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Citizenship Law: Providing no relief to the majority of asylum seekers

By Rukmini S

People fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan top the list of refugees globally. Refugees from Myanmar are the fourth largest group. There are also nearly 10,000 Indian refugees across the world, and nearly 52,000 Indians awaiting decision on their asylum applications.

Majority of the refugees in India come from three countries that are not included in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act — China, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Meanwhile, more and more Indians are seeking asylum in other countries. Proportionate to its population, India’s refugee burden is low. Pakistan, meanwhile, has the world’s second highest number of refugees.

Note: The data refers to refugees and asylum seekers only, and not immigrants, legal or illegal. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) defines a refugee as someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence, and an asylum seeker as one who has made this claim but has yet to be granted or denied refugee status. The actual numbers are likely to be higher since India has not signed the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

The writer is a Chennai-based journalist.

Source: Economic Times