Terms of Refuge : The Indochinese Exodus and the International Response
Author(s): W Courtland Robinson
For half a century (ever since the Japanese invasion of 1942), much of Southeast Asia has been racked by war. In the last 20 years alone, some three million people fled their homes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. This book is their story. It is also the story of the international community's response. Spearheading this was the United Nations agency responsible, UNHCR. It pioneered innovations like the Orderly Departure Programme, anti-piracy and rescue-at-sea efforts, and later on, ambitious reintegration projects for returnees. Today the camps in Southeast Asia are closed. Half a million people have returned home. Over two million have started new lives in the United States, Canada, Australia and France.
This compelling book is the history of this modern exodus. It also takes stock and poses important questions. How did the flight of refugees and international response evolve? How do we measure the achievements and the failures of that international effort? What has been the legacy in Asia itself? And what lessons can be drawn for use in other refugee situations around the world?
“A major contribution. This landmark work is the most comprehensive and all-encompassing history of one of the major refugee crises of recent times.” —Robery P. Devecchi, Council on Foreign Relations, New York
“The definitive work on the greatest international refugee undertaking in half a century, written by someone who was a part of it, who lived and breathed its essence.” —Roger Winter, director of the US Committee for Refugees