According to the United Nations, more over 82.4 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2020, with over 20 million of them becoming refugees. Currently, around 200,000 of these refugees are residing in India.
India’s Refugee Problem
India has housed numerous individuals escaping war, strife, and persecution throughout its history, including Zoroastrians from Iran, Bengalis after the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, Sri Lankans in the 1980s, and Afghans through many waves of migration. India’s secular, spiritual, and cultural values all revolve on welcoming immigrants. India has participated in 49 UN peacekeeping operations, sending over 195,000 soldiers and a large number of police officers to help the UN and international NGOs in conflict-torn areas. Whatever the economic, demographic, security, or political factors of refugees seeking asylum, India has shown capable at handling the problems that arise from such circumstances.
India, although being a hospitable country, lacks a national refugee framework. Ad hoc Interventions: In India, refugee support has relied heavily on interim policies and administrative choices. As a consequence, while some refugee groups have benefited from comprehensive assistance and solutions, others have lagged behind. India has not defined its initiatives in asylum management so that they may be shown throughout the world. Not a bureaucratic exercise. How refugees are treated is a critical national security issue that cannot be reduced to a bureaucratic exercise.
Refugee Law is required
A long-term refugee strategy is essential for managing population migrations rationally and ensuring openness and predictability in our administrative operations. India’s leading position in the area and among emerging countries would be reflected in national refugee management legislation.
The law will define the functions of several institutions engaged in refugee protection governmental, judicial, and UN — as well as the mechanisms for collaboration among them. It would also assist to prevent tensions between the host and the origin countries. Other countries would see the decision to give refuge as a peaceful, humanitarian, and lawful act, rather than an arbitrary political manoeuvre. It will also serve as a forum for discussion on responsibility sharing and will contribute in the quest for long-term solutions to the fundamental causes of the refugee crisis. Some governments give early assistance to refugees before expecting them to fend for themselves. Refugees have been considered charity cases in a few nations. National refugee legislation may assist in achieving the correct balance between the two.
With their historic experience and principles, progressive governments and economic powerhouses like India may serve as catalysts for global humanitarian action and asylum management. India might better calibrate its asylum administration by implementing national refugee legislation in light of the current global refugee and economic crisis.