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Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Executive Committee Meetings

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

28 August 1981

United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Thirty-sixth Session

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No. 12 (A/36/12)


1. In the period covered by this report,1 the refugee problem saw a relentless progression in its magnitude and complexity. New and continuing influxes during the year called for intensive and sustained efforts on the part of UNHCR and the international community to provide for immediate needs as well as for long-term solutions. However, there were encouraging signs: there was no recurrence of large-scale measures of refoulement; the resettlement rate of refugees from first asylum countries in South-East Asia increased substantially over 1979; there were welcome instances of voluntary repatriation, with a particularly gratifying and happy event occurring in the return of erstwhile Zimbabwean refugees to their newly independent homeland.

2. Taking cognizance of the growth in number and scope of refugee problems in various parts of the world, the General Assembly at its thirty-fifth session concerned itself with a wide range of situations relating to refugees and displaced persons. No fewer than 15 resolutions were adopted specifically mentioning UNHCR, either to ask for particular action to be undertaken or to direct attention to special problems that relate to groups or persons of concern to UNHCR.2

3. The response of the international community to the initiatives undertaken by the High Commissioner during the year has been most gratifying. The work of the Office would have been seriously hampered, if not made impossible, had not the international community given unfailing testimony of its understanding of the problems involved and its support of the High Commissioner in the discharge of his mandate. On his part, the High Commissioner continued to maintain close and regular contacts with all sectors of the international community, to keep them informed of new situations and developments with regard to the work of his Office. Ad hoc meetings in Geneva with States members of the Executive Committee have now become a regular feature of the continuing dialogue and consultations on shared concerns between the High Commissioner and members of the Executive Committee of his Programme. This is in addition to normal consultations with interested Governments, intergovernmental bodies and voluntary agencies.

4. In this context, the role of the voluntary agencies continues to expand. Following the directives of the General Assembly, as well as their own valuable initiatives in fields such as fund-raising and public information, the non-governmental organizations are important operational partners of UNHCR. Several organizations have justifiably gained international praise for their work in refugee camps, particularly in Africa and Asia.

5. With the growth of refugee problems, the need for concerted action on the part of the international community has become ever more evident. The primary responsibility of the High Commissioner in emergencies which produce refugees has been reaffirmed by the General Assembly. The importance of the contributions that the United Nations system as a whole and, particularly, the specialized agencies bring to these situations cannot be over-emphasized.

6. Total UNHCR expenditure during 1980 amounted to $497 million. Of this amount *282 million went to finance UNHCR's General Programmes while $215 million were spent for Special Programmes. The Special Programmes were financed from contributions made in response to separate appeals for funds to provide for specific, new situations or unforeseen developments that required urgent, substantial commitments of funds. It is expected that in 1981 over-all financial requirements will be less than in 1980.


A. Introduction

7. The over-all situation with regard to international protection - as by developments during the reporting period - is somewhat more encouraging than in previous years. There has been no recurrence of large-scale measures of refoulement of asylum-seekers and States have generally applied liberal practices as regards the admission of asylum seekers, at least on a temporary basis. There were further accession to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees3 and to the 1967 Protocol4 during the reporting period and accession is under active consideration by a number of other States. These include States in a region where major refugee problems exist but which is not yet represented among the parties to the basic refugee instruments.

8. Further progress can be recorded in the adoption of national legislative and/or administrative measures to implement international standards for the treatment of refugees, particularly in the field of procedures for the determination of status. There has also been an increasing awareness, not only among government officials but also in academic circles and among the public at large, of the importance of international protection and of the special problems facing refugees in the legal field. The Office continues to devote increased attention to creating a deeper understanding of international protection at all levels and also to promoting the further development of refugee law.

9. There have also been favourable developments in solving refugee problems through voluntary repatriation or naturalization. This was the case particularly in Africa where a large-scale operation in each of these fields was completed during the reporting period.

10. More positive trends in the field of international protection have been generally facilitated by the work of the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection, established within the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme. The Conclusions on International Protection adopted by the Executive Committee at successive sessions on the basis of the Sub-Committee's work have acquired persuasive value and represent an important compilation of principles and guidelines relating to international protection.

11. The High Commissioner's efforts in international protection have also been greatly assisted by action at Unite d regional level. In Africa, the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa continues to demonstrate its value as a fundamental instrument complementary to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. Through the recommendations of the 1979 Arusha Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa,5 endorsed by the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government and by the General Assembly in its resolution 34/61 of 29 November 1979, the OAU Refugee Convention has been clearly identified as a basis for the Office's protection work in Africa. This is of special importance in so far as it confirms the Office's protection role with regard to persons falling within the wider "refugee" definition which figures in the OAU Refugee Convention.

12. The OAU/UNHCR working group established in 1980 with a view to following up the recommendations of the Arusha Conference has provided for a constructive examination of various important questions relating to the legal protection of refugees in Africa.

13. The Council of Europe continues to make a major contribution to the development of principles for the treatment of refugees, as evidenced, inter alia, by the entry into force during the reporting period of the European Agreement on Transfer of Responsibility for Refugees (see para. 42 below). Also of significance is the adoption in February 1981 under the auspices of the organization of American States of the Inter-American Convention on Extradition which excludes the extradition of a refugee to a country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution. The recently established close relations with the Islamic Conference and the Arab League have similarly assisted the Office's protection efforts.

14. These various positive developments should not, however, distract attention from the numerous unresolved problems still existing in the field of international protection as described in the following paragraphs. Certain of these problems are of extreme gravity as they have a direct bearing on the physical integrity and well-being - and even the lives - of refugees. They relate in particular to continuing difficulties faced by refugees in finding a country of asylum, refoulement, the unjustified detention of and threats to the personal safety of refugees and asylum seekers, and the violation of their physical integrity through piracy, abduction and armed attacks. Solutions to these problems need to be found as a matter of utmost urgency.

B. Principles of protection and refugee rights

1. Asylum

15. During the reporting period, large numbers of refugees were granted asylum in various parts of the world. A general improvement in the situation of asylum seekers can thus be recorded. This was also the case in the region where in past years the High Commissioner was obliged to draw attention to negative practices, adopted by several countries with regard to asylum. Nevertheless, cases in which individuals or small groups of asylum seekers encountered difficulties in gaining admission to a country of refuge came to the attention of the High Commissioner throughout the reporting period and to an increasing extent in the first quarter of 1981. The recurrence of such incidents demonstrates the need for constant vigilance on the part of UNHCR to ensure that liberal practices are adopted by States with regard to the grant of asylum.

16. A number of countries continue to grant asylum only on a temporary basis as a matter of general policy. Until such time as a durable solution can be found, e.g. by settlement in a third country, the asylum seeker frequently suffers considerable hardship either because his or her status is ill-defined or because he or she is regarded as an illegal immigrant. While it is recognized that in the case of large-scale influx, it may be difficult for States to admit asylum seekers otherwise than temporarily, the grant of asylum on a durable basis represents the optimum solution. At its thirty-first session, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme considered various aspects of the question of asylum and reaffirmed the fundamental character of the generally recognized principle of non-refoulement6 While recalling the conclusion adopted at the previous session of the Executive Committee that in the case of large-scale influx persons seeking asylum should always receive at least temporary refuge, the Committee nevertheless stressed the exceptional character of this practice. The Executive Committee also requested the High Commissioner to convene a representative group of experts to examine temporary refuge in all its aspects within the framework of the problems raised by large-scale influx. Pursuant to this request of the Executive Committee, the High Commissioner convened a group of experts which met from 21 to 24 April 1981.

17. There has been further recognition of the importance of the principle of international solidarity and burden-sharing in the context of asylum. This principle as it relates to refugees has found expression in the preamble to the 1951 Refugee Convention and is specifically mentioned in various other international and regional instruments such as the Declaration on Territorial Asylum (General Assembly resolution 2312 (XXII) of 14 December 1967) and the OAU Convention. Its importance has been stressed in successive resolutions of the General Assembly and conclusions of the Executive Committee. During the reporting period States have continued to provide financial assistance and resettlement opportunities within the context of international solidarity, thereby relieving the burden on first asylum countries. It is hoped that the continued practical implementation of the principle of international solidarity will have a positive effect as regards the grant of asylum.

18. The institution of asylum can also be strengthened by the adoption at the national level of laws and regulations or administrative measures concerning the admission of asylum seekers. During the reporting period, measures of this kind were adopted in a number of countries. These measures also frequently related to procedures for determining refugee status which are, of course, of relevance to granting of asylum. New laws relating to asylum were adopted in Portugal and Switzerland. A decree establishing administrative structures for examining asylum requests was adopted in Costa Rica and similar administrative structures were created in Honduras and Mexico (see para. 49 below). In Africa, action with a view to new legislative measures is under consideration in the United Republic of Tanzania and in several other countries.

19. In certain countries, there were indications that asylum procedures were being abused by the submission of applications by persons who were clearly not bona fide refugees. This development led to the adoption by the countries most affected of various measures, including a stricter application of the relevant procedural provisions and the imposition of visa requirements in respect of certain nationalities. The High Commissioner is of course aware of the negative consequences which the abuse of asylum procedures may have for bona fide refugees. While recognizing the need for appropriate measures to prevent such abuses he is at the same time concerned that the position of the genuine asylum seeker should not be adversely affected by such measures. He was therefore gratified to have obtained assurances to this effect from the authorities of the countries concerned.

2. Non-refoulement

20. There were no further measures of large-scale refoulement which had occurred in one region in the previous reporting period. The High Commissioner is gratified by this development and by the fact that no large-scale measures of refoulement have been resorted to in other areas of the world. He has however been seriously concerned by the recurrence of measures of forcible return of individuals or small groups of persons in disregard of the principle of non-refoulement.

21. Such measures of 'refoulement involved both individuals and groups of refugees and asylum seekers and took place in different areas and in a variety of circumstances. In a number of cases, individual refugees were forcibly returned by the authorities without taking account of the serious consequences which might result for the persons concerned. In one area a small group of asylum seekers who may have been refugees were forcibly returned without having been given the possibility of establishing their refugee character. In another area in the same region, individual refugees or small groups of refugees were forcibly returned in a confused and tense border situation. In many of these instances, the measure of forcible return resulted from the absence of an appropriate asylum procedure and of necessary instructions to border authorities regarding the need to observe the principle of non-refoulement.

22. In several other cases which came to the Office's attention, asylum seekers were returned because of political affiliations between the States concerned, in spite of the widely recognized principle that the grant of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act and should not be regarded as unfriendly by any State.

23. The application of the principle of non-refoulement arises not infrequently in the context of extradition. In such cases it is important to ensure that a refugee is protected against extradition to a country to which, by virtue of the principle of non-refoulement, he or she should not be returned. This question was given detailed consideration by the Executive Committee at its thirty-first session. In its conclusions on this matter7 the Executive Committee, again reaffirming the fundamental character of the principle of non-refoulement, called upon States to ensure that this principle be duly taken into account in treaties relating to extradition and as appropriate in national legislation on the subject. The hope was also expressed that due regard would be given to the principle of non-refoulement in the application of existing treaties relating to extradition. At the same time, it was stressed that nothing in these conclusions should be considered as affecting the necessity for States to ensure, on the basis of national legislation and international instruments, punishment for serious offences such as the unlawful seizure of aircraft, the taking of hostages and murder.

24. An important guarantee concerning the extradition of refugees was incorporated in the Inter-American Convention on Extradition which was adopted in Caracas in February 1981. This Convention specifically protects a person against extradition where it can be inferred from the circumstances of the case that persecution for reasons of race, religion or nationality is involved or that the position of the person sought may be prejudiced for any of these reasons. In Europe, where a similar provision figures in the European Convention on Extradition, the position of a refugee vis-à-vis an extradition request was further strengthened by the adoption on 27 June 1980 of Recommendation No. R (80)9 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. This recommendation calls on member States to refuse an extradition request emanating from a State not party to the European Convention on Human Rights when there are substantial grounds for believing that the request has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on account of his or her race, religion, nationality or political opinion or that his or her position may be prejudiced for any of these reasons.

3. Expulsion

25. During the reporting period the Office learned of relatively few cases involving the expulsion of refugees from countries where they had been granted asylum. In the majority of cases coming to the attention of the Office, the expulsion measure was taken in circumstances permitted by article 32 of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

26. In view of the serious consequences of such a measure for a refugee, article 32 of the Convention provides that a refugee lawfully in the territory may only be expelled for reasons of national security or public order. It is, of course, also important - as recognized in article 32(3) - that a refugee who is the subject of an expulsion order be given a reasonable period of time within which to seek legal admission to another country. Many countries have adopted the practice of consulting UNHCR before seeking to implement an expulsion order so that the Office may assist in finding another country of admission. This practice was generally followed during the reporting period.

4. Personal safety refugees

27. The reporting period was marked by an unprecedented increase in acts of physical violence against asylum seekers and refugees. In different areas of the world refugees and asylum seekers have been victims of rape, robbery, torture, abduction, physical injury and murder. In view of these developments the High Commissioner has devoted increasing attention to the need to guarantee the safety of refugees and asylum seekers.

28. An area of particularly grave concern to UNHCR relates to the criminal attacks on asylum seekers which have occurred in the South China Sea. According to available statistics, some two-thirds of the boats which have arrived at shore - and an unknown number which have been lost at sea - have been the victims of such attacks, and a very high proportion have been attacked repeatedly. Testimony by the survivors of such attacks present an appalling picture of rape, robbery, abduction and murder.

29. The Executive Committee at its thirty-first session considered the various problems relating to the protection of asylum seekers at sea and identified a number of practical measures which Governments were urged to follow with a view to preventing the recurrence of such criminal attacks.8 The measures proposed included an increase in surveillance of the area where such attacks occur and the establishment of procedures for the exchange of information in order to apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice. To date a number of persons accused of piracy have been prosecuted before the courts of two countries concerned while others are in the process of being brought to trial.

