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Advocacy Work at United Nations

Bhutan Women and Children Organisation (BWCO) has been undertaking advocacy work the United Nations forums. The President of  BWCO has been persistently making intervention on minority rights, Christians' situation, refugee issues at the sessions of Working Group on Minorities  of UN Human Rights Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Geneva. These interventions have been included in the final report of the United Nations and sent to the Royal Government of Bhutan. They are reproduced as follows:

INTERVENTION IN 2002

 

Iintervention on Bhutan and Bhutanese refugees presented by Bhutan Women and Children Organisation to the Eighth session of the Working Group on Minorities  of UN Human Rights Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, currently in session from 27-31 June 2002. Submitted on May 27 2002 is reproduced as follows:

 

UN Commission on Human Rights

Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Forty-fourth session

 

UN Working Group on Minorities

Eighth session,  27 to 31 May 2002

Geneva Switzerland

 

May 27 2002

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

 

I am representing the  Bhutan Women and Children Organisation,  based in  exile in Nepal. I am very grateful to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for sponsoring my participation in this eighth session

 

I would like to draw the  attention of the Working Group on Minorities to the plight of over one hundred thousand Bhutanese refugees, Nepal-Bhutan Joint Verification process of Bhutanese refugees and to discuss the fate of  over 45,000 refugee children. My intention in this intervention is to request the assistance of the  UN Working Group on Minorities to urge the government of Bhutan for the speedy verification and repatriation of refugees and  stopping of resettlement in the land of refugees by other communities.

 

Bhutan is a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic society. There are three main ethnic, religious and linguistic groups and a dozen smaller groups. The Ngalung – often called Drukpas – are the ruling group who control the monarchy and the government and dominate the economy. The Sharchhop live in the eastern and central districts and practice Nyingmapa sect of Mahayana Buddhism. The Nepali-speaking Lhotshampas live in the southern foothill districts and practice mostly Hinduism.

 

PROBLEMS

 

REFUGEES

 

The  government of Bhutan through manipulation of various citizenship and marriage laws has implemented discriminatory and racist  policies to denationalize more than 120,000 Lhotshampas, who comprise approximately 20 percent of the total population of Bhutan. The government confiscated the citizenship certificates of thousands of Lhotshampa and were forcefully evicted in 1990. They  are now living as refugees in Nepal and India.

 

Under international pressure, Bhutan  agreed to interview refugees to determine their status as Bhutanese. A Joint Verification Team (JVT) comprising members of both Nepal and Bhutan  started verification of refugees in Khudunabari, one of the seven refugee camps in Nepal on March 26, 2001. The JVT  completed the interview and verification of the identity and documents in  possession of refugees in Khudunabari on December 14,  2001. After which,  the Bhutanese team went back and the verification process remains  stalled. According to various media reports almost all interviewed refugees possessed some kind of documents issued to them by the Royal Government of Bhutan as proof of their last legal residence or their origin in Bhutan. 

 

There was no transparency in the whole exercise and the JVT kept the entire process in secrecy thereby creating grounds for suspicion. The JVT  refused to announce the result of  interviewed refugees, whether they are qualified to go home or not.. The government of Bhutan must declare the results of the  interviewed refugees and make immediate arrangement for their repatriation. It should, without any future interruption, continue the verification and interview of  the remaining refugees in the rest of camps. It should complete the verification process with in a time frame. All of these refugees are anxious to be able to exercise their right – under international law – to return to Bhutan with dignity and honour.

 

The government of Bhutan refuses to include the  representatives of refugee community, and the UNHCR in the  Joint Verification Team . The representatives of refugee community, OHCHR and the UNHCR must be included in the JVT  for an equitable and judicious resolution of Bhutanese refugee problem. The government of Bhutan must open direct dialogue with the refugee community.

 

Authentic information on the origin, causes, and current situation about Bhutanese refugees and political situation in Bhutan can be found at the following website:

 

http://www.oocities.org/bhutaneserefugees .

