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The 1989 Comprehensive Plan Of Action

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Chapter Summary

This chapter details how the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) was created by ASEAN states, Hong Kong and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a collaborative effort to solve the Vietnamese and Laotian refugee problem. It argues that the adoption of UNHCR guidelines for screening refugees did not represent an acceptance by the Southeast Asian states of the basic principles of the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol. First, the chapter charts the lead up to the 1989 International Conference on Indochinese Refugees organized by the UN Secretary General. It then discusses the CPA itself, focusing on what it aimed to achieve in terms of solving the refugee problem. The two central strategies of the CPA-screening and repatriation-met with a variety of responses. The chapter argues that both strategies ultimately failed to persuade ASEAN states to comply with international refugee law. Finally, it assesses the consequences of CPA.

Keywords:1951 Convention; 1967 Protocol; 1989 International Conference; ASEAN states; Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA); Hong Kong; Indochinese refugees; international refugee law; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees



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