Training on Refugee Rights and Discussion on the Issue of Migration in the Context of Northeast India

The Northeastern states of India have recently witnessed an upsurge of cases of Rohingyas. The Rohingyas claim to be refugees but the police arrest them and they are later prosecuted in Courts and the Courts have also convicted them for illegal entry into and stay in India. Since these developments in the Northeast are relatively of recent nature, there was an evident lack of expertise amongst lawyers and the civil society in dealing with cases of this nature. Thereby, the need for a meeting cum training was felt necessary and accordingly the present meeting was organised for the Northeast India team of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN).

The meeting was attended by sixteen participants from five states of the Northeast, viz. Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. Also, the meeting was graced by Mr. Fazal Abdali, Mr. Sanjai Sharma and Ms. Alana Golmei from New Delhi. The main agenda of the meeting was to provide training to lawyers and activists on various aspects of Refugee Rights in India, especially in the light of recent developments like increasing number of Rohingyas entering India through the Northeastern states to seek asylum, preparation of NRC in Assam and introduction of the widely protested Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. Further, a discussion on migration assumes greater importance when there are lakhs of people who have lived in different states of the Northeast for decades but are still not citizens or are on the verge of losing their citizenship.