 

CHILDREN

 

There are  approximately  45,000 refugee children under the age of 18  living in the refugee camps in eastern Nepal since 1991. This constitutes around 14 percent of total child population of Bhutan. More than 17,000 children have been born in the refugee camps in Nepal since, 1991. According to Bhutanese law, these children do not have the right to Bhutanese nationality or the right of return to their country. These children are in a situation of  statelessness. The government of Bhutan must take immediate action and make necessary arrangement to protect the rights of these children under international law  to  end the status of their statelessness. The Government should re-open all closed schools in the south and protect the Lhotshampa children's  right to education by providing schooling consistent with minority rights.

 

RESETTLEMENT

 

The Government of Bhutan confiscated the lands owned by the Lhotshampa refugees. Since 1998, the Government has been transferring population from north and east of the country  on the lands of refugees in Southern Bhutan. This will make it very difficult for refugees to return to the land they previously owned and has disrupted the  Lhotshampa’s  cultural links to this territory.

 

The Habitat International Coalition undertook a  Fact Finding Mission in September-October 2001  to verify the resettlement on lands of Bhutanese refugees. They released their  report on Resettlement on Lands of Bhutanese Refugees in January  2002, which confirms the refugee claims of  refugees that government is resettling other people in their land.

 

The government must stop the resettlement programme in the lands of refugees to enable  the refugees  to  return to their own land.

 

DISCRIMINATORY LAWS

 

The government of Bhutan has been implementing a discriminatory Citizenship Act, 1985 targeting against the Lhotshampa minorities. This Act has been responsible for denationalization of more than 120,000 Lhotshampa minorities and generation of Bhutanese refugees. . The government must repeal this racist and discriminatory  Act.

 

DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

 

In 1990, the government introduced a discriminatory rule requiring all Lhotshampa people to produce a ‘No Objection Certificate’ ( now called as Security Clearance Certificate)  issued by the police. This certificate  is required for a child’s admission to school, for seeking  employment, for obtaining travel documents and carrying out business activities. It is not possible  for a Lhotshampa person to be granted this police clearance.

 

The Lhotshampas are thus,  denied the right to equal employment opportunities, equal access to trade, business and industrial activities to enable their economic progress. Members of these groups are discriminated against in recruitment and promotion in the civil services and denied  access to senior government jobs. They are not awarded government  contracts or supplies.  The government must withdraw this discriminatory rule.

 

The government of Bhutan has failed to adhere to the provisions of UDHR,  UN Declaration on Minorities, ICCPR and ICESCR. The government should ratify the  Convention against Torture, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,   International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

 

CONSTITUTION

 

The government of Bhutan has commissioned a committee for drafting a national Constitution. The government should not include the provisions of the current discriminatory laws including Citizenship Act in the new Constitution. The government   must guarantee and protect citizens’ fundamental rights, personal liberty,  the rights of persons belonging to religious, linguistic, cultural,  national and ethnic minorities and uphold rule of law in the new Constitution. The  government must incorporate the provisions of   ICCPR, ICESCR  CAT, CEDAW, ICERD  in the national Constitution and national laws

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

We appeal for an early resumption of Nepal-Bhutan Ministerial Talk and JVT for the speedy verification of remaining refugees and their early repatriation to Bhutan with dignity and honour.

We request the government of Bhutan to immediately stop all  resettlement on the lands of  refugees.

We request the government to  take immediate action to protect the rights of  refugee children under international law  to  end the status of their statelessness.

We request  the government to immediately withdraw the requirement of  “Security Clearance Certificates” for Lhotshampa people.

We appeal to the government to guarantee and protect citizens’ fundamental rights, personal liberty,  the rights of persons belonging to religious, linguistic, cultural,  national and ethnic minorities and uphold rule of law in the new Constitution.

We request that the  Government of Bhutan repeal all discriminatory and racist laws and policies including the Citizenship Act, 1985 and Marriage Act and take all necessary measures and actions to protect the refugees’ right to nationality and to exercise the right of return to Bhutan.    The Government should re-open all closed schools in the south and protect the Lhotshampa children's  right to education by providing schooling consistent with minority rights. 

We suggest the inclusion of the representatives of refugee community, OHCHR and the UNHCR in the  Joint Verification Team to ensure that it is carried out in accordance with international standards and that the human rights of this group of tens of thousands of refugees are upheld.  We appeal to the government to ratify the  ICCPR, ICESCR  CAT, CEDAW, ICERD  and incorporate their provisions in the national Constitution and national laws

Finally we would like to urge the UN Working Group on Minorities to encourage open and productive dialogue between the government of Bhutan and the Bhutan refugee community  for a realistic solution of Bhutan’s political and refugee problems. We would like to invite the Chairman to consider a field visit to the refugee camps in  Nepal to investigate and assess the ground realities.

