Refugee: UN Definition
A Refugee is a person with a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race,
religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
Article 34 Naturalization
The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and
naturalization of refugees. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite
naturalization proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges
and costs of such proceedings.
Article 17: Gainful Employment
Article 26. Freedom of movement
Each Contracting State shall accord to refugees lawfully in its territory the right to choose their
place of residence and to move freely within its territory subject to any regulations applicable to
aliens generally in the same circumstances. Click here
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India, Nepal And Bhutan: Tibetan
Since India, Nepal and Bhutan did not sign the UN refugee convention of1951 and 1967 Protocol,
they are NOT LEGALY bound by any articles of the document. Whatever these countries are providing
for is on humanitarian ground and Tibetans who live in India and Nepal are Alien “guest”. They are NOT
living in India, Nepal or Bhutan as a “refugee”.
Because India, Nepal and Bhutan are not signatories to UN refugee Conventions, Also article number 34, 17, and
26(see above) are not met. Therefore, technically speaking, Tibetans who live in India, Nepal and Bhutan can
claim or seek refugee protection elsewhere in North America, Europe or anywhere in those countries who are
signatories to above UN refugee convention.
Canada: A signatory to both UN Convention and Protocol.
Canada accepts refugees and Tibetans are no exception. Canada, unlike US, did not offer any special
treatment or extra visas for suffering Tibetans. Rumor has it that Canada offers “special treatment to
Tibetans” which is absolutely wrong. On the contrary Tibetans are excluded from “Exception list”
under the “Safe Third Country” agreement. Canada also rejected during 1971‑ 72 to accept some Tibetan
refugees when it was approached by UN High Commissioner of Refugees.
It was solely due to individual efforts made by Canadian High Commissioner to India, James
George in Late 1960’s that led to settlement of 228 Tibetans.
US: A signatory to both UN Convention and Protocol.
First batch of 100 Tibetans arrived in 1960’s in US and later as part of immigration act 1990, 1000 displaced Tibetans were given special immigrant visas and have since resettled throughout US.
US Refugee Admissions Program:
Refugee Admissions Program for Tibetans in 2006 gave about 5000 visas to tibetans living in Nepal but Nepal refused
to issue “exit permit” to Tibetans who are still lingering in Nepal due to internal unrest and pressure from China.