30. Elsewhere in the world, the High Commissioner's attention has been drawn to other infringements on the physical safety of refugees which, while of a different nature, were no less disturbing. In southern Africa, incidents involving military incursions across the border by the forces of a neighbouring country have continued, resulting in an alarming picture of serious injury and death of innocent refugees. Grave concern at such attacks was voiced at the thirty-first session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme. In Central Africa, an incident involving an armed raid on a refugee settlement resulted in the death of 11 persons and caused many thousands to flee farther inland. In another country in West Africa, injuries were sustained by refugees settled near the border area as a result of fighting in their neighbouring home country. These incidents clearly demonstrate the importance for refugees to be settled away from the border area - as foreseen by the OAU Refugee Convention - and for adequate measures to be taken by the asylum country to ensure the security of refugees.

31. During the reporting period acts of violence were also perpetrated against individual refugees in their country of asylum. While the High Commissioner was able to note a positive trend in his previous report, incidents involving the abduction of refugees have once again begun to occur. In the same region, no further results can be reported concerning démarches made by the Office at the request of families of refugees who had disappeared in earlier years.

5. Detention

32. While the trend noted in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fifth session - indicating an over-all decrease in the number of cases involving the unjustified detention of refugees - has been maintained, isolated incidents of unjustified detention have continued to occur. In one region where such measures of detention were most frequent, they were connected with measures of unjustified expulsion or intended refoulement. Other measures of detention in the same region resulted from the general unwillingness of the authorities to regularize the situation of refugees in their territory and to issue them with appropriate documentation.

33. In those countries where it came to the High Commissioner's notice that refugees were being unjustifiably held in detention, efforts were made to visit them and to secure their release. In several countries refugees have been detained for long periods of time. In one country, where persons of concern to the High Commissioner have been detained under a state of siege, one refugee was released during the reporting period and permitted to settle abroad. In another country, a refugee whose detention had attracted international concern was also released and allowed to take up an offer of settlement abroad.

6. Economic and social rights

34. There is considerable diversity in the practices currently applied by States with regard to the granting of economic and social rights to refugees. Where refugees are admitted to a country on a purely temporary basis, they are generally accorded very few of these rights. In countries of permanent settlement, the situation varies according to the particular region and to the particular subject matter. As concerns the possibility of taking up gainful employment, there are certain countries in different areas where refugees find themselves in serious difficulties because they are not given the right to work. In these situations the refugee is often driven by necessity to resort to the clandestine labour market and is therefore vulnerable to exploitation by employers. The refusal of permission to work may in some cases result from the fact that the residence status of the refugee has not been regularized. In a number of other countries - again in different areas - there is no impediment to refugees taking up gainful employment. In many countries asylum seekers are also permitted to work while awaiting a decision on their asylum request, while in other countries they are normally not permitted to do so. In two countries this matter was the subject of specific measures adopted during the reporting period. In France, a general instruction was issued to enable asylum seekers to obtain employment and to exempt recognized refugees from the requirement of a work permit. In the Federal Republic of Germany, a general restriction on the right of asylum seekers to work was imposed in connexion with efforts to prevent abuses of the asylum procedures.

35. On ratifying or acceding to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a large number of States - some 25 per cent - entered reservations or interpretative statements in respect of article 17, concerning wage-earning employment. The High Commissioner is gratified to note that the withdrawal of such a reservation is under active consideration in one such State and hopes that this matter may also be given appropriate attention by other States which maintain similar reservations.

36. As concerns access to primary and secondary education facilities, the picture is generally encouraging. In almost all countries where refugees have been granted asylum access to elementary educational institutions is assured, in so far as such facilities are available to nationals of that country. As regards access to institutions of higher learning, refugees may generally compete on the same basis as other aliens or even nationals. The High Commissioner is aware that in practice refugees frequently encounter difficulties in meeting the high fees that may be required for entry into such institutions. The financial situation of refugees who wish to pursue higher studies in their country of residence can be significantly improved if they are eligible or able to compete for bursaries and scholarships on the same basis as other nationals. During the reporting period student refugees benefited from the introduction of measures to this effect in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Portugal. Refugees can also be assisted by the grant of scholarships for study outside their country of residence. In recent years an increasing number of such scholarships have been awarded to refugee students from Africa.

37. With regard to other economic and social rights, it would appear that refugees are not generally excluded from benefits accorded to nationals of their country of residence. As concerns social security benefits, the reservations made by Switzerland to article 24, paragraphs 1 (a) and (b) of the Refugee Convention was withdrawn during the reporting period.

38. Regarding Africa, the Office is working in close collaboration with the OAU to follow up a recommendation of the Arusha Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa9 which called for a study of the legal problems facing refugees in respect of gainful employment and education.

39. The granting of social and economic rights is of particular importance to refugees, both for humanitarian reasons and to enable them to attain the degree of self-sufficiency which is necessary for their integration. The High Commissioner therefore hopes that Governments will continue to devote attention to this matter and will enable refugees to benefit from economic and social rights to the extent permitted by existing resources.

7. Travel and identity documents

40. The Executive Committee at its twenty-ninth session reiterated the importance to refugees of having a travel document enabling them to travel temporarily outside their country of residence. The majority of States parties to the Refugee Convention or Protocol regularly issue travel documents to refugees in their territory in accordance with article 28 of the Convention. Refugees in States not parties to the Convention are frequently provided with alternative travel documentation.

41. In previous years, the High Commissioner reported difficulties that have arisen in certain parts of the world concerning the period of validity of Convention travel documents and the right of return to the issuing country. At its twenty-ninth session the Executive Committee recommended that in the absence of very special circumstances a return clause should have the same period of validity as the travel document itself. It is encouraging to note that since the adoption of this recommendation there has been an increasing willingness on the part of States to issue Convention travel documents and return clauses with a long period of validity.

42. The question of the transfer of responsibility for the issue of Convention travel documents was the subject of a special instrument adopted within the context of the Council of Europe: the European Agreement on Transfer of Responsibility for Refugees, which entered into force on 2 December 1980. This agreement is intended to overcome certain problems which have arisen in regard to the application of paragraphs 6 and 11 of the Schedule to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

43. During the reporting period UNHCR continued to make Convention travel documents available to Governments on request. Some 17,400 were provided by the Office to Governments during 1980. A third trilingual version in Portuguese/ French/English was introduced during the reporting period, adding to the versions already existing in trilingual combinations of Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

44. The provision of identity documents to refugees is clearly important in order to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the internationally recognized standards of treatment that have been established for their benefit. The practice of issuing refugees with identity documents has long been followed in many countries and certain countries have introduced new measures to this effect during the reporting period. In Zimbabwe asylum seekers, pending determination of their refugee status, are now being issued with a provisional attestation indicating that they are under the protection of UNHCR. In Latin America, Costa Rica has provided for the issue to recognized convention refugees of a refugee certificate . ("Carnet de Refugiado") which serves both as an identity document and as a work permit. The certificate also enables the refugee to enjoy certain social ' security benefits, to have access to educational institutions and to obtain a Convention travel document.

8. Acquisition by refugees of a new nationality

45. The integration of refugees into their country of asylum, where voluntary repatriation is not feasible, is one the recognized solutions to refugee problems. The final stage in the process of integration is the acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence. It is, of course, desirable that the acquisition by refugees of a new nationality be facilitated and the matter is specifically dealt with in article 34 of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

46. The special circumstances of the refugee are taken into account for naturalization purposes in the legislation of a number of countries. In several countries refugees benefit from a reduction in the period of residency that is required of ordinary aliens wishing to obtain citizenship. Some countries waive or reduce fees that would normally be payable for naturalization. It is hoped that those countries which have not yet done so will consider the possibility of adopting such measures.

47. During the reporting period, large numbers of refugees were fully assimilated into their country of residence by way of naturalization. In the United Republic of Tanzania some 36,000 former Rwandese refugees acquired Tanzanian citizenship after a number of years of residence in that country. The Tanzanian authorities facilitated the naturalization procedure by only requiring heads of families to submit a naturalization request and by reducing the naturalization fees. As in past years, numbers of refugees arriving in traditional countries of immigration were able to avail themselves of long-established procedures for the acquisition of citizenship.

C. Determination of refugee status

48. The determination of refugee status is necessary in order to facilitate the application of international standards established for the benefit of refugees. In line with the recommendations adopted by the Executive Committee at its twenty-eighth session, the High Commissioner continues to encourage the establishment by Governments of appropriate procedures for determining refugee status.10

49. Procedures for determining refugee status were established in a number of States during the reporting period. Legislation for this purpose was adopted in Portugal and Costa Rica where a National Commission for Refugees was also established. Such commissions were also set up in Mexico and Honduras with the object of improving arrangements for identifying refugees. The new Aliens Law adopted in Sweden during the reporting period establishes new procedural arrangements and criteria for determining refugee status in line with the refugee definition set out in the 1951 Refugee Convention.

50. In other countries, various measures were adopted with a view to improving existing procedures. In Belgium, a new Aliens Law, which is due to enter into force during the course of the year, contains more liberal provisions as to the period within which applications must be submitted and extends the period of sojourn in a country of transit which would preclude the submission of an asylum request. In Canada, the period. for appealing against a negative decision has been extended from seven to 15 days. In the United Kingdom, various improvements in the asylum procedure were introduced in the revised Immigration Rules which entered into force in March 1980.

51. The establishment of refugee determination procedures and the adoption of measures to improve existing procedures is under active consideration in a number of other countries.

52. Regarding Africa, the Arusha Conference, while recognizing the importance of determination procedures, drew attention to the special problems of identifying refugees in large-scale influxes. To this end, and pursuant to a recommendation of that Conference,11 the Office has been working in close co-operation with OAU to define the essential elements of procedures or arrangements for the determination of refugee status in such cases.

D. Voluntary repatriation

53. One of the basic functions of the High Commissioner, as defined in the Statute of his Office, is to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees. The scope of this function has been subsequently extended by the General Assembly in various resolutions; it is now considered to include not only assistance prior to repatriation but also the ensuring of adequate reception facilities and measures for rehabilitation once refugees have returned to their home country.

54. Voluntary repatriation and the various problems arising when seeking to facilitate this solution were examined in depth by the Executive Committee at its thirty-first session. The central theme of the conclusions reached was the essential need for repatriation to be voluntary. The Executive Committee also identified a number of practical steps to be taken both before and after return in order to ensure the successful voluntary repatriation of refugees.

55. During the reporting period conditions in countries of origin enabled refugees in various parts of the world to return home and to start a new life in safe and familiar surroundings. The repatriation operation launched in co-operation with UNHCR during the reporting period which affected the single largest number of people involved the return of some 250,000 Zimbabweans to their home country. Subsequent to the return of these former refugees, UNHCR was asked by the newly-elected Government to co-ordinate, for an initial period, a United Nations programme for the rehabilitation of returning refugees and displaced persons within Zimbabwe. Elsewhere in Africa, smaller numbers of Ugandans, Ethiopians, Rwandese and Equatorial Guineans returned to their respective countries of origin. An important event was the establishment of a tripartite commission comprising Angola, Zaire and UNHCR with a view to facilitating the repatriation of Angolan and Zairian refugees to and from these two countries. The Office is also currently examining possible arrangements for the return of many thousands of Chad refugees who fled into neighbouring countries, mainly the United Republic of Cameroon, during the recent conflict.

56. In Africa, the grant of amnesty has traditionally played an important role in encouraging the repatriation of refugees and several such amnesties were promulgated during the reporting period. In Ethiopia, a proclamation was issued inviting the return of Ethiopian refugees in Djibouti and a Tripartite Commission comprising Djibouti, Ethiopia and UNHCR was established to monitor the application of the amnesty. In Lesotho, an Amnesty Law was enacted to encourage the return of Lesotho nationals outside their country, and in Somalia an amnesty for Somali exiles was established by presidential decree.

57. In South-East Asia during the reporting period, different groups of Kampucheans returned to their home country from holding centres in Thailand. With regard to these groups UNHCR performed an essentially protection role in seeking to ensure that the persons concerned were returning of their own free will. The rehabilitation of returnees in their home villages is being assisted by UNHCR. UNHCR has also continued to investigate the possibility of voluntary repatriation of Lao from Thailand. A small group of Lao were repatriated with UNHCR assistance in the second half of the reporting period, while spontaneous movements of Lao are reported to have occurred throughout the year.

58. In Latin America, while small numbers of refugees have returned to their countries of origin, general conditions have not been favourable to large-scale repatriation. In one country in the area, there has been an increase in the number of refugees who have been able to repatriate, although there are still cases in which refugees encounter difficulties in obtaining the agreement of the authorities to their return.

E. Family reunification

59. The separation of families is perhaps the most tragic consequence of the events which give rise to refugee problems. During the reporting period, the High Commissioner continued to attach the highest importance to promoting the reunification of refugee families. His efforts in this matter were facilitated by the generally sympathetic response of Governments. Thus, in Europe, an increasing proportion of démarches by UNHCR with a view to family reunification have met with positive results. In Africa, a number of separated refugee families were reunited with UNHCR assistance within the continent and a limited number of cases from Africa were reunited with family members in other parts of the world. In Latin America, the authorities in one country have followed liberal practices in permitting family members to join heads of family or close relatives abroad. Démarches undertaken with a view to family reunification on behalf of refugee families in other parts of Latin America met with varying results.

60. In South-East Asia, the principle of family reunification has been a major factor in facilitating the resettlement of refugees outside the region. The numbers of children in this region who have become separated from their parents or relatives in the course of flight bear particularly tragic testimony to the refugee problems in this region. In Thailand, tracing systems have been set up in and between camps holding Indo-Chinese refugees to enable lost children to be reunited with their Parents or other family members where possible; where this has not proved possible some children have been able to resettle in foster homes outside the region. Problems have, however, arisen where the parents of children placed in foster homes or even adopted were subsequently traced. This underlines the need for the resettlement of such children to be planned with particular care.

F. International instruments12

1. Statute of the Office of the High Commissioner13

61. The Statute of the Office of the High Commissioner defines the persons of concern to the High Commissioner and the action he may undertake on their behalf. While the various tasks defined in the Statute have been extended by subsequent resolutions of the General Assembly, the Statute has, throughout the years, remained the pivotal point in UNHCR efforts to extend international protection to refugees. This derives from the fact that as an Assembly resolution the Statute is of universal application and can be invoked irrespective of whether or not the State in which a refugee problem arises is a party to the basic international refugee instruments. The effectiveness of the Statute as a basis for international protection was once again demonstrated during the reporting period, with the emergence or continuation of refugee problems in a number of States not parties to these instruments in different areas of the world.

2. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and 1967 Protocol

62. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees remains the most important instrument yet adopted by the international community to ensure that refugees are treated in a decent and humane fashion. Since its adoption on 28 July 1951 the Convention - the personal scope of which was extended by the 1967 Protocol - has come to be regarded as one of the most important humanitarian instruments which have been drawn up and promulgated by the United Nations. In previous years the High Commissioner was able to report a steady increase in the number of States parties to the Convention and the Protocol. During the reporting period two further States - the Seychelles and Upper Volta - acceded to the Convention and to the 1967 Protocol and Jamaica, already a party to the Convention, acceded to the Protocol. The total number of States parties to either or both of these instruments is now 83. Accession has been announced by Angola, Egypt and Lesotho. Accession to the Convention and to the Protocol is also under active consideration by a number of other States, including States in areas not yet represented among the parties to these instruments. The High Commissioner believes that further accessions during the present year, to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention, would be particularly appropriate.

63. A related question to which the High Commissioner also attaches considerable importance is that of national implementing measures to give effect to the provisions of the Convention and Protocol. There has been considerable progress in this regard over the years and, as noted in paragraphs 18 and 49 above, during the reporting period implementing measures have been adopted by a number of countries with particular regard to procedures for determining refugee status under the Convention and the Protocol.

64. In view of its now considerable experience with this matter, the Office is increasingly called upon to advise States in regard to such procedures and, in the preparation of other implementing legislation.

3. Other international legal instruments adopted at the universal level relating or of relevance to refugees

65. In addition to the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol, there are a number of other legal instruments which have been adopted at the international level and which are of importance to refugees.

66. There are currently 18 States parties to the 1957 Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen.14 During the reporting period, Italy acceded to the 1973 Protocol relating to Refugee Seamen, bringing the total number of States parties to this instrument to 14. Five further States ratified the Protocols additional to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949. Protocol I contains important provisions for the protection of refugees in armed conflict and for family reunification. There are currently 17 States parties to this instrument.

67. There have been no further accessions to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons15 or to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The promotion of further accession to these instruments, which are also relevant to refugees, remains a concern of the Office.

68. The International Covenants on Human Rights (General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI)) are also of relevance to refugees, since the observance by States of the human rights defined in these instruments will also be reflected in their treatment of refugees. There are currently 68 and 66 States parties to the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights respectively.

4. International instruments adopted at the regional level concerning refugees

69. The legal position of refugees can be reinforced by the adoption of appropriate legal instruments at the regional level. In this context special mention should be made of the 1969 OAU Convention Relating to Specific Aspects of the Refugee Problem in Africa. This Convention contains a widened definition of the term "refugee" in addition to provisions relating, inter alia, to asylum and voluntary repatriation.

70. The special importance of the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention was stressed by the 1979 Arusha Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa. The Conference recommended that the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention, the regional complement in Africa of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, be applied by the United Nations and all its organs as well as by non-governmental organizations in dealing with refugee problems in Africa".16 The recommendations of the Arusha Conference were fully endorsed by the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government meeting in Monrovia in July 1979 and by the United Nations General Assembly at its thirty-fourth session (resolution 34/16 of 29 November 1979). As a result of this development, the OAU Refugee Convention, including its widened definition of the term refugee,17 has become an important additional basis for the Office's protection activities in Africa. With the accession of the Seychelles in September 1980 there are now 21 States parties to the OAU Refugee Convention.

71. Within the American continent, a legal framework of relevance to refugees is to be found in the various inter-American conventions relating to asylum. A significant event during the reporting period was the adoption in Caracas of the Inter-American Convention on Extradition which contains, inter alia., a provision prohibiting the extradition of bona fide refugees. The Convention also specifically upholds the right of asylum, when its exercise is appropriate.

72. The work of the Council of Europe in the legal field has greatly assisted the solution of legal problems of refugees arising in this region. Of notable importance are the Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees and the Agreement on Transfer of Responsibility for Refugees. The latter instrument was adopted during the period under review and addresses itself to the particular problem of defining the circumstances in which responsibility for a refugee who has moved to the territory of another Contracting State is transferred to that State. As of 31 March 1981 two States had become parties to this Agreement.

G. Promotion, advancement and dissemination of the principles of protection and of refugee law

73. While Governments are, of course, the principal partners of the High Commissioner in the exercise of his international protection functions, the Office has frequent contact with entities outside government circles such as universities and institutions of higher learning. Such contacts are particularly important in the context of the promotion and dissemination of the principles of refugee law. In this connection, the Office maintained contact with the International Institute of Human Rights at Strasbourg and the Hague Academy of International Law; close relations exist between the Office and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law at San Remo. Several seminars and conferences of relevance to the advancement of refugee law were held at San Remo under UNHCR auspices during the course of the year. Of special note was the Congress on International Solidarity and Humanitarian Action which was held from 11 to 18 September 1980. With a view to furthering the teaching of refugee law, contact was also made with various universities throughout the world, including the United Nations University in Tokyo.

74. The Office is conscious of the very valuable contribution which legal experts meeting in their own capacity can make to the promotion and development of refugee law. The Round Table of Asian Experts on International Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in Asia which met under UNHCR auspices in Manila from 14 to 18 April 1980 was an important event in this regard. During the reporting period, the Office convened a working group of participants with a view to following up the recommendations of the Round Table. In its conclusions, the working group drew particular attention to the need for asylum seekers to be granted at least temporary refuge and for the principle of non-refoulement to be observed.

75. On the intergovernmental level the Office, as in past years, followed the deliberations of bodies such as the Human Rights Commission in so far as they concerned refugee matters. The Office has worked in close collaboration with UNESCO in connection with the promotion of the teaching of refugee law and also followed the activities of the working group entrusted with the task of preparing a draft Convention on the Rights of the Child. With a view to ensuring that the interests and special circumstances of refugees were taken into account, the Office also participated in the work of the Special Committee of Governmental Experts responsible for preparing a draft Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in African States.

76. The Office has also participated in a variety of promotional activities at the governmental level. A seminar for officials on refugee law and immigration procedures was convened by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania in close collaboration with UNHCR in October 1980 and a Colloquium on Asylum and the Protection of Refugees in Latin America, opened by the High Commissioner and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, was held in Mexico City in May 1981. This colloquium was organized by the Mexican authorities, again in close collaboration with UNHCR, and attended by government officials and Latin American experts in the field of refugee law. Seminars and colloquia such as these play a recognized role in the promotion and dissemination of the principles of international protection and refugee law.


A. General developments

77. Africa entered the eighties on a note of apprehension with regard to refugee problems. The previous decade has seen refugees steadily grow in number from some three-quarters of a million in 1970 to almost five million in 1980. This state of flux has now clearly reached dire proportions. Many African countries have shown a deep sense of solidarity with the refugees through open-door hospitality and the upholding of the principle of non-refoulement, even in the case of large-scale influxes.

78. UNHCR continued to respond, in co-operation with host Governments, to the needs of the refugees in Africa. The largest refugee problem on the continent is in the Horn of Africa and the Sudan. In the Horn of Africa, the programmes of assistance, begun in 1978, continued to provide relief for new arrivals. In Somalia, several new camps were opened in the region of Gedo Hiran and the north-west. Food deliveries to the camps improved steadily, and the fuel problem was overcome through emergency procurement and medium-term measures. Assistance measures were strengthened in the Sudan and in Djibouti, while a programme for returnees was initiated in Ethiopia.

79. UNHCR was requested to undertake the over-all co-ordination of the international effort to assist in the repatriation and initial rehabilitation of Zimbabwean refugees and displaced persons; by the end of 1980 all 250,000 refugees who had taken shelter, mostly in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia, had been repatriated, part of them with UNHCR assistance. After an interagency mission to Zimbabwe in April 1980, the High Commissioner informed the international community about the intended assistance measures and the funding needs.

80. Further to the 1979 Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa which was held in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, UNHCR continued to co-operate actively during the reporting period with OAU as regards the implementation of the Conference's recommendations covering legal and assistance matters as well as in the dissemination of information. The OAU/UNHCR Working Group on Arusha held its second follow-up meeting at the Headquarters of UNHCR on 4 and 5 December 1980. The Working Group considered progress reports on various implementing actions both by UNHCR and the OAU. With regard to legal matters, UNHCR completed four implementing papers which were adopted during the last meeting of the Working Group and transmitted to the OAU Council of Ministers; the Council will consider them during the OAU Summit in Nairobi in June 1981. With regard to the assistance recommendations, a number of studies and research projects with a view to proposing solutions and conceiving ways and means of properly tackling the problems of African refugees in the coming decade are either currently in progress or planned.

81. Another landmark with regard to refugees during the reporting period was the General Assembly's adoption of resolution 35/42 of 25 November 1980 on the International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa. In paragraph 4 of this resolution requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in close co-operation with the Secretary-General of OAU and the High Commissioner, to convene at Geneva on 9 and 10 April 1981, at ministerial level, an International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa. UNHCR undertook to provide the Conference with its secretariat. In collaboration with the OAU and the United Nations Secretariat, UNHCR prepared the Conference documents, held meetings with Governments as well as with United Nations specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations, and was also responsible for Conference information materials.

82. Obligations in Africa in 1980 totalled just over $100 million under UNHCR General Programmes and some $71 million under Special Programmes, as indicated in Table 1 of annex II. Of the total amount of $171 million, just over half was obligated for multipurpose assistance ($52 million) and local settlement ($40 million). In addition, over $2,350,000 were made available from the Refugee Education Account, and an amount of $250,000 was provided from the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa for assistance to individual refugees.

B. Main developments in various countries or areas

1. Angola

83. The number of refugees in Angola at the end of 1980 was estimated at 73,000, consisting of 50,000 Namibians, 18,000 Zairians and 5,000 South Africans.

84. The UNHCR programme of assistance to Namibians had to be revised upwards owing, to large numbers of new arrivals. The mid-year figure of 36,000 had increased to 50,000 by the end of 1980. In spite of programme readjustments, the immediate needs of the refugees in all domains remained considerable. Over the year, a total of $3,494,200 was obligated for basic needs which included health care, education and transport. In addition, contributions in kind including blankets, clothing, food and medicines valued at $1,116,000 were made available under Special Programmes.

85. The 18,000 Zairians who chose not to return home after the amnesty decree promulgated towards the end of June 1978 are now on the way to successful settlement in the provinces of Luanda, Malange, Kwanza Norte and Kwanza Sul. In addition, UNHCR assisted a few small groups of Zairians to return home by air.

86. With regard to the 5,000 refugees from South Africa, 4,000 were new arrivals during 1980. They were made up of students, intellectuals, artisans and peasants who were either members or sympathizers of the banned African National Congress. UNHCR assistance to this group consisted mainly of airlifting food supplies.

87. Total expenditure in Angola in 1980 amounted to $6,054,927, of which $4,865,179 were obligated under General Programmes and $1,189,748 under Special Programmes.

2. Botswana

88. During 1980, 22,441 Zimbabwean refugees were voluntarily repatriated. The Government estimates that 1,300 refugees, consisting mainly of Angolans, South Africans and Namibians, remain in Botswana.

89. The Government, following its decision to accommodate all unemployed urban refugees at the Dukwe settlement, gave financial assistance to the settlement in 1980, and is in 1981 the major financial contributor to this project, which is assisting refugees to achieve local integration through self-reliance. At the end of 1980, there were 786 refugees residing in the settlement. Transport, health and educational services were provided while agricultural, community development and supplementary feeding programmes were continued. Food supplies were provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) under a bilateral agreement with the Government. UNHCR and the Lutheran World Federation, which is the implementing agency, continue to contribute financially, and local voluntary organizations and agencies within the United Nations system also provided various forms of assistance.

90. A total of 182 refugee students of various nationalities were admitted into the University, the Polytechnic, the National Health Institute as well as public and private schools in the country with financial assistance from UNHCR or United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa (UNETPSA).

91. A total of $1,287,900 was obligated to cover the UNHCR General and Special Programmes in Botswana in 1980, amounting respectively to $823,580 and $464,320.

3. Djibouti

92. The number of refugees, mainly from Ethiopia, in Djibouti was set at 42,000 in mid-1980. At year end, following a review of the situation, the Government estimated that approximately 9,800 refugees were staying in Ali Sabieh and 10,347 in Dikhil refugee camps; the number of refugees in Boulaos camp was given as 500 and remained unchanged as of the same date. With regard to urban refugees, 2,800 recognized refugees have remained in Djibouti town as have a number of asylum seekers whose status is under consideration. The number of bona fide refugees was therefore estimated to total 25,000 as at 31 December 1980. In addition to that caseload, government sources indicate the presence in Djibouti town of a sizeable yet unidentified urban group.

93. UNHCR continued, as in previous years, to provide relief assistance to the refugees in camps. The burden of regular food rations was shared by UNHCR, WFP and voluntary agencies. Refugees in the Mouloud agricultural settlement, Boulaos camp and a number of urban refugees in Djibouti also benefited from food distribution. Additionally, quantities of high-protein supplementary food were made available. Supplementary aid is provided on an individual basis, mainly to urban refugees in cases of particular need. In Djibouti town, counselling services mainly benefited individual refugees in such matters as education and resettlement. UNHCR assistance in the health sector included fresh food for mother-and-child centres, supplementary food for refugees receiving medical treatment and provision of a prefabricated tuberculosis ward at Ali Sabieh. A voluntary agency recently provided a medical team for Dikhil.

94. Assistance was provided by UNHCR to ease the difficult situation of refugees in areas such as housing for refugee camps, transportation, infrastructure and equipment for a transit centre, and construction of school facilities for refugee camps.

95. Because of the limited possibilities for local integration, UNHCR efforts concentrated on resettlement and placement for English-speaking refugee students in other countries. Some refugees with a good knowledge of French were awarded UNHCR scholarship to study in Djibouti, where a limited number of places in educational institutions was available.

96. In 1980, UNHCR purchased prefabricated buildings for a community centre at the Moulod agricultural pilot project to be erected with the technical assistance of a voluntary agency, and educational assistance was given to urban refugee students who organized self-help groups to upgrade their knowledge while awaiting placement.

97. Total obligations in 1980 came to $4,781,000, of which $4,209,500 under the General Programmes and $571,550 under Special Programmes.