 

Thanking you, Mr. Chairman

 

  

President

Bhutan women and Children Organisation (BWCO)

 ----------

INTERVENTION IN 2001

 

UN Commission on Human Rights

Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

 

UN Working Group on Minorities

Seventh session,  14 to 18 May 2001

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

 

I am representing the  Bhutan Women and Children Organisation,  based in  exile in Nepal. I would like to draw the  attention of the UN Working Group on Minorities to the Nepal-Bhutan Joint Verification process of Bhutanese refugees and to discuss the situation of refugees and other minorities of Bhutan. My intention in this intervention is to request the assistance of the  UN Working Group on Minorities to urge the government of Bhutan for the speedy verification and repatriation of refugees,  stopping of resettlement in the land of refugees by other communities and stopping of persecution of Bhutanese Christians.

 

Bhutan is a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic society. There are three main ethnic, religious and linguistic groups and a dozen smaller groups. The Ngalung – often called Drukpas – are the ruling group who control the monarchy and the government and dominate the economy. The Sharchhop live in the eastern and central districts and practice Nyingmapa sect of Mahayana Buddhism. The Bhutanese Lhotshampa live in the southern foothill districts and practice mostly Hinduism.  

 

I would like to draw your kind attention to the situation of the Nepali-speaking Lhotshampa people in Bhutan and the large Lhotshampa refugee population living in Nepal. The Royal Government of Bhutan discriminates against Nepali-speaking  Lhotshampas in all areas of social, economic and political  life at  local and  national levels. They are discriminated  on the basis of race, culture, language and religion, which are  different from the ruling Ngalung people.

 

REFUGEE VERIFICATION

 

The  government of Bhutan through manipulation of various citizenship and marriage laws has implemented  discriminatory and racist  policies to denationalize more than 120,000 Lhotshampas, who comprise approximately 20 percent of the total population of Bhutan. They government confiscated the citizenship certificates of thousands of Lhotshampa and were forcefully evicted in 1990. Most are now living as refugees in Nepal and India.

 

Out of this 120,000 refugees, approximately  45,000 are children under the age of 18  living in the refugee camps in eastern Nepal since 1990. This constitutes around 14 percent of total child population of Bhutan. 17,000 children have been born in the refugee camps in Nepal since, 1991. According to Bhutanese law, these children do not have the right to Bhutanese nationality or the right of return to their country. All of these refugees are anxious to be able to exercise their right – under international law – to return to Bhutan with dignity and honour.

 

Under international pressure, Bhutan has agreed to interview refugees to determine their status as Bhutanese. Since March 26, 2001, a Joint Verification Team (JVT) comprising members of both Nepal and Bhutan have started verification of refugees. The process of verification is too slow, faulty, lengthy and time consuming.  The JVT is able to verify only ten refugee families a day out of a total of approximately 16,000 families consisting of over 100,000 refugees. There is no transparency in the whole exercise and the JVT is keeping the entire process in secrecy thereby creating grounds for suspicion. The JVT has refused to announce the result of  interviewed refugees, saying that result will be announced after the completion of entire verification process, which will take six years at the current pace. Currently only one team  of JVT is working. There should be at least three team of JVT to complete the verification process.

 

RESETTLEMENT

 

The Government of Bhutan confiscated the lands owned by the Lhotshampa refugees. The government is now resettling other groups from the north and east of Bhutan onto these lands in the south. This will make it very difficult for refugees to return to the land they previously owned and has disrupted the  Lhotshampa’s  cultural links to this territory. This dislocation is a violation of the Bhutanese government’s  obligation to protect and promote the existence of the Lhotshampa’s identity within Bhutanese territory under Article 1.1 of the UN Declaration on …..Minorities.

