Nepal issues exit permits for refugees from Bhutan – UN
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today welcomed Nepal's recent decision to issue exit permits to refugees from Bhutan so they can be resettled in third countries.
The move is "an important step towards finding solutions for over 107,000 refugees who have been in Nepal for 17 years," agency spokesman William Spindler said.
The group resettlement process has been gaining momentum in the camps since it started late last year, UNHCR has submitted the details of nearly 10,000 interested refugees for consideration by the resettlement countries. The first refugees are expected to begin departing next month.
The United States has offered to consider for resettlement at least 60,000 refugees from Bhutan, and Canada has indicated it will accept up to 5,000, according to UNHCR. Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway have also indicated their willingness to accept refugees from Bhutan for resettlement.
"While resettlement offers a welcome solution for those who voluntarily choose this option after 17 years in the camps, the UN refugee agency will continue to advocate for the option of voluntary return to Bhutan for those refugees who wish to do so," Mr. Spindler said.