India’s ad hoc refugee policy exposed again

In another episode revealing India’s special refugee policy, two Union ministers were successively involved in allocating government apartments for Rohingya refugees in Delhi. First, Union Minister for Urban and Housing Hardeep Puri praised the decision to move Rohingya refugees to EWS apartments in the national capital and provide them with UNHCR IDs and police protection all day and night. However, this caused a storm on social media when critics of the government’s move pointed out that the Center had previously classified Rohingyas as illegal migrants. That prompted the office of Union Interior Minister Amit Shah to order clarification that it had given no such directive to move Rohingya “illegal migrants” to EWS apartments and that they resolved the matter of their deportation with the country concerned.

Read more: Home Affairs rejects Hardeep Singh Puri, says Rohingya are not welcome

This clearly shows the contradictions in India’s asylum policy. India has long hosted millions of refugees and has largely followed the principle of no rearmament. But in the absence of an appropriate asylum policy based on well-defined principles and metrics, different groups of refugees are treated differently. Consequently, there are significant differences between the conditions of Tamil Sri Lankan refugees, Afghan Muslim refugees, Sikh and Hindu refugees in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Tibetan refugees, Burmese refugees and the Rohingyas. But such specialism inevitably leads to confusion. Since India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention nor its 1967 Protocol, it is futile to treat refugees determined by legitimacy.

Therefore, GOI should develop an appropriate refugee policy, define clear criteria for accepting refugees, classify refugees accordingly, and provide services to them according to the established framework. out. Because, the current situation where refugees are not officially recognized but continue to live in this country both goes against humanitarian principles and poses a threat to national security because the refugees This migration can be pushed towards radicalization and illegal activities. It’s time to realize a rational, right asylum policy for the country.



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