Daily Hot Topic
Topic : India’s Refugee Crisis
GS-1 Mains  : Immigration
Revision Notes



  • Influx of 5,400 Myanmarese refugees into Manipur’s Kamjong district due to “aerial bombardment and attacks.”
  • Shared ethnic ties between refugees and residents of bordering Indian states.

India’s Refugee Landscape:

  • Refugee Sources: Afghanistan (recent influx due to Taliban rule), Myanmar (Rohingya Muslims fleeing ethnic violence), Tibet (refugees since 1959 uprising).
  • India’s Stance: Not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention.
  • Current Policy: The Foreigners Act, 1946, governs undocumented foreign nationals. * Those entering without valid documents are seen as illegal immigrants.

Challenges of Refugee Influx:

  • Resource Strain: Increased pressure on food, water, housing, and healthcare, especially in strained infrastructure areas.
  • Legal and Administrative Issues: Lack of a comprehensive legal framework for refugees creates difficulties in determining status, rights, and access to services.
  • Social Cohesion: Potential tensions with host communities over scarce resources.
  • Security Concerns: Infiltration of extremist elements and challenges in monitoring porous borders.
  • Strained Diplomatic Relations: Hosting refugees can cause friction with countries of origin, especially during geopolitical tensions.
  • Integration Issues: Language barriers, cultural differences, and lack of integration programs pose challenges.
  • Economic Impact: Competition for low-skilled jobs can affect the local job market, while potential economic contributions may not be fully realized.

The Way Forward: A Comprehensive Approach

  • Refugee Status Determination: Establish clear procedures to determine refugee status and provide legal protections.
  • Access to Rights: Ensure basic rights like education, healthcare, and employment for refugees.
  • Regional Collaboration: Work with neighboring countries and international organizations to manage refugee flows and share responsibilities.
  • Bilateral Agreements: Strengthen diplomatic ties to facilitate safe return or resettlement of refugees.
  • Empowerment Initiatives: Support vocational training, language education, and other programs to empower refugees economically and socially.
  • Conflict Resolution: Address root causes of displacement through diplomatic efforts and support for peacebuilding initiatives.

By implementing these strategies, India can create a comprehensive approach to managing the refugee crisis, ensuring refugee protection and promoting regional stability and cooperation.

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