverty and realize basic human dignity and social jus# ce. Caritas

Nepal is a member of Caritas Interna# onalis, the worldwide network of Caritas Agencies with headquarters in Rome.

Caritas Nepal is addressing following development concerns: Lack of food security and poverty, viola# on of rights of women and

children, social exclusion (of low castes and ethnic groups), natural disaster prone physiographic regions, and internal confl ict.

Source: www.caritas.org

COA is the Central Agency for the Recep# on of Asylum Seekers, is responsible for the recep# on of asylum seekers. COA provides

accommoda# on during the asylum procedure and prepares asylum seekers for staying in the Netherlands, returning to their

country of origin, or transmigra# on. To carry out these tasks, COA closely cooperates with the IND (Immigra# on and Naturalisa# on

Department), the Aliens Police and the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary.

Source: www.coa.nl/ENG/website/home.asp

IND: Netherlands Immigra# on Service. The IND has an important government task. It ensures that the immigra# on policy is carried

out accurately. In order to do so, the IND has to clearly set out the rules that apply to foreign na# onals in the Netherlands. The IND

applies those rules as objec# vely and consistently as possible.

Source: www.ind.nl/EN/

IOM is the Interna# onal Organisa# on for Migra# on. The IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of

migra# on, to promote interna# onal coopera# on on migra# on issues, to assist in the search for prac# cal solu# ons to migra# on

problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. IOM in

the Netherlands assists migrants with voluntary return to their country of origin and sustainable reintegra# on. IOM also arranges

the travel of rese! led refugees and family members that have received authoriza# on to be reunited with their families in the

Netherlands. As a third ac# vity, IOM facilitates qualifi ed migrants who reside in the Netherlands to help with the development or

reconstruc# on of their country of origin through temporary return projects.

Source: www.iom-nederland.nl/english

UNHCR The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate interna# onal ac# on to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems

worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise

the right to seek asylum and fi nd safe refuge in another State, with the op# on to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to

rese! le in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

Source: www.unhcr.org

The VWN (Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland) or the Dutch Refugee Council plays an important role in the integra# on process. VWN co-

ordinate’s volunteers and local departments who assist refugees with social guidance during the asylum and integra# on procedure.

It also advocates for the posi# on of refugees in society, taking their best interests at stake, and raises awareness about refugees

and their special needs to the public and authori# es.

Source: www.vluchtelingenwerk.nl

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (76)

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (77)

G Glolobabal l HuHumaman n RiRighghtsts D Defefenencece

L Laaaan n vavan n MeMeererdedervrvoooortrt 7 700

2 251517 7 ANAN T Thehe H Hagagueue

T Thehe N Netetheherlrlanandsds

P Phohonene: : +3+31 1 7070 3 34545 6 69 9 7575

F Faxax: : + +3131 7 70 0 39392 2 3434 1 111

U URLRL: : wwwww.w.ghghrdrd.o.orgrg

@ @: : i infnfo@[emailprotected]

Bhutan Report Edited - resettlement.eu Refugees in NL.pdf» Chapter 3 Interview Analysis: Stories of Bhutanese Refugees Mr. Rizal 9 Mr. Khadka 10 Mr. Rizal 11 Mrs. Rizal 12 Dekura - [PDF Document] (2024)

FAQs

Why did Bhutan kick out Nepalis? ›

Expulsion and migration

During the 1980s, the Lhotshampa population constituted 25% of Bhutan's total population, with the migration of these citizens from Nepal to Bhutan first beginning in the mid-nineteenth century. Between 1988 and 1993, thousands of others left the country due to ethnic and political oppression.

What is the Bhutan scandal? ›

The Bhutanese refugees scam was a fraud scheme that duped over 800 people out of millions of rupees by giving them fictitious documents in the name of asylum seekers from Bhutan who were qualified for resettlement in other countries.

How many Bhutanese live in the USA? ›

The U.S. agreed to resettle 60,000 Lhotshampa refugees after 2008, and a 2017 census survey estimated that there were 24,000 Bhutanese Americans in the U.S. However, other sources suggest that there are far more refugees in the country — up to 90,000.