4. Egypt

98. The refugee population in Egypt increased slightly to 5,500 by the end of 1980, owing to the arrival of Ethiopian refugee students.

99. UNHCR activities concerned educational assistance, mainly to African refugees at all levels from primary school to university, with an emphasis on vocational training. Financial assistance was provided in the form of annuities to stateless refugees, especially elderly people who have been in Egypt for many years. Temporary assistance was given to refugees of various origins who live or are in transit in Egypt.

100. The most urgent problem faced by the Office continues to be the decreasing resettlement opportunities for African refugees once they have terminated their studies or training. This is due largely to the general situation in the Middle East as a result of which work opportunities for refugees are less easily obtained. Renewed efforts are being made to obtain suitable employment on a more systematic basis.

101. Some 1,500 persons received guidance from the counselling service during the year. This covered mainly socio-cultural and educational problems faced by African students; elderly refugees of other origins also benefited from this service.

102. A group of 219 refugee students, mostly Africans, was assisted at the lower secondary level, and another 42 are undergoing vocational training. At the higher educational level, 258 students benefited from assistance.

103. Total obligations in Egypt in 1980 amounted to $1,352,058, of which $741,269 under General Programmes and $610,789 under Special Programmes.

5. Ethiopia

104. During the reporting period, the total number of refugees in Ethiopia, mainly of Sudanese origin, remained relatively constant at around 11,000. Some 5,500 southern Sudanese have been living for several years in the Gambela area and no longer require UNHCR assistance. Other Sudanese refugees, mostly men of rural origin, reside in camps at Ganduar. Since their arrival in Ethiopia in 1971/72 they have received UNHCR care and maintenance and WFP supplies. Individual refugees of various origins living in Addis Ababa have long been a source of concern in view of their precarious living conditions and limited employment prospects. In co-operation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), consideration has been given to the establishment of a small-scale industrial project on which a number of refugees in and around the capital could be engaged. In addition, a number of urban refugees have undertaken training courses with a view to improving their chances of employment.

105. Humanitarian assistance to displaced persons in Ethiopia, which forms part of the special programme of assistance in the Horn of Africa, began in 1978 to cater for the most needy of these groups. The programme continued in 1979 and 1980, and some 300,000 persons have so far benefited from it.

106. UNHCR has established, in co-operation with the Ethiopian Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, an initial project on a pilot basis to assist in the development of the infrastructure for five reception centres for returnees, each with a minimum capacity of 1,000 persons at any one time or a total of up to 10,000 returnees at all five centres.

107. Assistance to refugees was provided in the field of education at various levels, and supplementary aid was given for resettlement purposes. The establishment of a new rural settlement is envisaged for a number of refugees of rural origin, to enable them to achieve self-sufficiency within a reasonable period of time.

108. Assistance measures designed to promote the local integration of individual refugees in Ethiopia through their placement in jobs, crafts and trades, apprenticeships and education were undertaken during 1980. With intensive counselling and orientation, a number of urban refugees underwent retraining in order to improve their prospects of obtaining employment.

109. Total obligations in Ethiopia in 1980 amounted to $2,932,894, including $699,164 under General Programmes and $2,233,730 under Special Programmes.

6. Kenya

110. The total number of refugees in Kenya at the beginning of 1980 was approximately 5,800, of whom 3,500 were Ugandans. By the end of April, a majority of the Ugandans had left. But during the year, some 500 refugees entered the country, thus bringing the total number at the end of the year to around 3,500.

111. Assistance was mostly directed towards the local integration of refugees in and around urban centres, and included counselling, placement and allowances for accommodation, clothing, education, medical attention and transport.

112. The reception centre for asylum-seekers at Thika, near Nairobi, has become operational and is ready to receive up to 140 asylum seekers who have applied for refugee status or other refugees in need of temporary accommodation.

113. Work on the rural settlement of Witu, in the north-east of the country, will be resumed upon signature of an agreement with the Government, which is expected to take place shortly. It is planned that refugees without professional skills will be moved into the settlement when it is completed.

114. For the implementation of its programmes in Kenya, UNHCR benefits from the co-operation of Government services, UNESCO and voluntary agencies including the Joint Refugee Services of Kenya, the Kenya Catholic Secretariat, the All African Conference of Churches and the YMCA.

115. Total obligations in Kenya amounted to $2,636,695, of which $2,060,649 under General Programmes and $576,046 obligated under Special Programmes.

7. Lesotho

116. According to current government estimates, the refugee population in Lesotho is put at some 10,000 persons, most of whom are students from South Africa. The total number of refugees registered with UNHCR for assistance in Lesotho at the end of 1980 was 956.

117. Local voluntary organizations and agencies within the United Nations system provided various forms of financial and material assistance for the benefit of refugees in Lesotho. UNHCR assistance was mainly concentrated on providing additional facilities at the secondary and technical levels in order to enhance the education and employment prospects for refugees. Assistance was provided for the construction and equipment of three workshops and staff offices at Lerotholi Technical Institute for tailoring, dressmaking and upholstery. Moreover, construction of a transit centre for South African refugees at Maseru began in July 1980. The centre is scheduled for completion in June 1981.

118. Counselling was provided for some 600 refugees in spheres ranging from employment and education to resettlement. Under the Trust Fund for southern African refugees, the second phase of the project for the construction of additional classrooms, laboratories and accommodation for South African refugees in secondary schools, which commenced in June 1979, is now virtually completed.

119. Amounts of $576,500 for the General Programmes and $200,900 for the Special Programmes were obligated for refugees in Lesotho in 1980. Of the total amount of $777,400, a sum of $45,000 was made available from the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa.

8. Mozambique

120. Of the 150,000 refugees in Mozambique at the beginning of 1980, some 28,000 Zimbabweans were repatriated with the assistance of UNHCR, and a significant number returned home on their own. Those remaining in the country, and who have settled among the local population, are no longer considered refugees and therefore receive no UNHCR assistance. After the repatriation of Zimbabweans, some 100 refugees, mostly of South African origin, remain in Mozambique.

121. UNHCR assistance continued in 1980 pending the repatriation of Zimbabwean refugees from the settlements of Tronga, Mavudzi, Matenze and Mirrote, as well as for the Provincial Refugee Services in Nampula. The assistance covered such items as blankets, shoes, medicaments, soap and clothing. Funds were also used for a mechanical workshop in Beira which was established for the maintenance of project vehicles.

122. Supplementary aid was provided for the provision of food for adults, baby food, clothes and toilet articles as well as travel expenses for needy refugees living in or in transit through Mozambique and who could not benefit from assistance from other sources. UNHCR also contributed towards running and maintenance costs of the reception centre in Maputo administered by the Government where refugees in transit received care and maintenance. Funds were disbursed for such expenses as water, electricity, and supplementary food items.

123. Since the available public transportation facilities could not possibly cope with the sheer numbers of Zimbabweans returning home, vehicles and spare parts were purchased-, medical equipment, ambulances, communications equipment and tents at transit facilities were made available. Vehicles and spare parts were returned to UNHCR after the completion of the repatriation operation and subsequently reallocated, mostly to UNHCR programmes in Zimbabwe.

124. In 1980, total obligations in Mozambique amounted to $11,426,558, of which $4,806,745 were for General Programmes and $6,619,813 for Special Programmes.

9. Somalia

125. The number of Ethiopian refugees in camps was reported by the authorities to total 1.2 million at the end of 1980.

126. In some 40 camps opened in the regions of Lower Shebelle, Gedo, Hiran and the north-west, the majority of refugees are women, children and elderly men without any means of support. Large numbers are nomads. The lack of natural resources in the area, aggravated first by the prevailing drought and subsequently by floods, has made large-scale international aid indispensable.

127. The assistance programmes have, for this reason, had to give priority to aid for survival and for immediate relief. Through agricultural surveys and pilot schemes, efforts have however been initiated for self-reliance projects, which are a major concern of medium- and long-term assistance planning.

128. The 1980 programme, based on the assessments of a United Nations interagency mission undertaken in December 1979, was the subject of an appeal to the international community by the High Commissioner in March 1980. Under this programme, for which UNHCR had been appointed over-all Co-ordinator by the Secretary-General, WFP was entrusted with the responsibility for basic food supplies which were delivered at an estimated value of $90 million over the calendar year.

129. Other assistance measures, financed by or channelled through UNHCR, included medical supplies shelter materials, domestic items, vehicles and provisions for various transport costs including fuel. Assistance was also granted for water supply, communal facilities, education, community development, agricultural activities and technical support in the form of international expert teams.

130. Owing to developments over the year, particular attention needed to be given to the fuel requirements of the relief transport fleet and to water provisions in the refugee camps. The increased quantities of supplies needed in the various regions also necessitated a restructuring of the transport/logistics system, efforts which are being pursued in 1981.

131. Implementation of the assistance programmes is primarily the responsibility of the Somali Government and its National Refugee Commission. Considerable support for these tasks has, however, been received from members of the United Nations system co-operating under the UNHCR programme, in particular WFP, ILO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The technical teams provided by both the Swedish and the Swiss Governments and by some 25 voluntary agencies have, through their activities in the region been a major factor in the progress reported.

132. The main achievements of the programme have been the extension of effective supplementary and intensive feeding programmes to most vulnerable groups'. As a result of these efforts and the development of other curative and preventive health programmes, mortality and morbidity rates have declined in the camps. The camp population has also benefited from an improvement of communal facilities and various community services provided by an increased number of both national and international staff.

133. Major tasks, however, still remain if general improvement and full control of this dramatic refugee situation is to be ensured. In order to cope with these programme requirements UNHCR opened in 1980 three sub-offices in Gedo, Hiran and the north-west. A UNHCR Co-ordinator for the Horn of Africa and the Sudan has been appointed for regional assessment and co-ordination.

134. Total obligations by UNHCR in 1980 amounted to $59,315,200, of which $42,685,700 under General Programmes and $16,629,500 under Special Programmes. Included in the total obligations are contributions in kind valued at $18,759,200, of which $9,037,500 were under General Programmes and $9,721,700 under Special Programmes.

10. Sudan

135. During 1980, the refugee population in the Sudan grew rapidly. Owing to a new influx of 30,000 Ugandan refugees at the beginning of October 1980 and of 8,000 refugees from Chad in December 1980, the Government estimates its refugee .population at the end of 1980 to be 480,000. This included 3,00,000 Ethiopians, 69,000 Ugandans, 16,000 Chadians and 5,000 Zairians. With a view to coping with this large refugee population, the Government declared 1980 as "The Year of the Refugee in the Sudan", and organized a conference in Khartoum in June 1980.

136. After a joint assessment by UNHCR and the Sudanese authorities, an emergency project was established to cover the urgently-needed assistance measures for the newly-arrived Ugandan refugees in south Sudan.

137. UNHCR efforts in the Sudan concentrated on financing the local settlement programme, which was considerably increased in 1980. There are three types of settlement: rural settlements based on individual farming, rural settlements based on wage employment in several large irrigation projects in the eastern province and semi-urban settlements. To facilitate the local integration of the refugees, UNHCR provided funds for the establishment of viable settlements which would enable the refugees to become self-sufficient. UNHCR assistance included help in meeting interim subsistence needs, in constructing settlement headquarters and in ensuring an adequate water supply and other amenities. Agricultural machinery was provided for the agricultural settlements.

138. The refugee counselling services, jointly sponsored by the Government, UNHCR and a number of voluntary agencies, strengthened their ability to assist urban refugees in adjusting to their new surroundings by arranging their education and vocational training, and by meeting their medical and other social needs. The Sub-Offices in Gedaref, Port Sudan and Juba have also provided similar counselling services. Some 9,000 beneficiaries were taken in charge by the counselling services in 1980.

139. The educational programme was greatly enhanced in 1980 with the recruitment of two Programme Officers for Education and Counselling. Some 1,171 refugee students were assisted at the lower-secondary level, 32 at post-secondary level and 35 at university level.

140. During 1980, 284 Ethiopian refugees, 296 Ugandan refugees and 226 Zairian refugees were repatriated.

141. In August 1980, UNHCR began registration of refugees for resettlement in the United States. By the end of the year, 280 persons had been selected and 246 had already left. Further resettlement of 133 refugees was undertaken; 42 went to the Federal Republic of Germany, 26 to Sweden and Denmark, 12 to the United Kingdom, 20 to Kenya, 13 to Somalia, and 12 persons to Canada. In addition, some refugees were assisted in resettling spontaneously, mainly in the United Arab Emirates.

142. Total obligations in 1980 were $15,899,727, of which $11,010,772 under General Programmes and $4,888,935 under Special Programmes.

11. Swaziland

143. The total number of refugees in Swaziland at the end of 1980 was 5,214, virtually all of whom were South Africans. Some 435 refugees were granted asylum during the year.

144. Assistance continued in 1980 towards the local integration of some 5,000 South African refugees at Ndzevane rural settlement in south-eastern Swaziland on land purchased by the Swazi Government, with the Lutheran World Federation acting as the implementing agency. Refugees have already planted their first cotton crops. With technical support from the Government, refugees also constructed disinfecting dips for cattle, goats and sheep. The settlement now also benefits from an improved water supply system and a mobile health clinic. The World Food Programme provided food aid to the refugees while UNICEF provided two ambulances and drugs for the clinic. The Government of Swaziland continues to furnish the required land for the settlement, which is intended to be fully integrated into the national development plan for the area by the end of 1983.

145. Swaziland continues to admit refugees to educational institutions at all levels, and has decided that 10 per cent of places at its University College would be reserved for Qualified refugee applicants.

146. For individual refugees, assistance was given for local integration, supplementary aid, counselling, and, where possible, resettlement abroad. Local voluntary agencies continued their substantial financial and material contributions towards the welfare of the refugees. UNETPSA provided scholarships for eight students at the University College of Swaziland.

147. Amounts of $1,253,163 under General Programmes and $64,235 under Special Programmes were obligated by UNHCR for refugees in Swaziland in 1980.

12. Uganda

148. During 1980 the number of refugees in Uganda remained at approximately 113,000 comprising 80,000 Rwandese, 32,000 Zairians and 1,000 Ethiopians. Prior to the events of 1979, about 42,000 refugees, mainly Rwandese, lived in eight rural settlements. Since then one of the settlements has been closed, the refugees transferred to the other seven. Moreover, a number of refugees who had previously lived outside the settlements have now sought accommodation inside them. Thus, the total number of refugees in the seven settlements now exceeds 45,000. Prior to the events of 1979 most of the refugees, both in the rural settlements and urban areas, were well integrated socially and economically.

