The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has issued more than a thousand new cards to Chin refugees residing in India after determining that they still need the protection of the international community.
“The UNHCR will continue issuing new cards until the end of April. So far, more than a thousand refugees have received the new cards,” said Salai Cung Dawt, who heads the New Delhi office of the Chin Human Rights Organization.
Salai Cung Dawt told Khonumthung News that an average of about a dozen people have been going to the UNHCR office in New Delhi each day to get the cards. The office is open between 10am and 6pm, he added.
The new cards will be valid until April 21 and will give cardholders the right to reside in India.
“The card means that they will have permission to live in this country, but it does not allow them to seek employment here,” Salai Cung Dawt said. He added that the UNHCR provides financial support to refugees recognized by the agency.
In addition to being necessary to get residential permits and long-tern visas in India, the card is also required by refugees seeking to resettle in Australia, he said. Currently, there are more than 3,000 Chin refugees living in New Delhi, about half of whom already have the new UNHCR card, according to Salai Cung Dawt.