A Yemeni student’s plea against deportation puts the focus on the lack of refugee rights in India

ESPMI executive committee member Shreya Sen comments.

Published January 22, 2017
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The ongoing case of a Yemeni student who has moved the Delhi High Court against his imminent deportation has put the spotlight on the issue of the precarious state of refugee rights in India. Despite hosting a large number of refugees and asylum seekers – 204,600 in 2011 – the country is neither a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention nor its 1967 Protocol for reasons ranging from security threats to demographic imbalance. Neither does India have a domestic legal framework to extend basic rights to refugees.

The 27-year-old student, who was detained in New Delhi after his visa expired last October, moved the Delhi High Court seeking protection against his deportation, saying that his life will be under threat in Yemen, which is in the grip of a civil war since 2015.

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Shreya Sen, a researcher at the department of South and South-East Asian studies at the University of Calcutta, said that the case of the Yemeni national was complicated, as he had not come to India seeking asylum, but the situation in his country had deteriorated during his stay here.

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