HAF to organise briefing on Bhutanese refugees

haf_smallHindu American Foundation (HAF) is bringing together for a congressional leaders, staffers, NGOs, and the public at large to a congressional briefing on the status of Bhutanese refugees in America.

Titled “Casualties Of Gross National Happiness” and scheduled for Monday (November 17) the briefing seeks to bring together medical and legal experts, and first-hand accounts from Bhutanese community leaders, in order to explore the human rights, legal, socioeconomic, and medical conditions facing this recently resettled refugee population of nearly 80,000 in the U.S., as well as those still remaining in Bhutan.

HAF will feature a clip of the documentary, “The Refugees of Shangri-La: The Untold Story of Bhutanese Refugees”, by filmmakers Doria Bramante and Markus Weinfurter.

The Bhutanese Americans face a number of challenges in their new home, including a high incidence of mental illness and suicide, trouble obtaining employment, and difficulty retaining their cultural and religious traditions in an attempt to assimilate.

The organisers say the briefing will also examine Bhutan’s responsibilities under international law, and the impact of this large-scale migration on stability in Asia, as well as American geopolitical interests in the region.

Dr. Chhabi Sharma (psychiatrist and refugee mental health expert based in Minneapolis), Madhav Sharma (Bhutanese community leader based in Philadelphia) and Doria Bramante (Filmmaker of The Refugees of Shangri-La) will be on the panel to answers to the public queries.

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