India, amenities. However, the Indian legal framework

India,
known for its rich culture, heritage and traditions has also attained the
status of preferred refugee haven by allowing the steady flow of refugees from
its sub-continental neighbours and also from other countries. According to
UNHCR in 2014, nearly 200,000 refugees were living in India.People have come to
the country from around the world -like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar to
Eritrea, Iran and Iraq. India continues to receive them despite its own over-a-billion
population with at least six hundred million living in poverty with limited access
to basic amenities. However, the Indian legal framework has no uniform law to
deal with its huge refugee population, and has not made any progress towards
evolving one either.Notwithstanding the fact that the Government of India meets
generally its international obligations towards refugees and asylum seekers, it
has not yet acceded to the 1951 Convention on Status of Refugees and the1967
Protocol. The current legal framework of India applicable to foreign nationals
makes no special provision for those seeking asylum on humanitarian grounds nor
has it drafted a specific legislation onRefugee Law that will treat asylum
seekers and refugees on the same legal grounds an deal them on the basis of ad
hoc policies. The lack of domestic legal frameworks has led to the inconsistent
treatment of refugees. Protection fluctuates, depending on the refugee’s
country of origin and the political relationship between India and their home
country.It has to be noted that recently, a positive effort was made, resulting
in the formulation of the Refugees and Asylum Seekers Protection Bill 2006.8 It
is unfortunate, however, that the same was never tabled in Parliament owing to
frequent inability to reconcile humanitarian obligations and State security in
the Indian context.For every reason that points to an impending need for such a
law, there seems to be an equally large number of reasons that policymakers
have given for opposing it, urging that India should remain content with the
Foreigners Act and that passage ofa refugee law would hinder Government of India’s
policy concerning refugees. However, many experts in the area of refugee law strongly
believe that the more practical alternative to proposing an entirely new law is
to push forchanges in India’s current policy regardingrefugees. As stated
above, no current Indian law refers directly to refugees.Thus there is an
immediate need for a refugee law. The uniform treatment of refugees is a must as
long as India continues to accept asylum seekers across its porous borders. This
paper emphasises the need for a uniform law for refugees and recommends
comprehensive measures for adopting an effective asylum and refugee policy by
abridging the important protection gaps that exist in the Indian legal
mechanism for dealing with this category of people.

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