 

DENIAL OF RELIGIOUS RIGHTS

 

Christians in Bhutan, who make up less than one percent of the population, are facing some of the strongest opposition and persecution by the government. Persecution against Christians is now widespread and systematic, village by village. On Palm Sunday, April 8, 2001, Bhutanese authorities and police went to churches to register the names of believers. Many pastors were detained for interrogation and threatened with imprisonment. Other believers scattered for fear of being identified. Christians now face termination of employment, expulsion from the country, cancellation of trade licenses, and denial of all state benefits Penalties for practicing the Christian faith include no free education for children, no free medical facilities, no promotions, and no visas for travelling abroad, and other restrictions. Christians are asked either to leave their religion or leave the country. The young Christian are not issued with the  citizenship identity cards and they are on the verge of loosing  their   right to nationality.  In some places they are beaten very badly. The  fear is growing among believers. The campaign started last year when the government began sending official forms to government employees and private businesses demanding the Christians to sign agreements to comply with "rules and regulations governing the practice of religion."  We have enclosed the newspaper clipping and their web address at the end of this intervention.

 

The government enforces a cultural policy of ‘ One Nation, One People’ and Driglam Namzha’ is designed to undermine the distinct cultural, linguistic, and religious identities of other minority peoples. Minorities and denied their right to wear traditional dress – even in the home – and are forced to keep their cut at a regulated short length. The Sharchhops are denied their right to practice their Nyingmapa Buddhist faith. Monks are arrested and imprisoned. These are violations of Article 2.1 of the Declaration and of many other rights to freedom of expression and belief.

 

DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION

 

In 1990, the government introduced a discriminatory rule requiring all Lhotshampa citizens to produce a ‘No Objection Certificate’ issued by the police. But it was virtually impossible for a Lhotshampa person to be granted this police clearance. Without this certificate, a child cannot attend school. The Government of Bhutan closed down all the schools in southern Bhutan. The government thus, in effect, has denied the Lhotshampa children access to education, violating Articles 1.2 and 4.4 of the Declaration. The teaching in the Nepali language has been banned, thus denying their rights under Article 4.3

 

DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS

 

The Lhotshampas and other minorities are denied the right to equal employment opportunities and equal access to trade, business and industrial activities to enable their economic progress. Members of these groups are discriminated against in recruitment and promotion in the civil services and do not have access to senior government jobs. They are not awarded government  contracts or supplies. The government has therefore failed to take appropriate measures to ensure that members of minorities can participate fully in the economic life of the country, as is protected under Article 4.5.

 

DISCRIMINATION IN PARTICIPATION

 

The Lhotshampas are discriminatorily prevented from participation in the national decisions effecting them. The government programmes and policies do  not reflect the interests of minorities. The government  thus,  denies  the rights of minorities under Article 5(1) of the UN Declaration on Minorities.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

I appeal for the speedy verification of refugees and their early return to home. The government of Bhutan should increase the current one team of the Joint Verification Team to at least three teams.  

I request the Government to immediately stop all  resettlement on the lands of Lhotshampa refugees. 

I request  the Government immediately stop persecution of Christians, allow them to practice their religion and have them to construct their Church.  We request that the  Government of Bhutan repeal all discriminatory and racist laws and policies including the Citizenship Act, 1985 and Marriage Act and take all necessary measures and actions to protect the refugees’ right to nationality and to exercise the right of return to Bhutan.   

The Government should re-open all closed schools in the south and protect the Lhotshampa children's  right to education by providing schooling consistent with minority rights.  We suggest the inclusion of the international organizations, like the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and international NGOs, to monitor the verification process and ensure that it is carried out in accordance with international standards and that the human rights of this group of tens of thousands of refugees are upheld.  

Finally, I would like to urge the UN Working Group on Minorities to encourage open and productive dialogue between the government of Bhutan and the opposition refugee leader in Nepal for a realistic solution of Bhutan’s political and refugee problems. We would like to invite the Chairman to consider a field visit to the refugee camps of the Nepal to investigate and assess the ground realities.

Thanking you, Mr. Chairman

 

 

President

Bhutan women and Children Organisation (BWCO) 

------------------------

Calgary Herald, Canada, April 23, 2001

Vatican says Asian kingdom of Bhutan persecuting Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) - A Vatican agency said Monday it is receiving reports that the Asian kingdom of Bhutan is stepping up pressure on its tiny Christian community.