What happened in Bhutan in 1989? ›

The government of Bhutan soon introduced other “Bhutanization” measures like the 1989 “one nation, one people” policy that forced the practice of Drukpa culture through a compulsory dress code and the termination of Nepali language instruction in schools.

Why doesn t Bhutan recognize usa? ›

Bhutan's limited number of such relations, including the absence of formal relations with any of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, is part of a deliberate isolationist policy of limiting foreign influence in the state.

What was banned in Bhutan until 1999? ›

Although television had been illegal in Bhutan until June 1999, many people would buy television sets and rent movies.

Which religion is banned in Bhutan? ›

Although Bhutan's National Assembly had banned open practice of non-Buddhist and non-Hindu religions by passing resolutions in 1969 and in 1979, the current legal framework on its face unequivocally provides religious freedom for all.

What is the major problem in Bhutan? ›

Land degradation, biodiversity and habitat loss, high fuel-wood consumption, and human-wildlife conflicts are some of Bhutan's environmental challenges. Notwithstanding these problems, Bhutan remains overall carbon-neutral, and a net sink for greenhouse gases.

Why was TV illegal in Bhutan? ›

Television did not come to Bhutan until 1999. For years, the country cut itself off, fearing that outside influences would undermine its monarchy and culture. Radio broadcasting began in 1973 and the internet arrived in 1999. Media freedom is restricted.

Are Americans welcome in Bhutan? ›

All visitors, including those on U.S. government business, must get a Bhutanese visa to enter and leave Bhutan. It may take up to 5 days to process a correctly filed visa application, and you cannot buy airplane tickets to Bhutan without visa clearance.

Why is Bhutan so special for us? ›

Bhutan's emphasis on happiness has led to policies and practices that prioritise the well-being of its people, such as free healthcare and education, sustainable tourism and the conservation of its environment and culture. Bhutan remains the only country in the world to officially implement GNH!

What food do they eat in Bhutan? ›

Needless to say, the list can go on forever but for our purposes, we'll stick to the most popular dishes in Bhutan.
  • Ema Datshi. Ema Datshi is the most popular dish in Bhutan as well as being the national dish of the country. ...
  • Kewa Datshi. ...
  • Momos. ...
  • Jasha Maru. ...
  • Puta. ...
  • Thuep. ...
  • Ara.

What language do they speak in Bhutan? ›

The national language is Dzongkha (Bhutanese), one of 53 languages in the Tibetan language family. The script, locally called Chhokey (literally, "Dharma language"), is identical to classical Tibetan. In Bhutan's education system, English is the medium of instruction, while Dzongkha is taught as the national language.

What happened in 1972 in Bhutan? ›

In 1972, the Third King passed away, and the young crown prince became king at the age of 16, the youngest monarch in the world at the time. The Fourth King first worked on the modernization and growth of the country.

Why do refugees leave Bhutan? ›

These refugees registered in refugee camps in eastern Nepal during the 1990s as Bhutanese citizens who fled or were deported from Bhutan during the protest against the Bhutanese government by some of the Lhotshampas demanding human rights and democracy in Bhutan.

Why did Bhutan and Nepal separated from India? ›

There were several reasons while Nepal, Bhutan, (and until recently, Sikkim), remained Independent of India. 1) The first was their remote, mountainous locations. That made it hard for Britain to occupy them, and the fierce soldiers of Nepal (the Ghurkas) were particularly prized by Britain.

Why are Nepalese leaving Nepal? ›

The lack of employment and economic opportunities at home is forcing at least 1,700 Nepalis to fly abroad every day, and the Russia-Ukraine war has emerged as a lucrative destination for Nepalis desperate enough to leave the country. It's not just migrant Nepali workers who are abroad.

Are Nepalese allowed in Bhutan? ›

Bhutan Visa, the compulsory travel permit to tour Bhutan from Nepal. As with all nationals, with the exception of Indians, Bangladeshis, and Maldivians, a visa is required in order to get into the last Himalayan kingdom.

What happened to Hindus in Bhutan? ›

Persecution of Hindus

In the early 1990s, several thousands of residents in southern Bhutan were forcefully relocated by the authorities under the provisions of the amended Citizenship Act of 1985, because they had Nepalese ancestry.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated:

Views: 5887

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.