Refugees in India


Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Refugee Research in India - Centre for Refugee Research

As one of our Social Development projects and commitment to both local and international communities, Leonardo Rocker represented the Quirky Kid Clinic for a 15 day community development project in New Delhi, India. This involved working with Burmese, Somali and Afghan refugees living in exile. The project was organized by the Centre for Refugee Research at the UNSW and the UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency.

More than 120 women and girls as well as 70 men attended the four-day gathering and while grateful for the asylum they receive in India, the refugees said they faced many challenges. “Our children can go to school but I fear for their safety as the local children tease them, laugh at them, make fun of their skin colour and clothes and sometimes even beat or harass them,” claimed a Somali mother, who fled her country five years ago (UNHCR, 2010).

See some photos of our trip to India:

Our dual role was to participate in the Consultation with Woman and Girls project as part of regional dialogues involving meetings with community leaders, documenting and researching human rights violations. Secondly, we worked closely with the Burmese refugee community by facilitating workshops to encourage regional solutions to local livelihood issues in view of developing funding proposals. Our intensive work served to support the refugee’s  Community Based Organizations (CBO’s).

We were privileged to be part of such a great project, meet amazing people and in helping to fund-raising over $7000 for their projects.

You can find more about the dialogues by visiting the UNHCR website.

Leonardo Rocker participated in this project as an Intern for the Centre for Refugee Research at the UNSW in Sydney. The Quirky Kid Clinic provides supervision for other refugee organizations, such as the Malaleuca Refugee Centre and we currently consults to STARTTS.}


3 Responses to “Refugees in India”

December 18, 2010 at 3:12 am, refugee representatives said:

What about other refugees present in New Delhi? refugees from Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, and the Congo, etc, NO centre for them! and also you didn’t meet them! We tell you why “they are not welcomed by UNHCR office in New Delhi”.


December 18, 2010 at 7:16 am, Leonardo Rocker said:

Thank you Refugee Representatives for your email. Yes, we share your frustration. However, this consultation did involve the Sudanese refugee community based in New Delhi as well.

As I understand it, the decision to involved these 3 communities was only based on the size of the communities.

India is not a signatory of the refugee convention – and I hope this will change – however in 2009 they ranked 25th in the world for their contribution to the UNHCR – a big jump form the previous years in USD: 2,499,721) (UNCR Website). So we really hope that things will improve.

More info about UNHCR work in india, visit:

For the CRR, visit:

This process, organized by the Centre for Refugee Research, was unique due to community involvement. I am sure this is a step on the right direction.


December 18, 2010 at 7:19 am, Leonardo Rocker said:

Actually, I have just been informed, that our Centre Director and other staff when for some “urban consultations” with many other communities to meet with them and include their experiences, ideas and solutions in the process.

Thank you for your comment and make sure you get in touch with the CRR for the outcomes of this consultation!


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