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India is residing one of the greatest refugee populations in the world. The largest refugee populations are the Tibetans and the Sri Lankeses, but there are also ethnic Nepalis from Bhutan, Hindu Pakistanis, Burmeses, Somalis, Palestinians and Afghans who are displaced. The Indian government has, however, signed neither the Refugee Convention nor its Protocol, which has led the government to adopt ad hoc approaches to different refugee groups. The result is that different groups are subject to varying treatment. Some groups are granted a full range of benefits including legal residence and the ability to be legally employed, whilst others are criminalised and denied access to basic social resources. 

Over the past 50 years around 150 000 Tibetan refugees have followed the footsteps of the 14th Dalai Lama from the occupied Tibet to India. Since China started its occupation of Tibet in 1949, Tibetans have fled their country to escape oppression. There are several Tibetan settlements in India, the largest one is in Dharamsala, where the Tibetan Government in Exile has its base. Tibetans are given more rights than most other refugee groups in India.

During recent years the war in Sri Lanka has led to 90 000 people, especially Tamils, fleeing to India, mainly to the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The majority of them live in refugee camps under poor conditions.

Refugees in India

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