Refugees from Laos: In Harm's Way
U.S. Committee for Refugees, 1986 - Hmong (Asian people) - 24 pages
This paper, based partly upon staff visits to sites of Laotian river crossings, examines the history of the refugee situation in Laos, the conditions of life in that country and the current situation of Laotian asylum seekers who have sought refuge in Thailand, and suggests policy objectives. Following the fall of Laos and the events that took place in Viet Nam and Kampuchea, thousands of Laotians fled their homes to seek refuge, primarily in Thailand. However, as political problems in Southeast Asia remained unresolved and the number of arrivals in Thailand increased, the welcome of the asylum seekers in their host country grew thin. The refugees found themselves either forced back across the Mekong or placed in humane deterrence camps. January 1985 saw a policy of widespread pushbacks of Laotians by the Thai authorities. Thai officials also began screening new arrivals from Laos to determine if they were indeed refugees. By 1986, Laotians in Thailand numbered among the largest group of asylum seekers in that country. The Thai authorities decided in this same year to open its humane deterrence camps and permit third countries to process refugees in time for resettlement.
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