Hong Kong and the Indo-Chinese Refugees: Ref1ections on the International Refugee Environment

Alex Cunliffe


The plight of the Vietnamese Boat People
in Hong Kong in recent decades has
brought into sharp relief the changing
character of the international refugee
political environment. Over the last
twenty years asylum seekers from Vietnam
arriving in the former colony have
experienced a dramatic change in their
reception, treatment and fortunes. For
many academic observers, this has highlighted
the problems facing the major
actors, including the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), within the international
refugee regime. This short article highlights
this metamorphosis and illustrates
that the refugee issue remains
unresolved in Hong Kong despite the
recent handover to Beijing.

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