'We are the victims of the separation': A Report on Bhutanese Refugees Remaining in Nepal

'In the early 1990s tens of thousands of Lhotshampas, ethnic Nepalese from the southern region of Bhutan, fled their homeland through India and sought refuge in Nepal. More than 100,000 refugees lived in camps in eastern Nepal in a protracted situation for 18 years until 2008, when several countries of the Global North announced that they would begin a program of mass resettlement and take the Bhutanese refugees out of Nepal. It has now been more than five years since the process of mass resettlement was initiated. There are 88,841 Bhutanese refugees who have already resettled to third countries and 28,735 remaining in the camps. Of the remaining population, 7,206 refugees have not indicated any interest in resettlement. 1 This report focuses on the voices of the people who do not wish to resettle, and thus includes refugee perspectives that may be critical of resettlement. The analysis undertaken in this report, however, is in no way meant to diminish the option of resettlement as a valuable, indeed a critical, solution. The report merely aims to shed light on the opinions of those refugees who do not plan to resettle so that their voices will not be forgotten or relegated to ‘old news.’