149. Work on the repair and reconstruction of rural settlements financed from General Programmes funds obligated in 1979 continued throughout 1980, after having been delayed because of unsettled conditions in the country. In addition, the Special Operation that was launched in 1979 to assist an estimated 25,000 refugees, 50,000 returnees and 265,000 displaced persons continued during 1980. The High Commissioner appealed for an amount of $13.3 million; by the end of 1980, contributions totalling more than $7 million were received, including $859,216 in kind. A major part of these contributions has been utilized to cover the cost of transporting food supplied by WFP, particularly for the Karamoja region. For this purpose, 31 vehicles were purchased from UNHCR funds. Approximately 20,000 tons of WFP food were transported, with the assistance of the Church of Uganda and other voluntary agencies. In September 1980, the UNDP Resident Representative was appointed as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for United Nations Emergency Relief Operations in Uganda. The role of UNHCR in Karamoja was phased out by end March 1981.

150. Apart from the Special Operation launched as a result of particular humanitarian needs arising in 1979, UNHCR has pursued existing programmes relating to local integration, counselling, secondary, technical and university education, supplementary aid and, to a limited extent, resettlement and repatriation. South African refugees were assisted under the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa. Counselling services have been expanded and improved with a counselling office established in Fort Portal, near the seven rural settlements which are situated in west and south-west Uganda. A senior counsellor and supporting staff have been employed for this purpose.

151. Total obligations in Uganda during 1980 amounted to $3,041,034 for assistance in Uganda described above, including $250,922 from General Programmes and $2,790,112 from Special Programmes.

13. United Republic of Cameroon

152. According to Government figures, the total number of Chad refugees stood at 100,000 in August 1980. By the end of the year, it was estimated that a further 10,000 refugees had entered the country.

153. Emergency funds were obligated to sustain basic needs. This was followed by a programme of assistance which was approved by the Executive Committee of UNHCR at its thirty-first session and which included the provision of tents, supplementary food, building materials, medical aid, educational services, household utensils and water for the camp at Kousséri. The relief programme involved UNICEF, Caritas, Care, Catholic Relief Services, Médecins sans Frontières and OXFAM. Staple foods, in particular grain, were provided by several donors, notably the European Economic Community. Two medical dispensaries were funded by UNHCR and staffed by teams from OXFAM and Médecins sans Frontières.

154. Total obligations in 1980 for assistance to refugees in the United Republic of Cameroon were $9,859,000, which included $7,818,000 from General Programmes and $2,041,500 from Special Programmes.

14. United Republic of Tanzania

155. In early 1980, the number of refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania stood at some 156,000. In the course of the year, 26,000 Rwandese refugees were naturalized, and 500 Ugandans and 350 Zimbabweans were repatriated. In addition to 129,500 Burundi in rural settlements, there were small groups of various other origins. However, a survey in the Kigoma area confirmed the presence of 22,500 hitherto unregistered, spontaneously-settled Burundi refugees, and a further 4,000 Zairians on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Thus, the total number of refugees again stood at 156,000.

156. Most of the refugees from Burundi were accommodated in the three rural settlements of Katumba, Mishamo and Ulyankulu. The settlement of Ulyankulu, which accommodates over 24,000 refugees and was first started in 1972, was handed over to the Government at the end of June 1980 after the refugees reached the level of self-reliance and after completion of all infrastructure and the reorganization of the number of villages, which was reduced from 13 to 11. The administration of these villages is now organized under village councils. At Mishamo settlement, established in 1978, the population stood at some 30,000 persons by the end of 1980. During the year, progress was accomplished in various sectors, such as the completion of the settlement headquarters, the distribution of household utensils and agricultural equipment and the upgrading of access roads and bridges.

157. After the repatriation of Ugandan refugees, the Kigwa settlement was used to accommodate South Africans and other refugees, mainly from Burundi and Zaire. These mainly urban refugees were assisted towards self-sufficiency and given greater access to nearby Tabora town.

158. In addition to the programmes relating to the settlements, UNHCR also provided multipurpose assistance to Zimbabweans returning home as well as to individual refugees of various origins, including some 200 refugee students from southern Africa. Fields covered included supplementary aid, local integration, education, counselling, resettlement and repatriation. Special funds were obligated within the framework of the International Year of the Child to furnish 85 primary schools in the Katumba settlement. Legal assistance was provided for the naturalization of some 26,000 Rwandese refugees at the end of 1980.

159. Total UNHCR obligations in the United Republic of Tanzania in 1980 under the General Programmes amounted to $5,863,773 and to $591,523 under the Special Programmes.

15. Zaire

160. The total number of refugees in Zaire was estimated to be around 350,000 to 400,000 at the end of 1980, with some 215,000 Angolans in the Bas-Zaire, Kinshasa, Bandundu and Shaba regions, and approximately 100,000 Ugandans in the Haut-Zaire region, 11,000 Burundi and 22,000 Rwandese in the Kivu region, and about 1,800 Zambians in the Shaba region. A group of 173,000 Zairian returnees in the Shaba region was also assisted under the Special Programmes in 1980.

161. In the Bas-Fleuve sub-region, the UNHCR rural settlement programme, implemented since 1977 by the Association Internationale de Développement Rural (AIDR), has progressed satisfactorily. The number of refugees in the rural settlements of Kimbianga, Lundu Matende and Mfuiki reached some 25,000 at the end of 1980 and was not expected to increase further.

162. In the field of agriculture, the rural settlement programme drawn up in 1979 continued in 1980. The distribution of plots of land in the villages was terminated, and a great number of refugees in the Kimbianga and Lundu Matende settlements have constructed houses with durable materials.

163. The food aid distribution in the Kimbianga and Lundu Matende settlements ceased at the beginning of 1981, the village dwellers having become self-supporting, and it is envisaged that the refugees will sell their surplus in the local markets. Programmes of preventive medicine continued in 1980 and in order to improve the health of undernourished children nutritional education programmes were organized at the dispensaries in each centre.

164. The primary education programme continued during 1980 and was attended by some 4,924 children.

165. In the Cataractes sub-region, a local assistance programme, created in 1979 comprising a medical assistance and an educational assistance component, was continued until the end of 1980. Food aid was distributed at the beginning of 1980 to some 4,000 refugees. Medical assistance, comprising preventive and curative measures, was implemented by two doctors from "Médecins sans Frontières" and two missions in Kimpese, the Institut Médical Evangélique and Les Soeurs de la Charite'.

166. In the Haut-Zaire region, the local integration programme for some 50,000 Ugandan refugees in the zone of Aru, initiated in 1979, continued in 1980. The Diocese of Mahagi implemented the project until July 1980, when the Sub-Office in Bukavu took over until the programme was entrusted to the AIDR in September 1980.

167. The sudden influx of some 100,000 new refugees in the zone of Aru in October 1980 changed the magnitude and scope of the assistance required. Emphasis was put on local purchases of food and on the purchase of medicines and supervision of dispensaries in the area by the Médecins sans Frontières doctor and a team consisting of refugee doctors and local medical personnel, who worked in close co-operation with the local medical authorities. The transfer from the border area and settlement of the refugees decided by the Government of Zaire and foreseen for 1980 have been postponed to 1981.

168. Under repatriation projects in favour of Angolan refugees, 255 refugees were transported by air from Kinshasa to Luanda. The project has been extended into 1981, pending the conclusion of the tripartite missions to assess the number of potential Angolan repatriates from Zaire (see para. 55 above).

169. Total obligations for assistance in Zaire in 1980 amounted to $8,485,060, of which $6,523,185 were under General Programmes and $1,961,875 under Special Programmes.

16. Zambia

170. The number of refugees in Zambia, estimated at some 57,000 at the end of 1979, decreased considerably towards the end of 1980 when the total stood at some 36,000. Of these, 22,000 were Angolans, 5,500 were Namibians, 5,000 were Zairians and 3,500 were from South Africa. As a result of the Lancaster House Agreement in December 1979, a total of 20,539 Zimbabweans were repatriated from Zambia under UNHCR auspices with Lutheran World Federation acting as operational partner. The operation ended on 22 October 1980 when the last train carrying 1,200 schoolgirls arrived in Bulawayo.

171. UNHCR provided assistance to returning Zimbabweans in the form of clothing, blankets, tents and supplementary food. Vehicles to transport these supplies were also provided.

172. The rural settlement at Meheba, which accommodates approximately 10,000 refugees, will be handed over to the Government at the end of 1981. In the meantime, UNHCR provides assistance aimed at improving infrastructure, encouraging small-scale business activities and enhancing agriculture by the cultivation of cash crops. Lutheran World Federation, the implementing agency for this settlement project, also contributed financially.

173. A total of 1,178 refugees benefited from the UNHCR counselling service which now consists of a social services specialist as well as a counsellor.

174. The former transit centre at Makeni, near Lusaka, was transformed into a resource centre to accommodate new arrivals and to provide advice on education or employment, as well as to handle special cases in need of rehabilitation. Additional counselling services oriented towards durable solutions are to be provided.

175. Total obligations in Zambia during 1980 amounted to $6,876,585, which included $2,730,939 under General Programmes and $4,145,646 under Special Programmes.

17. Zimbabwe

176. Following the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, UNHCR was invited to co-ordinate the repatriation of some 250,000 refugees who had taken shelter in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. After the independence of Zimbabwe, UNHCR was also called on to arrange their resettlement as well as that of displaced people who were living either in "protected villages" or in urban areas. The total number of returnees and displaced persons in need of immediate assistance was estimated at 660,000.

177. The repatriation operation began on 21 January 1980 and was implemented in two phases, one prior to the elections held in Zimbabwe at the end of February, and the other thereafter under the authority of the new Government. By 31 December 1980, a total of over 72,000 refugees had been brought back to their homeland under the auspices of UNHCR. In addition, an undetermined but large number of refugees spontaneously found their way home, particularly from Mozambique. Except for a small number of refugee students who remained in their countries of asylum to finish their studies, virtually all Zimbabwean refugees have now returned home.

178. On 14 January 1980, the High Commissioner appealed to Governments for funds to cover the cost of the repatriation operation. Total obligations for the operation amounted to $18,639,700, of which $6,079,500 were obligated within Zimbabwe, the balance being obligated for the repatriation of Zimbabweans from Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. In addition to this, contributions in kind amounted to $744,899.

179. Upon request from the New Government of Zimbabwe, the Secretary-General appointed the High Commissioner to co-ordinate, for an initial period, a humanitarian assistance programme for the benefit of returnees and displaced persons within Zimbabwe. On 13 April 1980, the High Commissioner informed the international community about the intended assistance measures and of the funding needs of the programme. Cash needs for the programme were determined at $110 million, and in addition to this, food needs were estimated at $30 million. The programme ran from May 1980 to April 1981, and most of the projects were completed within that span.

180. Due to the multitude of tasks facing the Government of Zimbabwe after independence, its own refugee policy could not be formed within the first year. The Government has, however, stated its intention to accede to the 1951 Refugee Convention and to the Protocol and to exercise a liberal policy of asylum.

181. Total obligations in Zimbabwe in 1980 amounted to $24,307,000, of which $5,000 under General Programmes and $24,302,000 under Special Programmes.

18. Other countries in Africa

182. In other countries in Africa, there were over 250,000 refugees of concern to UNHCR at the end of 1980.

183. The refugee situation in the Maghreb countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia changed little during 1980. The total refugee population, excluding Sahrawis, remained in the region of 2,700, many of whom are elderly people. Although the small residual number of beneficiaries decreased slightly, some new arrivals and the rising cost of living necessitated increases in local settlement and supplementary assistance funds, both in Tunisia and in Morocco, as well as in the higher education project in Algeria. The number of direct beneficiaries from local settlement assistance during 1980 was less than 100, mostly elderly people in Morocco. These receive monthly allowances, assistance for medical treatment, rent and other daily needs. Most of the Latin American refugees in Algeria are self-reliant, but, when necessary, language or vocational training facilities are made available to those who need it.

184. At its thirty-first session the Executive Committee decided to allocate under the 1981 General Programmes an amount of $1,625,000 for assistance to some 50,000 Sahrawi refugees, mainly women, children and elderly persons, in the Tindouf region of Algeria.

185. Total obligations in 1980 for the three countries amounted to $133,838, of which $125,542 from General Programmes and $8,296 from Special Programmes.

186. The estimated numbers of refugees in Burundi and Rwanda remained virtually unchanged in 1980, at 50,000 and 10,000 respectively. In Burundi, programmes established in previous years were pursued in both rural and urban sectors and included counselling, primary education, rural resettlement and assistance in setting up small family businesses. In Rwanda, multipurpose assistance, mainly in the form of supplementary aid in the areas of medical care, housing and resettlement, was provided for over 2,500 refugees, and 165 individuals were assisted at the secondary and higher levels of education. Obligations for the two countries in 1980 under the General and Special Programmes amounted to $3722 400 for Burundi and $210,000 in Rwanda.

187. In the Central African Republic, UNHCR continued to provide emergency assistance towards refugees from Chad, whose numbers had increased in 1980 to some 7,000. Individual refugees from other African countries were also admitted. A total of $189,000 was obligated from General Programmes, while $280,000 were obligated from the Emergency Fund.

188. The programme of assistance to returnees to Equatorial Guinea started by UNHCR in 1979 continued through the greater part of 1980. It was implemented up to end July 1980 by Caritas-Malabo and Caritas-Bata. Thereafter, at the Government's own request, the implementation was assumed by Government services, and was completed by the end of October 1980. According to available figures, some 14,428 persons, including 6,816 schoolchildren, benefited from that assistance. Total obligations in 1980 amounted to $250,750 from the Trust Fund for Equatorial Guinea.

189. There was a reduction in the estimated 30,000 refugees at Gabon at the beginning of the year due to continued repatriation of Equatorial Guineans, who ceased to benefit from refugee status as at 1 March 1980; no new requests for determination of refugee status have been received since that date. Total obligations in 1980 were $163,060 of which $96,937 from General Programmes and $66,123 from Special Programmes.