 

Fides, the news service of the Vatican's missionary arm, quoted Christian Solidarity Worldwide as reporting that fear is growing among Christians, who are less than one per cent of the population in the predominantly Buddhist kingdom. "Bhutanese Christians are being told to either leave their religion or leave the country," Fides quoted the British-based organization, which monitors religious freedom for Christians, as saying. The Vatican organization said it has received its own reports through the years of the persecution of Christians in Bhutan.

 

It said, citing Christian Solidarity, that on Palm Sunday, April 8, Bhutanese authorities and police went to churches to register the names of believers, and that many pastors were detained for interrogation and threatened with imprisonment. The Canadian Press, 2001

 

http://www.southam.com/calgaryherald/newsnow/

cpfs/world/010423/w042326.html

 

20-Apr-2001 -- EWTN News Brief

 

CHRISTIANS TOLD TO LEAVE FAITH OR LEAVE BHUTAN

 

ROME, Apr. 20, 01 (CWNews.com/Fides) - Christians in Bhutan, who make up only 0.33 percent of the population, are facing some of the strongest opposition and persecution they have ever experienced, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports. Fear is growing among believers. Bhutanese Christians are being told to either leave their religion or leave the tiny Asian country, located between India, Nepal, and China.

 

Bhutan, the only Buddhist kingdom in the world, has no written constitution or bill of rights. There is no legal guarantee of freedom of religion. Buddhism is the state religion and non-Buddhists suffer political and social discrimination. 70.1 percent of a population of 1,800,000, are Lamaistic Buddhists, 24 percent are Hindu, 5 percent Muslims, 0.6 percent animist, and 0.33 percent Christians, (of whom 500 are Catholics).

 

Persecution against Christians is now widespread and systematic, village by village. On Palm Sunday, April 8, Bhutanese authorities and police went to churches to register the names of believers. Many pastors were detained for interrogation and threatened with imprisonment. Other believers scattered for fear of being identified. The campaign started last year when the government began sending official forms to government employees and private businesses demanding the Christians to sign agreements to comply with "rules and regulations governing the practice of religion." Penalties for practicing the Christian faith include no free education for children, no free medical facilities, no promotions, and no visas for travelling abroad, and other restrictions.

 

As one Bhutanese Christian says, "Very harsh persecution has started in Bhutan. Christians are asked either to leave their religion or leave the country. In some places they are beaten very badly. They are not allowed to gather anymore.... Freedom of religion has been taken away. Christians now face termination of employment, expulsion from the country, cancellation of trade licenses, and denial of all state benefits."

 

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=14284

 

------------------

 

INTERVENTION IN 2000

 

UN Commission on Human Rights

Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

 

UN Working Group on Minorities

Sixth session,  20-26 May,  2000

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

 

I am representing the  Bhutan Women and Children Organisation,  based in  exile in Nepal. We would like to thank the UN Working group on Minorities for their 1999 statement in support of early repatriation of Bhutanese refugees.  I would like to draw the  attention of the UN Working Group on Minorities to the talks that are planned between the governments of Nepal and Bhutan to the situation of refugees. My intention in this intervention is to request the assistance of the  UN Working Group on Minorities to urge the government of Bhutan for the speedy verification and repatriation of refugees  and stopping of resettlement in the land of refugees by other communities.

 

Bhutan is a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic society. There are three main ethnic, religious and linguistic groups and a dozen smaller groups. The Ngalung – often called Drukpas – are the ruling group who control the monarchy and the government and dominate the economy. The Sharchhop live in the eastern and central districts and practice Nyingmapa sect of Mahayana Buddhism. The Bhutanese Lhotshampa live in the southern foothill districts and practice mostly Hinduism.

 

I would like to draw your kind attention to the situation of the Nepali-speaking Lhotshampa people in Bhutan and the large Lhotshampa refugee population living in Nepal. The Royal Government of Bhutan discriminates against Nepali-speaking  Lhotshampas in all areas of social, economic and political  life at  local and  national levels. They are discriminated  on the basis of race, culture, language and religion, which are  different from the ruling Ngalung people.

 

REFUGEE  AND RESETTLEMENT

 

The  government of Bhutan through manipulation of various citizenship and marriage laws has implemented  discriminatory and racist  policies to denationalize more than 120,000 Lhotshampas, who comprise approximately 20 percent of the total population of Bhutan. They have lost their right to Bhutanese citizenship and were forcefully evicted in 1990. Most are now living as refugees in Nepal and India.

