Resettlement of Bhutanese Refugees
In early 2008, IOM began the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees in eastern Nepal. Referred to IOM by UNHCR, the refugees undergo medical screening attend language classes and lean about living and working conditions in their country of destination. IOM also helps process their documentation and arranges travel from the camps in Nepal to major cities in the United States of Ameerica, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, and Sweden.
The Lhotsampas fled to camps in Nepal’s Jhapa and Morang regions almost two decades ago, following ethnic tensions in Bhutan.
As of November 2009, a total of 23,205 have left the camps while 88, 002 refugees remain in Nepal. IOM expects more than 15,000 refugees will have left Nepal for resettlement countries by the end of 2009.