Bhutan – COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Bhutan.

Dr Susan Banki 


Susan Banki is a Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the University of Sydney. Her research on human rights violations, and the rights of refugee and migrants particularly, have focused on Burma, Bhutan, Japan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Nepal. She is currently heading up a multi-year project studying the ways that precarious refugees from Bhutan and Burma engage in homeland activism. She is widely published on issues facing Bhutanese refugees. 

Dr Gil Daryn 


Dr Gil Daryn is a social anthropologist (Ph.D. Cambridge 2002) and published scholar with expertise on the culture, society, history and politics of South Asia. Since 1989, he has visited, conducted research, worked and lived in the region for a total of over thirteen years, and currently resides in the region. In addition, he became professionally involved with asylum seekers and refugees while working in UNHCR’s Kathmandu office as an Associate Durable Solutions Officer during 2008-9. In this capacity, he went through UNHCR’s archives, read in detail many private refugee files, and became familiar with Pakistan’s Country of Origin information and the RSD process. In addition, he also conducted focus group discussions and interviews with many refugees and held detailed discussions with them. Since 2005, Dr Daryn has served as a consultant and expert on asylum and human rights and has written over 170 Expert Witness Reports. In recent years he also contributed information about specific issues to ACCORD (Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation). 

Among the issues Dr Daryn often writes about are: the justice system, gender issues including so-called ‘honour killing’ and gender minorities, sectarian violence, criminal and terrorist groups, land disputes, the health including mental health systems, minority groups, political parties, and other aspects of culture, society and history of the countries in South Asia.

Dr D.N.S. Dhakal



Dr Dinesh Dhakal worked as the economic advisor of Bhutan government from August 1990 to October 1991; he left the country in protest when government began to evict ethnic Nepalese in 1990, labelling them as ‘anti-national’ and ‘illegal economic immigrants’. Since then he had been working for the resolution of the two-decade old Bhutanese refugee problem in Nepal and establishment of human rights and democracy in Bhutan. He has also specialized on the Rohingya in Nepal, India and Bhutan. He has done this work ‘under the cover’ of a prestigious academic career as an economist: first as a lecturer at Harvard (1989-2000), senior lecturer, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (2001-2008), before becoming a senior fellow at Duke Center for International Development.

Dr Richard W Whitecross


Richard Whitecross is a Lecturer in Law at Edinburgh Napier University. He has conducted research on law, human rights and political change in Nepal and Bhutan. A former practising lawyer, Richard has experience of providing Expert reports and is a member of the Law Society of Scotland Immigration and Asylum Committee. He has written and published extensively on Bhutan and the Himalayas. 

Dr Nitasha Kaul


Nitasha Kaul is a Kashmiri novelist, academic, poet and economist. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) at University of Westminster, London, and has previously been a tenured academic in Economics at the Bristol Business School and in Creative Writing at Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan. Her research and writing over the last decade and a half has been on identity, justice, political economy, democracy, feminist and postcolonial thought, Kashmir and Bhutan. She speaks within and outside academia, on issues of justice and borders. In her recent work, she has addressed issues of nationalism and neoliberalism in contemporary India and the question of nation-states and refugees in Europe. She has authored books including the scholarly monograph ‘Imagining Economics Otherwise’ (Routledge, 2007/2008) and a Man Asian Literary Prize shortlisted novel ‘Residue’ (Rainlight, 2014).

Joshua Kurlantzick


Joshua Kurlantzick is Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he studies Asian politics, rights, and economics. He also has done extensive work on asylum cases for nationals from Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, China, Indonesia, and other Northeast, Southeast and South Asian nations. His work has included analyses of the political environment, judiciary, and state of political and civil rights in many South, Southeast, and Northeast Asian countries, as well as assessments of criminal syndicates and trafficking in these states. He has worked with more than ten U.K. firms and multiple U.S. firms on nearly thirty asylum cases. He is the author of five books on Southeast Asian politics, institutions, rights, and economics. Kurlantzick also has been a Visiting Scholar in the China program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy, a Columnist for Time, a Special Correspondent for The New Republic, an Asian Correspondent for The Economist, and a Contributing Writer for Mother Jones, among other positions. He has twenty years of experience covering events in Asia, and writing about rights issues in Asia, for a range of periodicals including The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, the London Review of Books, The Washington Monthly, The Washington Quarterly,  and Foreign Policy, among others.

 More information is available at:

Michael J Hutt


Michael Hutt is a Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies and Director of the South Asia Institute at SOAS. He was Head of the South Asia Department from 1995-9, and has served as both Associate Dean (2002-4) and Dean (2004-10) of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council ever since its foundation in 2000, and its chairman since 2010; he has also served two terms as editor of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research. Michael Hutt was appointed as the chair of the British Academy’s South Asia area panel in 2014. He has published on Nepali and Bhutanese politics, the Nepali diaspora in India and the Bhutanese refugee issue. Between 2010 and 2013 Hutt was the co-director of a British Academy-funded International Partnership project on the construction of public meaning in contemporary Nepal, working with colleagues at Martin Chautari in Kathmandu.  In 2011 he was awarded the Nai-Derukha International Prize ‘for his continuous dedication to promoting the study of Nepali literature in the international arena’ (see here).

Dr Mark Turin


Mark Turin (PhD, Linguistics, Leiden University, 2006) is an anthropologist, linguist and radio presenter. Before joining the University of British Columbia as Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Mark was an Associate Research Scientist with the South Asian Studies Council at Yale University, and the Founding Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative. He continues to hold an appointment as Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies. Prior to Yale, Mark was a Research Associate at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. At UBC, Mark is an Associate Member of the Department of Asian Studies an Affiliate Member of the Institute of Asian Research. Mark directs both the World Oral Literature Project, an urgent global initiative to document and make accessible endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record, and the Digital Himalaya Project which he co-founded in 2000 as a platform to make multi-media resources from the Himalayan region widely available online. Mark has held research appointments at Cornell and Leipzig universities, as well as the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Sikkim, India. From 2007 to 2008, he served as Chief of Translation and Interpretation at the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). Mark Turin writes and teaches on ethnolinguistics, language endangerment, visual anthropology, digital archives and fieldwork methodology. He is the author or co-author of four books, three travel guides, the editor of eight volumes, the co-editor of the journal Himalaya and he edits a series on oral literature. Mark is a regular BBC presenter on issues of linguistic diversity and language endangerment. He also serves as Advisor to the Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project.