Sushil’s Story, Nepal
I am working for UNHCR Nepal since 10 years. Currently, I am working as an Associate Protection Officer at the Sub-Office in Damak. Providing legal assistance to the refugees and asylum-seekers is key of my portfolio.
Refugees as new arrivals to the host country, are rarely aware of domestic laws. However, the legal principle, ‘ignorance of law is no excuse’ is equally applicable to refugees. I support them in informing the refugee community about the relevant domestic laws to prevent them from being subject of prosecution because of a lack of knowledge. My work also involves resolving complex cases of refugees who have opted for resettlement. I provide legal assistance and liaise with the local authorities in helping a process of smooth transition to third country resettlement. Another source of immense satisfaction comes from being able to assist the survivors of sexual and gender based violence to access justice and see the perpetrators penalized.
Contributing to the refugees’ understanding of the laws, and enabling them to seek a better future through resettlement gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I believe access to justice without discrimination is a victory that makes them rediscover hope for justice, notwithstanding the unjust treatment meted out to them in the past – in my case, it gives me a sense of pride about the work I do with this organization.
Sushil Bahadur Karki
UNHCR Associate Protection Officer, Damak, Nepal