190. The number of refugees in Nigeria at the end of 1980 had risen to 105,000. This was due to the arrival of some 100,000 refugees from Chad for whom the Government of Nigeria organized a programme of assistance. UNHCR was requested to undertake an emergency programme to provide basic needs as at 1 March 1981. In 1980, $630,897 were obligated from General Programmes for multipurpose assistance, counselling and legal aid as well as educational assistance at the lower secondary level, mainly for refugees from southern Africa. Southern African refugees also benefited from educational assistance at university level, for which $62,000 were obligated under Special Programmes from the Education Account.

191. In Senegal, the number of refugees remained unchanged at some 5,000 of various origins. UNHCR continued to channel various forms of assistance through the National Committee for Aid to Refugees. A total of $616,473 was obligated in 1980, of which $373,583 from General Programmes which covered multipurpose assistance and counselling and $242,620 from Special Programmes including educational assistance at the higher secondary and university levels.

192. A total amount of $729,958 was obligated in other countries in Africa not mentioned above under both General and Special Programmes.


A. Latin America

1. Introduction

193. UNHCR continued to maintain its representation in the area through its three regional offices: northern Latin America, north-western South America and southern Latin America. The bulk of UNHCR Programmes for refugees in Latin America was concentrated in the northern part of the region. Assistance continued to be provided to Nicaraguan refugees who had departed their country in 1978 and 1979, and new programmes had to be implemented in favour of large numbers of Salvadorians who began leaving El Salvador early in the reporting period. At 31 December 1980 there were approximately 175,000 refugees in Latin America receiving assistance from UNHCR; this represents an increase of about 65,000 over the previous year.

194. The rise in the caseload required a considerable increase in expenditures for emergency humanitarian assistance. Voluntary repatriations, the arrangements for which were again coordinated with the Intergovernmental Committee for Migration (ICM) continued, with requests from Brazilian, Chilean and Nicaraguan refugees for assistance to return to their respective countries of origin. Where refugees were offered only temporary asylum, as was the case in several countries, UNHCR acted to meet immediate needs and to assist with resettlement to a third country. Programmes to facilitate the integration of Indo-Chinese refugees who were resettled in Latin America following the July 1979 Meeting on Refugees and Displaced Persons were continued, as were family reunification programmes.

195. During the reporting period Nicaragua acceded to both the 1951 Refugee Convention and to the 1967 Protocol; Colombia, already a party to the Convention, also acceded to the Protocol. Two Governments established national refugee commissions: the Comisión Nacional para Refugiados (CONAPARE) in Costa Rica and the Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados in Mexico.

196. Rising costs and the declining health of many of the elderly refugees of European origin who live throughout the region made it necessary to continue long-term local integration measures in favour of this group of refugees.

2. Northern Latin America

197. The reporting period saw mass movements of refugees in northern Latin America. There were very large movements from El Salvador following the events in the country. Relatively small influxes were first reported in April/may 198o. However, the number of refugees grew steadily, and by June UNHCR was providing emergency assistance to destitute Salvadorian refugees in Honduras and other countries in response to requests from Governments. By the end of 1980, the number of Salvadorian refugees had reached an estimated 80,000, about half of whom were receiving UNHCR assistance in six of the countries of the

198. The greater part of the Salvadorian refugee caseload consisted of small farmers and farm labourers; a high percentage were women and young children. In Belize, Mexico and Nicaragua the refugees were scattered throughout the country, while in Costa Rica and Panama they tended to gather in or around the capital. In Honduras they have mainly mingled with the local populations of small villages along the border, except in La Estancia and Colomoncagua, where they lived in camps.

199. In most of the host countries, these refugees did not have a clearly defined legal status and were generally not allowed to work. Most of UNHCR assistance to this group was therefore devoted to multipurpose assistance, including such items as food, shelter, medical care, clothing and other subsistence needs. Medium- to long-term solutions were planned and, in some cases, began to be implemented towards the end of 1980. For example, a model farm was established in Costa Rica to serve as a permanent reception and training centre for refugees and as a rural settlement. Similar projects were under study for other countries of the region.

200. In addition to the Salvadorians, refugees from Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, the Caribbean and the southern cone of South America also sought refuge in the area, particularly in Costa Rica and Mexico. By the end of the year under review the total number of refugees in northern Latin America was estimated to be nearly 100,000 persons, of whom Salvadorians were the great majority.

201. The rehabilitation programme on behalf of returning Nicaraguan refugees and internally displaced Nicaraguans continued to be implemented throughout 1980. This programme, funded from contributions in cash and in kind to the High Commissioner's appeal in August 1979, consisted of several projects aimed at reactivating agricultural activities and improving health conditions. It was worked out in close co-operation with the Nicaraguan authorities and implemented by two governmental bodies, the Instituto Nicaragüense de Reforma Agraria (INRA) and the Fondo Internacional para la Reconstrucción (FIR).

202. It will also be recalled that the large repatriation movement to Nicaragua coincided with the departure of several thousand persons from the country. This group had sought refuge in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. In response to Government requests, UNHCR provided material assistance aimed at local integration to some 3,500 displaced Nicaraguans in Honduras and in El Salvador. UNHCR projects in both countries were concluded shortly after the middle of 1980.

203. In April 1980, approximately 700 Cubans arrived in Costa Rica. An emergency assistance programme was set up by UNHCR on behalf of this group, which was implemented by a governmental Commission for Cuban Immigrants. The programme was terminated in October 1980. By the end of 1980 a large number of these Cubans, who had been granted temporary asylum by Costa Rica, had been resettled in other countries - mainly outside the region - with the assistance of ICM.

204. Total expenditures for the countries of northern Latin America were $7,151,517. An amount of $911,500 was obligated from the Emergency Fund to provide relief assistance to the first groups of Salvadorian refugees early in the reporting period.

3. North-western South America

(a) Peru

205. The major development in the refugee situation in Peru was the arrival during the reporting period of new groups of refugees from Bolivia and the Caribbean. These arrivals raised the number of refugees of Latin American origin in Peru to 659 as at 31 December 1980. The number of European refugees, most of them elderly, further decreased to 800.

206. In April 1980, the Peruvian Government offered to receive a maximum of 1,000 Cubans. A total of 742 Cubans arrived in Peru, where they were accommodated in a reception camp till August 1980. By the end of the year 492 of them remained in Peru, the others preferring to resettle in the United States, Canada and other third countries. Both Cubans and Bolivians received residence permits from the Peruvian authorities.

207. Assistance was channelled mainly through the Comisión Católica Peruana de Migración - which also assisted refugees in transit through Lima and the Peruvian Red Cross; the Bishopric of Puno also assisted with Bolivian asylum seekers who arrived there. ICM assisted UNHCR in arranging travel in connexion with resettlement.

208. Total obligations in Peru amounted to $523,219, of which some $180,000 were used to provide supplementary aid - mainly food and clothing - for needy refugees.

(b) Other countries in north-western South America

209. The refugee population in the other countries of north-western South America declined slightly during the reporting period to approximately 20,500 persons as at 31 December 1980. The number of refugees of European origin fell to about 12,000 due to death and naturalizations, while the number of Latin American refugees rose to 8,500 persons due essentially to the arrival of several hundred Bolivians. As in previous years, the largest number of refugees in this area were in Venezuela with smaller groups in Ecuador and Colombia.

210. Assistance to these refugees emphasized counselling and the implementation of self-sufficiency projects; however, refugees had to depend longer on care and maintenance assistance than was formerly the case, due to the unfavourable economic situation prevailing throughout the area.

211. Total obligations for these countries amounted to $287,817 under both General and Special Programmes.

4. Southern Latin America

(a) Argentina

212. The over-all refugee population in Argentina was estimated at some 26,300 persons as at 31 December 1980. Of this number, 20,000 were of European origin, some 5,000 of Latin American origin and 1,300 were from Indo-China. The number of Latin American refugees remained constant as departures for resettlement and voluntary repatriation were offset by new arrivals.

213. As in previous years, assistance activities on behalf of Latin American refugees focused on the facilitation of durable solutions in the form of resettlement in third countries, voluntary repatriation and, for those refugees who were granted residence permits, local integration. During the reporting period, 181 refugees were resettled while 61 persons repatriated voluntarily, mainly to Chile.

214. UNHCR continued to assist those refugees from South-East Asia who arrived in Argentina in 1979 following the Government's offer of resettlement opportunities for 1,000 families. The local integration of this group is being pursued in rural areas. For the group in Buenos Aires, a rehabilitation programme is under way with the collaboration of the Government and voluntary agencies. UNHCR provided funds for the reconditioning of two reception centres, for the provision of care and maintenance and language training to the refugees during their stay in the centres, as well as for the provision of installation grants upon their moving from the centres to their final destinations.

215. Total UNHCR obligations amounted to $3,895,114, of which $889,855 went to provide care and maintenance to refugees awaiting a durable solution.

(b) Chile

216. The number of refugees of European origin living in Chile further decreased to some 1,500, about 200 of whom were in need of assistance from UNHCR. However, as in previous years, the bulk of UNHCR assistance in Chile consisted of facilitating the family reunion of Chilean dependents with refugee heads of family already resettled abroad. An amount of $117,000 was obligated for resettlement assistance on behalf of some 330 persons. Supplementary aid, counselling and legal assistance pending resettlement were also provided.

217. Obligations under General Programmes in Chile totalled $296,135 in 1980, $36,500 of which were for local integration assistance.

(c) Other countries in southern Latin America

218. A UNHCR presence in Bolivia was required in the latter part of 1980. The main activities were assisting a number of Latin American refugees already living in Bolivia and facilitating family reunion with Bolivian refugee relatives already in countries of asylum.

219. The number of Latin American refugees who arrived in the region, which comprises Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, increased during the reporting period. In most cases, such refugees were admitted in transit only. They therefore required care and maintenance, training, legal advice and counselling while permanent resettlement opportunities for them were sought. In 1980, a total of 705 Latin American refugees left, mainly from Brazil, for countries of permanent settlement. The remaining refugee population - some 26,500 elderly European refugees - continued to benefit from local integration measures.

220. With the arrival of a third small group of Vietnamese refugees, the number of Indo-Chinese refugees in Brazil rose to 84 persons. This group too was admitted on a permanent basis and is in the process of integrating locally. UNHCR assistance to them was channelled through a governmental body, the Sistema Nacional de Emprego, which is attached to the Ministry of Labour.

221. Due to inflation, expenditures under many items had to be increased. Obligations totalled $957,315, of which $545,000 were for supplementary aid and $111,100 for transportation of resettled refugees.

B. North America

222. As in previous years, the UNHCR Regional Office in New York continued to assure permanent liaison with United Nations Headquarters and with the various agencies of the United Nations system based in the United States of America. The Regional Office also continued to monitor the refugee situations in the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. The UNHCR Liaison Office in Washington, which was opened at the beginning of 1979, maintained relations with the United States Government and with American non-governmental organizations.

223. Close co-operation between the Canadian authorities, both at the federal and provicial levels, was maintained by the UNHCR Branch Office in Ottawa. During the year under review a number of provincial governments demonstrated an increased interest in refugee matters, particularly as regards the resettlement of refugees. The traditional co-operation with non-governmental organizations was further strengthened, especially in the field of public information. The Standing Conference of Canadian Organizations concerned with Refugees, which had been set up with UNHCR support to co-ordinate the refugee-related activities of voluntary organizations, now has 66 members.

224. Both Canada and the United States continued to receive refugees and displaced persons from South-East Asia for permanent settlement. During 1980, the United States accepted 152,481 Indo-Chinese refugees, of whom 90,591 were "boat people" and Canada admitted 35,382 refugees and displaced persons from Indo-China, 25,467 of whom were "boat people". More than half of those who arrived in Canada were accepted under the private sponsorship programme, which was started in 1978. Refugees from other parts of the world, notably from Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean were also offered resettlement opportunities in both countries.

225. Total obligations in the two countries in 1980 amounted to $158,025 for Canada and $329,022 for the United States.


A. General developments

226. The problem of refugees and displaced persons in Asia continued to be of major concern to the Office, with a marked increase in the number of Afghan refugees entering Pakistan and other countries in the region. Their number in Pakistan alone was estimated to be some 1.4 million at end 1980. The influx has continued into 1981 and a more exact assessment of their numbers in Pakistan is being undertaken in a joint endeavour by UNHCR with the Pakistan Government.

227. There were continuing arrivals of Indo-Chinese refugees into neighbouring countries, both by land and by sea. The relatively high rate of resettlement, resulting from the Meeting on Refugees and Displaced Persons in South-East Asia, convened by the Secretary-General in July 1979, continued well into 1980, and led to a net reduction in remaining caseloads. This contributed to a significant improvement in camp conditions. At the same time, substantial efforts and resources were directed at alleviating the conditions of Kampucheans, some 147,600 of whom were accommodated in UNHCR holding centres in Thailand.

228. Beginning in 1979, large numbers of Kampucheans were reported to be returning to their homeland and settling in their native provinces. Approximately 115,000 returned from Viet Nam, 20,000 from the Lao People's Democratic Republic and some 175,000 from Thailand and its eastern frontier, bringing the total number of returnees to approximately 310,000 at the end of 1980.

229. Following several missions by UNHCR officials on the spot and official requests addressed to the High Commissioner by the authorities in Phnom Penh, UNHCR launched a programme of humanitarian assistance to the Kampuchean returnees already - identified inside their country of origin with the aim of helping the returnees, attain a measure of self-sufficiency as rapidly as possible. Steady progress has been made in achieving the main objectives of the over-all programme.

230. Total obligations in Asia during 1980 were $272.8 million, of which $153.8 million were under General Programmes and 119 million under Special Programmes.

B. Main developments in various countries or areas

1. Burma

231. By December 1979, the repatriation operation from Bangladesh to Burma was completed and some 187,000 repatriates had returned to towns and villages in the Arakan State where they had been living before their displacement to Bangladesh in early 1978.

232. It was expected that the relief and assistance phase of the programme would be completed by mid-1980. Delays occurred, however, due to logistical difficulties caused by the remote locations of the returnees.

233. The distribution of supplementary food items (rice and salt) provided from funds obligated in 1979 to 50,000 returnees in the Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedraung townships was completed in October 1980. A contribution in kind of 275 tons of dried skimmed milk valued at $231,000 was provided in 1980. WFP continued to distribute some 11,783 tons of food-stuffs valued at $3,273,000 to the returnees.

234. A total of 120,000 blankets were made available and the second and final consignment of 60,000 had been distributed by October 1980. The consignment of agricultural tools comprising 43,300 spades and 5,000 knives was completed in the same period. The returnees also received 10,1000 fishing nets. Work continued on the drilling of 48 wells, in addition to those dug or repaired previously, and should be terminated in mid-1981. The operational base established in 1979 at Maungdaw in the Arakan State and manned by the Relief and Resettlement Department to supervise the assistance programme was closed in October 1980.

235. Total obligations in 1980 in Burma under Special Programmes amounted to $812,480.

2. China

236. From 1978 to the end of 1980, approximately 263,000 refugees from Viet Nam arrived in China. There were approximately 2,000 new arrivals in 1980. These were accommodated in reception centres while the main caseload was largely accommodated on state farms - some in temporary quarters - in the provinces of Guangdong, Yunnan, Fujian and the Guangxi Autonomous Region. In addition, the Government has offered to resettle 10,000 Indo-Chinese refugees from countries of first asylum in South-East Asia. Out of these 10,000 some 2,550 Indo-Chinese refugees have arrived in China from the camps in Thailand.

237. The UNHCR assistance programme, drawn up in close consultation with the Government, was implemented by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Within the Ministry, a specific unit for the settlement of Indo-Chinese refugees has been established with branches in the four provinces where refugees are located.

238. Most assistance measures were directed towards achieving self-sufficiency through local integration. UNHCR contributed towards the provision of medical equipment, timber for housing and the construction of fishing trawlers and related equipment for refugee fishermen, in addition to a pig farm and a chicken farm. Durable shelter was made available by UNHCR for 100,000 refugees on various state farms.

239. UNHCR also obligated funds towards the transportation and initial settlement of some 2,550 Indo-Chinese refugees in Thailand who opted for permanent resettlement in China. UNHCR assistance measures for the Indo-Chinese refugees from Thailand included the provision of housing and communal facilities, seeds, fertilizer, medical equipment, water supply and teaching Materials and medical facilities.

240. WFP provided supplementary rations to approximately 250,000 refugees for five months through an emergency project. In May 1980, WFP approved projects totalling $9,547,000 for 18 months to the refugees. Under Special Programmes, the European Economic Community contributed through UNHCR 3,969 tonnes of rice valued at $1,508,562 for Vietnamese refugees in China.

241. Total UNHCR obligations in 1980 amounted to $11,812,250, including $10,303,700 under General Programmes and $1,508,562 under Special Programmes.

3. Hong Kong

242. At the beginning of 1980, the number of Vietnamese "boat people" in Hong Kong stood at 55,705. The influx continued throughout the year, wit]T 11,170 new arrivals while 37,228 departed for permanent resettlement to third countries.

243. There were four UNHCR refugee transit centres in Hong Kong at the beginning of 1980. A new UNHCR refugee centre managed by the YMCA was established in addition to the four centres administered for UNHCR by the Hong Kong Christian Service, the International Rescue Committee, Caritas and the British Red Cross (Hong Kong branch).

244. Considerable efforts were made to accelerate the rate of resettlement of Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong. As a result, numbers decreased by half towards the end of the year, making it possible to close the Jubilee Transit Centre which had been administered by the International Rescue Committee. The remaining refugees in the Jubilee Centre were transferred to other centres.

245. As the Hong Kong authorities permitted the Vietnamese refugees to seek local gainful employment, more than half of the residents at UNHCR-run refugee centres who are of legal working age have found employment, either by themselves or with UNHCR assistance, through the Association for Volunteer Service. Refugees who were gainfully employed provided for their own food requirements. Consequently, approximately 95 per cent of Vietnamese family groups in the UNHCR camps no longer needed a food allowance, which is now attributed exclusively to social cases who cannot work.

246. All medical activities in the UNHCR centres were coordinated by the Medical Co-ordinating Committee, chaired by UNHCR and consisting of representatives of all voluntary agencies. Day clinics were financed and administered by voluntary agencies in the centres. The medical centre in Kaitak North, established and sponsored by UNHCR and administered by the British Red Cross (Hong Kong branch) for non - acute cases, continued to cater for refugees from all centres. Dental clinics were also established in some camps. Medical services were further expanded by the operation of a mobile x-ray unit provided by UNHCR.

247. In addition, UNHCR also financed an intensive "regular English as a second language" course in its refugee centres during the second half of 1980. The courses were held in the evening to facilitate the attendance of working refugees. Elementary teaching for children, as well as various recreational activities were given to the refugees by volunteer teachers and supported by the various voluntary agencies. Social service assistance was also provided throughout the year by specialized counsellors.

248. UNHCR continued to provide financial assistance to refugees of European origin in transit in Hong Kong. The number of European refugees in transit in Hong Kong increased from 325 in 1979 to 363 in 1980. In most cases, these refugees stayed in Hong Kong for a transit period of three to four months before departing to a country of permanent resettlement. During their transit period, they were provided with care and maintenance which included board and lodging, provision of clothing and basic household equipment, medical care as well as assistance towards resettlement in third countries. During the year under review, a total of 310 left for resettlement in third countries, the majority to Australia. A total amount of $547,534 from the over-all allocation for the resettlement of this group was obligated in 1980.

249. Total UNHCR obligations in 1980 in Hong-Kong amounted to $13,352,500, of which $12,028,100 under General Programmes and $1,324,400 under Special Programmes.

4. Indonesia

250. During 1980, 35,227 Indo-Chinese refugees left Indonesia for resettlement in third countries. The total number of arrivals during the year amounted to 61821. As a result, the caseload at the end of the year stood at 8,417 including 3,921 refugees from Singapore and Thailand who were transferred to Galang awaiting the opening of the Refugee Processing Centre.

251. The decrease in numbers allowed for the closure of the six first-asylum camps on Bintan Island. The remaining refugee population, hitherto accommodated in the Kuku and Air Raya camps on Jamaja Island in the Anambas, was transferred to Galang. A skeleton UNHCR and Indonesian Red Cross staff was maintained on Kuku Island in order that new arrivals could be transported to Galang with the least possible delay. At the end of 1980 the total caseload was concentrated on Galang Island in the Riau Archipelago, with a small transit centre in Jakarta.

252. UNHCR assistance programmes are implemented by the special task force for refugees established by the Indonesian Government, which is responsible to the Ministry of Defence. Specific parts of the UNHCR programme are implemented by the Indonesian Red Cross (health care) and by the Save the Children Federation (English language training) while other voluntary agencies are involved in different aspects of assisting refugees in Indonesia. The UNHCR Sub-office in Tanjung Pinang on Bintan Island is in charge of coordinating, the activities of the agencies.

253. UNHCR Provided care and maintenance of refugees including inter alia., the maintenance of the physical infrastructure of the different camps, provision of food, sanitary facilities, household equipment, medical care, water supply, education of transportation of refugees from the Anambas to Galang Island

254. The construction of a Refugee Processing Centre on Galang was completed in December 1980. The Centre provides accommodation for up to 10,000 persons from Indo-China who already have firm resettlement possibilities but whose final admission to the resettlement country cannot take place for at least three months. The Centre consists, inter alia, of 200 barracks, community facilities, an administrative building medical facilities, a water supply system and a sewage and drainage system. A total amount of $2.5 million was obligated for the construction of the Centre under Special Programmes.

255. Total obligations in 1980 were $13,594,500, of which $11,040,400 under General Programmes and $2,554,100 under Special Programmes.

5. Japan

256. A total of 1,278 Vietnamese "boat people" arrived in Japan in 1980 adding to the existing caseload of 1,255 while 692 refugees departed for permanent resettlement during the year. These "boat people" had mainly been rescued by foreign vessels calling at Japanese ports and were granted landing rights in Japan upon receipt by the Government of a guarantee that UNHCR would assume care and maintenance costs and responsibility for resettlement.

257. As in past years, UNHCR made funds available to four voluntary agencies to administer 27 refugee centres. The refugees, upon disembarkation, were accommodated in the centres where they received care and maintenance in the form of board and lodging, medical care as well as interpreters' services. UNHCR also funded a language training course in the Kamakura Transit Centre.

258. With the consent of the Ministry of Education, the UNHCR Representative has been promoting the admission of Vietnamese refugee children to local educational institutions on a temporary basis, pending their resettlement to third countries. At the end of the year, approximately 100 refugee children were attending schools and kindergartens. Refugees were also allowed to work. Working conditions were regulated by law in the same manner as for Japanese nationals. As at the end of 1980, approximately 400 Vietnamese refugees were gainfully employed.

259. To promote the Permanent resettlement in Japan of Vietnamese refugees, two resettlement promotion centres at Yamato and Himeji were established in 1980 to provide Japanese language training, vocational training and placement assistance to the refugees who opted for resettlement in Japan. These centres are managed by the Japanese Foundation for the Education and Welfare of Asian People. A total of 725 Indo-Chinese refugees were resettled in Japan in 1980 from other countries of first asylum in South-East Asia.

260. UNHCR obligated a total amount of $2,690,000 in 1980 under General Programmes, mainly for care and maintenance and education for refugees in camps. In addition, individual refugees received legal assistance, supplementary aid and resettlement assistance from the respective over-all allocations.

6. Lao People's Democratic Republic

261. UNHCR assistance activities in the Lao People's Democratic Republic during 1980 were mainly in favour of the 10,700 refugees from Democratic Kampuchea and an estimated 9,000 returnees from the holding centres in Thailand. In addition, UNHCR continued to provide some assistance to the displaced persons for whom special UNHCR programmes had been launched in the past.

262. The Kampuchean refugees have been allowed to farm land and have also benefitted from the limited health and educational facilities available where they lived (10,400 in Attopeu province and 300 in Champassak province). In view of the severe food shortages in the Attopeu province, the Lao Government asked UNHCR in the beginning of 1980 for assistance to meet the immediate needs of the refugees. The Government also has agreed to accept for permanent local settlement those refugees who would not wish to return to their country and has requested UNHCR assistance in the implementation of both the voluntary repatriation and the local settlement options.

263. In March 1980, the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic sought UNHCR assistance in facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Lao nationals from Thailand and formally requested UNHCR to undertake necessary discussions with the Thai authorities to this end. Following these discussions and camp surveys conducted by UNHCR a limited number of Lao repatriated voluntarily with UNHCR assistance. Assistance was provided to the repatriates in the form of reception and transportation, household utensils, agricultural equipment and medical aid. UNHCR also continued to extend through 1980 similar assistance to those who returned on their own from Thailand in 1979 and early 1980.

264. Moreover, 5,900 tonnes of rice valued at $1,992,140 were received as donations in kind from EEC and Brot für de Welt. As in the previous year, distribution of food aid was directed mainly towards provinces bordering Thailand to benefit repatriates, refugees and displaced persons and was linked more closely to other UNHCR-funded projects.

265. Total obligations in the Lao People's Democratic Republic in 1980 amounted to $5, l08,250, of which $74,800 were incurred under General Programmes and $5,033,450 under Special Programmes.

7. Lebanon

266. The number of refugees in Lebanon increased in 1980 to a total of 3,200 mainly because of the continuing arrival of Ethiopian refugees. The reconstruction programme for displaced persons, begun in 1977, was terminated except for small residual needs. Events in the area hindered local integration and resettlement possibilities. Nevertheless, UNHCR activities continued to make a contribution to the over-all United Nations programme of humanitarian assistance activities.

267. Assistance was provided for education, local settlement, supplementary needs and counselling. Obligations during the year amounted to $166,810 under General Programmes and $53,000 under Special Programmes, the latter for repair and equipment of dispensaries.

8. Malaysia

268. The number of Vietnamese refugees in Malaysia stood at 34,296 on 31 December 1979. During the year, 18,263 Vietnamese refugees were admitted into the country and given temporary asylum, while some 41,350 left the country for permanent resettlement. In addition, there were approximately 90,000 Filipino refugees in the State of Sabah.

269. The decline in the Vietnamese refugee population during 1980 made it possible to close down three camps, leaving two camps along the eastern coast of the peninsula (Pulau Bidong and Pulau Tengah), one in Sarawak (Kuching) and one transit camp at Sungei Besi. The construction of a transit centre in Kuala Lumpur, financed under a Special Programmes allocation in 1979, was completed in June 1980. It provides facilities for up to 5,000 transiting refugees.

270. The Malaysia Red Crescent Society (MRCS) has acted as operational partner for the UNHCR care and maintenance programme for Vietnamese refugees. Assistance included, inter alia., the supply of food and water, domestic items, provision of adequate shelter, medical and sanitary facilities and the organization of an education programme and general welfare services. In the education programme, special attention was given to the teaching of English as a second language and to the organization of cultural orientation courses.

271. Over 1,800 Kampuchean refugees were accommodated in Cherating camp on the east coast of the peninsula. Under General Programmes, UNHCR obligated $400,000 for the care and maintenance of this group of refugees for the period August through December 1980. Through operational partners of UNHCR, MRCS and PERKIM (a Malaysian welfare organization), material assistance was given which included, inter alia, the provision of food, domestic supplies, health and sanitary facilities and language and cultural orientation courses.

272. Assistance to Filipino refugees in the State of Sabah, begun under previous years' General Programmes funds, continued in 1980. The measures undertaken included the provision of housing latrines, fishing equipment, educational facilities, water supply, and roads at Kinarut, Labuan and Semporna.

273. In April/May 1980, a UNHCR-sponsored feasibility study for the establishment of a rural settlement was undertaken to look into the possibility of promoting the self-sufficiency of several thousand refugees living in and around Tawau town. The modalities of an eventual implementation of this project are being studied by both UNHCR and the Malaysian authorities.

274. Total obligations in 1980 amounted to $15,172,880, of which $14,872,230 under General Programmes and $300,650 under Special Programmes.

9. Pakistan

275. At the beginning of 1980, the number of Afghan refugees registered in Pakistan stood at approximately 400,000. Numbers continued to increase steadily throughout the year, resulting in a total of some 1.4 million persons by the end of 1980.