 

Out of this 120,000 refugees, approximately  45,000 are children under the age of 18  living in the refugee camps in eastern Nepal since 1990. This constitutes around 14 percent of total child population of Bhutan. 17,000 children have been born in the refugee camps in Nepal since, 1991. According to Bhutanese law, these children do not have the right to Bhutanese nationality or the right of return to their country. All of these refugees are anxious to be able to exercise their right – under international law – to return to Bhutan with dignity and honour.

 

The Government of Bhutan confiscated the lands owned by the Lhotshampa refugees. The government is now resettling other groups from the north and cast of Bhutan onto these lands in the south. This will make it very difficult for refugees to return to the land they previously owned and has disrupted the  Lhotshampa’s  cultural links to this territory. This dislocation is a violation of the Bhutanese government’s  obligation to protect and promote the existence of the Lhotshampa’s identity within Bhutanese territory under Article 1.1 of the UN Declaration on …..Minorities.

 

DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION

n 1990, the government introduced a discriminatory rule requiring all Lhotshampa citizens to produce a ‘No Objection Certificate’ issued by the police. But it was virtually impossible for a Lhotshampa person to be granted this police clearance. Without this certificate, a child cannot attend school. As a result, no children enrolled in the schools so the Government of Bhutan closed down all the schools in southern Bhutan. The government thus, in effect, has denied the Lhotshampa children access to education, violating Articles 1.2 and 4.4 of the Declaration. In other regions, teaching in the Nepali language used by the Lhotshampas has been banned, thus denying their rights under Article 4.3

 

DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS

 

The Lhotshampas and other minorities are denied the right to equal employment opportunities and equal access to trade, business and industrial activities to enable their economic progress. Members of these groups are discriminated against in recruitment and promotion in the civil services and do not have access to senior government jobs. They are not awarded government  contracts or supplies. The government has therefore failed to take appropriate measures to ensure that members of minorities can participate fully in the economic life of the country, as is protected under Article 4.5.

 

DENIAL OF CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS RIGHTS

 

The government enforces a cultural policy of ‘ One Nation, One People’ and Driglam Namzha’ is designed to undermine the distinct cultural, linguistic, and religious identities of other minority peoples. Minorities and denied their right to wear traditional dress – even in the home – and are forced to keep their cut at a regulated short length. The Sharchhops are denied their right to practice their Nyingmapa Buddhist faith. Monks are arrested and imprisoned. These are violations of Article 2.1 of the Declaration and of many other rights to freedom of expression and belief.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

I   I suggest the Government of Bhutan to repeal and withdraw  all discriminatory and racist policies including the Citizenship Act, 1985 and Marriage Act and take necessary measures and actions for early repatriation of Bhutanese refugees with dignity and honour. I suggest the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to take active role in the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.  

  

     I suggest the Government of Bhutan to immediately decommission all  resettlement in the lands of Lhotshampa refugees

  

     I suggest the complete withdrawal of  the Government requirement of NOC and Police Clearance certificate for Lhotshampas in Bhutan. 

   

    I suggest the Government of Bhutan to open all closed schools in southern Bhutan and allow the Lhotshampa children's  admission to schools.

 

    I suggest the Government of Bhutan to draft and adopt a national Constitution guaranteeing and protecting the rights of minorities and promoting diversities. 

  

    I suggest that government to provide open space for functioning of civil society and promote provisions of International Human Rights standards in the country. 

 

    I suggest the donor countries and agencies to ensure that their aid is utilized  for the development of minority areas in Bhutan.  

 

    I request the Chairman of Working Group on Minorities to take necessary steps to encourage and open dialogue between the government of Bhutan and the opposition refugee leaders in Nepal for a realistic solution of Bhutan's political and  refugee problems. 

  

    I request the Chairman to pay a field visit to the refugee camps in Nepal to investigate and assess the ground realities.

 

   I suggest the forthcoming World Conference on Racism also to address the minority problems and involve the minorities in preparatory meetings and shaping of the agenda.  

 

   I suggest the creation of a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee fund for refugee minorities to enable them to travel to Geneva and contribute to the deliberations and discussions in the Working Group on Minorities.

 

 

President

Bhutan Women and Children Organisation  (BWCO)

 

 

 
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