Refugees and asylum seekers in India

Refugees and Asylum Seekers in India

1. India has traditionally treated refugees well even though it is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol

2. Today, about 110,000 Tibetans live in India according to the Ministry of Home Affairs' annual report, which cites the Dalai Lama.

3. The approximately 80,000 Tibetans who arrived in the first and largest wave received resident permits and were offered low-paying public works jobs by the Indian government. However, more recent Tibetan refugees have not been as welcome, with many denied residence permits.

4. In 2007, 9,200 Afghanistan refugees (92 percent of them Hindu or Sikh) were living in India, according to a spokesperson for UNHCR. More recently, the Indian government has agreed to naturalize many of these Hindu and Sikh Afghans who have lived in India since 1979.

5. As of late 2008, about 73,000 Sri Lankan refugees were living in 117 camps across southern India, mainly in Tamil Nadu.

6. As of 2005, UNHCR reported that India had 139,283 refugees and 303 asylum seekers. Of this population, UNHCR protects and assists some 11,000 urban refugees. More recently, India has received Iraqi and Palestinian refugees from Baghdad, some of whom have been resettled to third countries.