Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Bhutan - COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Bhutan.

Dr Susan Banki 

Email: susan [dot] bankiatsydney [dot] edu [dot] au

Susan Banki is a Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the University of Sydney. Her research on human rights violations, and the rights of refugee and migrants particularly, have focused on Burma, Bhutan, Japan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Nepal. She is currently heading up a multi-year project studying the ways that precarious refugees from Bhutan and Burma engage in homeland activism. She is widely published on issues facing Bhutanese refugees. 

Dr Gil Daryn 

Email: darynsasiaatgmail [dot] com

Dr Gil Daryn is a social anthropologist (Ph.D. Cambridge 2002) and published scholar with expertise on the culture, society, history and politics of South Asia in general, and particular knowledge about Nepal and Bhutan. Since 1989, and until he left in June 2011, he has visited, conducted research, worked and lived in the region for a total of almost ten years. He became professionally engaged with the issue of the exodus of ethnic Nepalese from Bhutan and the protracted refugee problem that ensued, while working in UNHCR’s Kathmandu office as an Associate Durable Solutions Officer during 2008-9. In this capacity he became familiar with UNHCR’s archives, read in detail the historical material regarding the migration of ethnic Nepalese to Nepal in the 1990s and the state of human rights in Bhutan. In addition, he conducted focus group discussions and interviews with many Bhutanese refugees and held detailed discussions with them while in the refugee camps in southern Nepal. Among others, he looked into the circumstances that forced them out of Bhutan, learnt about the minority of ethnic Nepalese who fled to India and about the many who remained in Bhutan. He later worked for various other international agencies for humanitarian aid and development. Dr Daryn has served as a consultant and expert on asylum and human rights issues in Nepal and Bhutan since 2005.

Dr D.N.S. Dhakal

Website: www.fds.duke.edu/db/Sanford/dinesh.dhakal

Email: dd24atduke [dot] edu, dinesh [dot] dhakalatduke [dot] edu

Dr Dinesh Dhakal worked as the economic advisor of Bhutan government from August 1990 to October 1991; he left the country in protest when government began to evict ethnic Nepalese in 1990, labelling them as ‘anti-national’ and ‘illegal economic immigrants’. Since then he had been working for the resolution of the two-decade old Bhutanese refugee problem in Nepal and establishment of human rights and democracy in Bhutan. He has also specialized on the Rohingya in Nepal, India and Bhutan. He has done this work ‘under the cover’ of a prestigious academic career as an economist: first as a lecturer at Harvard (1989-2000), senior lecturer, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (2001-2008), before becoming a senior fellow at Duke Center for International Development.

Dr Richard W Whitecross

Email: R [dot] Whitecrossatnapier [dot] ac [dot] uk

Richard Whitecross is a Lecturer in Law at Edinburgh Napier University. He has conducted research on law, human rights and political change in Nepal and Bhutan. A former practising lawyer, Richard has experience of providing Expert reports and is a member of the Law Society of Scotland Immigration and Asylum Committee. He has written and published extensively on Bhutan and the Himalayas. 

Dr Nitasha Kaul

Email: nitasha [dot] kaulatgmail [dot] com

Nitasha Kaul is a Kashmiri novelist, academic, poet and economist. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) at University of Westminster, London, and has previously been a tenured academic in Economics at the Bristol Business School and in Creative Writing at Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan. Her research and writing over the last decade and a half has been on identity, justice, political economy, democracy, feminist and postcolonial thought, Kashmir and Bhutan. She speaks within and outside academia, on issues of justice and borders. In her recent work, she has addressed issues of nationalism and neoliberalism in contemporary India and the question of nation-states and refugees in Europe. She has authored books including the scholarly monograph ‘Imagining Economics Otherwise’ (Routledge, 2007/2008) and a Man Asian Literary Prize shortlisted novel ‘Residue’ (Rainlight, 2014).

Michael J Hutt

Email: mh8atsoas [dot] ac [dot] uk

Michael Hutt is a Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies and Director of the South Asia Institute at SOAS. He was Head of the South Asia Department from 1995-9, and has served as both Associate Dean (2002-4) and Dean (2004-10) of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council ever since its foundation in 2000, and its chairman since 2010; he has also served two terms as editor of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research. Michael Hutt was appointed as the chair of the British Academy's South Asia area panel in 2014. He has published on Nepali and Bhutanese politics, the Nepali diaspora in India and the Bhutanese refugee issue. Between 2010 and 2013 Hutt was the co-director of a British Academy-funded International Partnership project on the construction of public meaning in contemporary Nepal, working with colleagues at Martin Chautari in Kathmandu.  In 2011 he was awarded the Nai-Derukha International Prize ‘for his continuous dedication to promoting the study of Nepali literature in the international arena’ (see here).

Dr Mark Turin

Email: mark [dot] turinatubc [dot] ca

Mark Turin (PhD, Linguistics, Leiden University, 2006) is an anthropologist, linguist and radio presenter. Before joining the University of British Columbia as Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Mark was an Associate Research Scientist with the South Asian Studies Council at Yale University, and the Founding Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative. He continues to hold an appointment as Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies. Prior to Yale, Mark was a Research Associate at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. At UBC, Mark is an Associate Member of the Department of Asian Studies an Affiliate Member of the Institute of Asian Research. Mark directs both the World Oral Literature Project, an urgent global initiative to document and make accessible endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record, and the Digital Himalaya Project which he co-founded in 2000 as a platform to make multi-media resources from the Himalayan region widely available online. Mark has held research appointments at Cornell and Leipzig universities, as well as the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Sikkim, India. From 2007 to 2008, he served as Chief of Translation and Interpretation at the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). Mark Turin writes and teaches on ethnolinguistics, language endangerment, visual anthropology, digital archives and fieldwork methodology. He is the author or co-author of four books, three travel guides, the editor of eight volumes, the co-editor of the journal Himalaya and he edits a series on oral literature. Mark is a regular BBC presenter on issues of linguistic diversity and language endangerment. He also serves as Advisor to the Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project.

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