Stateless Bhutanese Refugees in Denmark: Lok Maya's Story


This powerful film by Erasmus Talbot follows Lok Maya, a Bhutanese refugee who remains stateless more than 12 years after being permanently resettled in Denmark.

We’re pleased to share a new film produced together with the Association of Bhutanese Communities in Denmark as part of our #StatelessJourneys project. Lok Maya has been stateless for over 30 years. Through her story, the film provides an intimate look into the daily challenges faced by the resettled Bhutanese community as they advocate for citizenship rights after over a decade of living in Denmark.

The film comes at a pivotal moment as the Association of Bhutanese Communities in Denmark (ABCD) continues their advocacy work to address statelessness among permanently resettled Bhutanese refugees in the country, of whom 98% remain without a nationality today.

Earlier this year, ABCD released a statistical data report that sheds light on the continued prevalence of statelessness in the community and emphasises the need for action, as well as an open letter urging the Danish government to address the issue. The report sheds the light on challenges faced by the community and urges for more comprehensive support in addressing statelessness. The organisation’s president, Thugten Drukpa, has also published a blog post about this work.

The resettled Bhutanese community continues to fight for an end to their statelessness in Denmark. On 27th November, we are jointly organising a meeting with the Danish Refugee Council and ABCD to discuss statelessness among Bhutanese refugees in Denmark. By shedding light on Lok Maya's story and the broader struggles of the community, this impactful film gives much-needed visibility to their plight and will hopefully motivate more action to address decades of statelessness.

"Filming the Bhutanese community in Denmark (ABCD) was a fantastic experience. I was touched by the hospitality and helpfulness of the community, without which the film would not have been possible. It was an intense 3 day shoot with unique practical challenges, and I certainly improved as a filmmaker. I owe much to my production assistant Thugten who helped with translating the interviews and organising the shoot." - Erasmus Talbot, Filmmaker 

Lok Maya’s story demonstrates just some of the immense challenges encountered by stateless refugees in their everyday lives, both in Denmark and throughout Europe.

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