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The Beginning Of The Indochinese Refugee Crisis: 1975–1979

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores why the largest refugee crisis to confront Southeast Asia since the Second World War did not prompt states in the region to accede to international refugee law, and looks at the initial stages of the Indochinese refugee crisis-between 1975 and 1979. It proceeds in three parts. The first part provides a brief historical overview of the myriad conflicts that inspired the Indochinese refugee crisis. The second part traces the development of Southeast Asian responses to the outbreak of the crisis. The final part discusses the outcome of the 1979 Conference and focuses in particular, on the absence of demands for Southeast Asian states to adopt greater responsibility for the Indochinese refugee populations, other than providing temporary asylum. It argues that this outcome can be directly attributed to Southeast Asian states ability to manipulate the political and legal uncertainty surrounding the Indochinese refugee crisis in the period 1975-1979.

Keywords:1979 Conference; Indochinese refugee crisis; international refugee law; myriad conflicts; Second World War; Southeast Asian responses



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