UNHCR has begun informing Chin refugees of a review process to determine their continued international protection needs. This review will take place in all countries hosting Chin refugees, including Malaysia, India, Thailand, and Nepal.
The approach to assess the continued protection needs of Chin refugees was taken following a careful analysis over several years of the political, social, and security developments in Chin State and Sagaing Region of Myanmar. Information from a variety of sources, including missions to the region by UNHCR, indicate that the reasons giving rise to a fear of persecution under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees have very significantly diminished. This is confirmed by a negligible recognition rate for refugee status claims by individuals from Chin State over the last two years.
In order to maximize solutions available to Chin refugees no longer in need of international protection, UNHCR will renew their identity documentation until the end of 2019. During this time, the individual is entitled to all services and assistance provided by UNHCR. UNHCR will work with the community, the Government of Myanmar, resettlement receiving countries, and host country governments to achieve viable solutions through voluntary repatriation, resettlement (for those who qualify and are already in the resettlement process), family reunification in third countries (for those who qualify), and, potentially, transition to a different legal status.
Any individual who does not wish to pursue the above options is entitled to request UNHCR to review her/his case. If s/he can establish that s/he has a continuing need for international protection based on a Convention ground or a compelling reason (arising out of past persecution) not to return to her/his country of origin despite the changes there, an individual determination will be made on that basis.
UNHCR will review its approach if it can be demonstrated that the situation in Chin State and/or Sagaing Region of Myanmar warrant such a review.