On the 21st of January, GHRD presented its main findings and recommendations from a one year research project on Bhutanese resettlement in the Netherlands to the Dutch and European authorities. The report was entitled From Himalayas to the Lowlands – in search of peace and happiness.
The presentation was the main starting point for discussion during a meeting on the promotion of resettlement in the European Union, organized by the Dutch Council for Refugees and the ICMC. 40 stakeholders involved with resettlement took part in the discussion, including the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs, municipalities, COA, UNHCR and IOM. Invited refugees from different countries were also present, including two resettled Bhutanese, Mr Arjun Chetri and Nawaraz Gajmer, who shared their personal experiences and provided some background information on the situation of Bhutanese refugees.
GHRD conducted the research in collaboration with the Dutch Council for Refugees and interviewed Bhutanese all over the Netherlands during the summer of 2010, inquiring into their personal experiences in their new country.
The report concludes that refugees are a diverse group and services aimed at integration must reflect this, corresponding to individual needs. However, one finding is uniting: the importance of family and the desire to be near other Bhutanese. The separation of families through resettlement is therefore of the greatest concern and should be addressed by stakeholders.
The report ends with a range of specific recommendations, including that the Dutch government should reconsider its current regulations in order to ensure that naturalization is facilitated for refugees – which is in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention.