The Route to the West



Refugees from Vietnam were arriving in Hong Kong and other parts of South East Asia from 1975 and the fall of Saigon, but it was not until 1979 that the exodus reached alarming proportions. The international conference convened in Geneva in July 1979 achieved a number of things. Increased pledges were received from participating countries to offer resettlement places to the refugees, adequate funding was provided for UNHCR to administer the resettlement programme and the Vietnamese government gave an undertaking to make every effort to stop illegal departures. Despite a subsequent decline in departures, refugees were still arriving in Hong Kong well into 1981, as can be seen from Appendix 1. Boat refugee populations remained high throughout South East Asia (see Appendix 2 and the map of the area on page 29 showing the refugee figures on 1 January 1980).


Prison Sentence Family Reunion Small Boat Cargo Ship Resettlement Programme 
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© Carol Dalglish 1989

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