276. Since the original programme, budgeted at $10.3 million, was to provide assistance to some 228,000 persons, it was revised upwards to $26.4 million in early 1980, for which the High Commissioner launched an appeal to the international community in January 1980. As the influx of refugees continued unabated, a second appeal was launched in June 1980 to the international community to order to finance the additional needs. The provision of basic food commodities, valued at over $45.5 million, was coordinated by the World Food Programme. The Executive Committee at its thirty-first session approved the retroactive inclusion of the additional assistance requirements in the new and revised General Programmes appropriations.

277. Until October 1980, under the supervision of the Secretary of the States and Frontier Regions Division, the management of refugee affairs was entrusted to the government administration in the districts and agencies of the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan. In October 1980 the Government of Pakistan set up a new administrative structure dealing exclusively with refugees. The purpose of this reorganization was to establish a more comprehensive system of effectively monitoring the assistance given to the refugees.

278. Supplementing international assistance, the Government of Pakistan continued to give a cash allowance to refugees at the rate of PRs 50 a month per person with a maximum of PRs 500 per family. A large part of the costs of the new refugee administration is being met directly by the Government, in addition to the cost of inland transport of relief commodities.

279. In addition to basic food commodities, such as wheat, dried skim milk and edible oil which was provided by WFP, UNHCR made funds available to the Government for the provision of protein-enriched food, salt, tea and sugar, the latter being an important part of the Afghan refugees' staple diet. Funds were also made available for the construction of warehouses near refugee settlements and for large quantities of material for shelters in the form of tents, tarpaulins, sheets, wooden beams, etc.

280. In the health field,, elaborate coverage was initiated by means of mobile medical teams and static dispensaries in refugee villages, in addition to existing government health facilities. A refugee health clinic was opened in Peshawar.

281. Clothing, blankets and quilts were procured and distributed. Cooking utensils, stoves and firewood or kerosene oil were made available, with storage facilities for fuel. A water supply programme was put into effect. Logistical support was provided.

282. Funds were obligated to finance a programme for education and vocational training.

283. Total obligations in Pakistan during 1980 amounted to $69,331,000, of which $54,712,200 were from General Programmes and $14,618,800 from Special Programmes.

10. Philippines

284. There were 4,932 Indo-Chinese refugees who arrived by boat during 1980 while 6,892 persons left the country for permanent resettlement, leaving a caseload of 3,769 persons awaiting a durable solution at the close of the year.

285. The first asylum caseload, apart from some medical and transit cases in Manila, has been concentrated in a camp near Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island. Because of the decreasing numbers and in view of its remoteness it was decided to close down the camp on Tara Island and the remaining refugees were transferred to Puerto Princesa.

286. The Jose Fabela Centre on the outskirts of Manila continued to provide transit facilities for refugees on their way from camps to resettlement in third countries.

287. UNHCR assistance programmes included, inter alia., care and maintenance, construction of shelter and the necessary physical infrastructure in the camps, medical supplies and hospitalization, promotion of self-sufficiency, promotion of resettlement opportunities, education and skills training, counselling and social services. Special attention was given to English language training. A number of local and international voluntary agencies are working in the refugee camps providing a broad range of services for the refugees.

288. The Refugee Processing Centre at Bataan on Manila Bay was inaugurated in January 1980. Only refugees in first asylum camps in South-East Asia who had resettlement guarantees were admitted to the Centre. The first-phase capacity of 10,000 was expanded during 1980 by 7,200; further expansion will depend on needs and the availability of funds. The full capacity of 17,200 persons from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand was reached in November 1980. With an average length of stay of three to five months, some 11,640 people departed for resettlement.

289. The cost of the construction and operation of the Centre is financed under Special Programmes. A total of $11,974,400 was obligated in 1980 for construction and transportation of refugees to the centre.

290. Funds obligated in the previous year for operation of the Centre covered costs for care and maintenance including, inter alia food, medical care, transport and social welfare, and the administration by the Government task force of the Centre including, inter alia, personnel costs and equipment.

291. A total of $2,905,500 was obligated from funds made available for an intensive English language training and cultural orientation programme. Additional facilities were constructed for this purpose at the Centre and teaching staff, education material and equipment were also provided.

292. Total obligations in 1980 for assistance to refugees in the Philippines were $18,829,600, including $3,927,700 from General Programmes and $14,901,900 from Special Programmes.

11. Singapore

293. During 1980, the number of Indo-Chinese refugees and displaced persons seeking refuge was 9,280 while 9,091 departed during the year to countries of permanent settlement. The caseload at the end of the year stood at 1,148.

294. The Government has continued to apply its policy of granting temporary refuge to Indo-Chinese refugees only against firm guarantees of resettlement in a third country.

295. During 1980 the refugee camp in Singapore, which is run by UNHCR, also served refugees as a transit camp for some 34,379 on their way to resettlement. These refugees had been accommodated in the first asylum camp on Galang Island in Indonesia.

296. Obligations in 1980 amounted to $3,094,400 under General Programmes and $30,730 under Special Programmes, making a total of $3,125,130.

12. Thailand

297. At the end of 1980, the total number of Indo-Chinese refugees and displaced persons of concern to UNHCR in Thailand was 261,334, of whom 104,936 were from the Lao People's Democratic Republic, 9,018 from Viet Nam, and 147,380 Kampucheans. UNHCR assistance to refugees and displaced persons in Thailand continued to be primarily concerned with the provision of care and maintenance while durable solutions were being sought. Of the 126,225 refugees who departed Thailand in 1980 for resettlement in third countries, 73,250 were from the Lao People's Democratic Republic. 28,007 from Viet Nam, and 24,968 were Kampucheans. A start was also made on voluntary repatriation. During the year UNHCR facilitated the voluntary return of some 9,000 Kampucheans. Despite the high level of resettlement and the voluntary repatriation movements, the total caseload declined only by about 5,000 over the year as departures were largely offset by arrivals.

298. In the implementation of its assistance programme, UNHCR continued its partnership with the Royal Government of Thailand and with a large number of voluntary agencies. Close co-operation and co-ordination were maintained with other United Nations agencies. This was reflected, for instance, in WFP assistance in food purchases and in the secondment of a health coordinator from WHO.

299. Lao, Vietnamese and Kampucheans who arrived before late 1979 were housed in 15 camps administered by the Ministry of Interior. Under the assistance projects for the Lao and Vietnamese in the Ministry of Interior camps, obligations from General Programmes funds amounted to $21,417,912. Basic food costs constituted the largest single item of expenditure. Camp infrastructure, shelter, sanitation and health were among the sectors in which significant improvements were made, while attempts at providing an equitable distribution of services and facilities among the various camps continued.

300. Of the first asylum countries in the region, Thailand recorded the highest rate of boat arrivals in 1980 with 21,549 persons seeking asylum. Pirate attacks on refugees arriving by boat in Thailand continued to be of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR donated a patrol boat to the Royal Thai Navy for surveillance and rescue purposes in the Gulf of Siam.

301. There was a total of 140,900 Kampucheans in holding centres at the end of 1980. Emergency assistance was provided and consisted of food, shelter, drainage, sanitation, water and medical services at four UNHCR-assisted temporary holding centres situated near the Thai-Kampuchean border. Owing to the emergency nature of the programme for the Kampucheans, UNHCR was obliged to assume some direct operational responsibilities to supplement the services provided by the Joint Operation Centre of the Supreme Command. At the same time a programme of longer-term assistance was initiated, providing for the construction of durable facilities at five holding centres and the improvement of the facilities at one temporary holding centre in order to meet the exigencies of the rainy season and to improve the provision of essential services. The new facilities were completed by September 1980, allowing a redistribution of population which served to relieve overcrowding of the camps.

302. Total obligations under General Programmes in 1980 amounted to $31,758,600, of which $21,418,000 were for assistance projects and $9,753,800 for resettlement. Under Special Programmes, a total amount of $65,696,425 was obligated, of which $63,670,069 were for assistance to Kampuchean refugees and $1,730,900 were for the language training and cultural orientation programme.

13. Viet Nam

303. The UNHCR assistance programme in 1980 for Kampuchean refugees was directed towards promotion of durable solutions for them. At the end of 1979 the number of Kampuchean refugees remaining in Viet Nam was estimated by the Government to be 35,000. A self-sufficiency project for these refugees was begun in mid-1980. Resettlement opportunities in 14 countries were secured for 1,862 of them. Moreover, UNHCR also arranged for the legal departure of Vietnamese nationals for third countries under the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 30 May 1979 between the Government of Viet Nam and UNHCR on the Programme of Orderly Departure from Viet Nam of persons for reasons of family reunion and other humanitarian cases.

304. The UNHCR contribution to the self-sufficiency programme included assistance in the sectors of food, housing, health, education, transport and agriculture. Estimated to cost $10,258,000 for 1980, the programme was funded partly from General Programmes and partly from Special Programmes. A variety of measures was financed, including food, items of basic necessities, medicines, ambulances, educational material, school furniture, agricultural machinery and utensils, seeds, fertilizers, insecticides and transport. In addition, donations in kind were made available.

305. While continuing to promote self-sufficiency for Kampuchean refugees in Viet Nam, UNHCR sought resettlement opportunities for those who qualified for resettlement abroad and for whom other durable solutions were not feasible.

306. An amount of $1,297,000 was obligated in 1980 under General Programmes for resettlement of Kampucheans.

307. Substantial progress was made, particularly towards the end of the year, in implementing the Programme for Orderly Departure of Vietnamese from Viet Nam directly for countries of new residence. In 1980, 4,706 Vietnamese left Viet Nam for 27 countries within the framework of the Orderly Departure Programme; of these, 772 left in December for the United States. UNHCR was involved in facilitating the departure of virtually all of these persons in such diverse ways as providing assistance in transportation, transmitting travel documents, arranging processing by receiving country representatives and assistance in such processing, arranging for medical examinations, etc. A large number of places (more than 25,000) remain available in over 25 countries for the resettlement of persons at present in Viet Nam.

308. A total amount of $927,177 was obligated in 1980 for the Orderly Departure Programme. Total UNHCR obligations in 1980 amounted to $11,287,657, of which $3,426,510 under General Programmes and $7,861,140 under Special Programmes.

14. Western Asia

309. This section concerns Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United Arab Emirates. The number of refugees in the region is estimated to be as high as 150,000.

310. Activities on behalf of refugees continued to be coordinated by the UNHCR Regional Office, Beirut, mainly and increasingly in co-ordination with UNDP. Developments in the region and adjoining countries not only led to a greater number of refugees needing attention but equally reduced work and resettlement opportunities for refugees in the various countries of the area.

311. An amount of $108,300 was obligated for assistance to refugees in Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and the United Arab Emirates. Local settlement aid provided refugees with a wide range of basic needs, from supplementary assistance to primary education to meeting the costs of specialized medical care. Beneficiaries included Uganda Asian children in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where some Zanzibaris also received aid, Eastern Europeans in the Syrian Arab Republic and Ethiopians in Jordan. Other funds were made available for the promotion of resettlement opportunities in the area.

312. Total UNHCR obligations in 1980 amounted to $187,250, of which $108,300 from General Programmes and $78,950, from Special Programmes.

15. Other countries or areas in Asia

313. In the Republic of Korea, a total of 19 Indo-Chinese arrived by boat and 97 departed for permanent resettlement in third countries. The caseload at the end of the year stood at 93. As in past few years, the Government of the Republic of Korea granted temporary asylum to the Indo-Chinese refugees who were rescued by Korean or other vessels calling at ports in the Republic. The UNDP office in Seoul notified UNHCR of boats arriving with Indo-Chinese refugees and assisted in obtaining landing rights for them.

314. Once the refugees disembarked in the Republic of Korea, they were accommodated in a refugee centre in Pusan City built by the Government in 1977 and administered by the National Red Cross. At the Pusan Refugee Centre, the refugees received board, lodging, medical care, clothing and assistance with pre-departure formalities to resettlement countries. UNHCR obligated, under General Programmes, a total amount of $174,274 for care and maintenance assistance for 1980. The Government of the Republic of Korea also provided a monthly subsidy of $13.40 per capita towards the care and maintenance of the refugees.

315. In Macao, the Vietnamese refugee caseload was 3,487 at the beginning of 1980. The influx continued throughout the year with total arrivals numbering 2,270 while departures for permanent resettlement were 3,007. Because of the increasing caseload, a UNHCR Liaison Officer was posted in Macao.

316. The Vietnamese refugees who arrived by boat in Macao first stayed in the dockyard for the purpose of registration, medical examinations etc. for a period of approximately 24 to 48 hours before being transferred to one of three refugee centres. There they were provided with temporary shelter, food, household equipment, relief supplies and local transportation facilities. Children received primary education and adults, vocational and language training. An agreement was signed between UNHCR and the Catholic Relief Services in Macao whereby UNHCR financed care and maintenance for the refugees, as well as the administrative support for personnel and office expenses of the Catholic Relief Services, who administered the centres.

317. UNHCR obligated a total amount of $3,351.,658 under General Programmes in 1980 for care and maintenance assistance measures and $16,696 under Special Programmes.

318. In Papua New Guinea, the current number of refugees from Irian Jaya, Indonesia, is estimated at 1,000. Some 200 refugees in need of assistance have received aid from UNHCR in the form of food, domestic items, medical and welfare services, electricity and water as well as transportation facilities. The UNHCR programme. was implemented by the UNDP office at Port Moresby under a tripartite agreement between UNHCR, UNDP and the Papua New Guinea Government.

319. In addition to $4,388 obligated from the over-all allocation for resettlement, total obligations in Papua New Guinea in 1980 amounted to $227,188 under General Programmes.


A. Assistance in various countries

320. The over-all number of refugees in Europe increased in 1980, reaching 580,000 as at 31 December, with naturalizations, voluntary repatriation and resettlement more than offset by new arrivals. Over 170,000 persons asked for recognition as refugees in the course of the year, an average increase of 72 per cent over 1979. Various Governments took legal and administrative measures to streamline their asylum procedures with a view to discouraging economically-motivated asylum requests.

321. UNHCR continued to count on significant financial and administrative support from European Governments. Some traditional host countries made an effort to accept larger numbers of asylum seekers. National non-governmental and semi-private agencies again played an important role in the long-standing tripartite sharing of responsibilities between voluntary agencies, UNHCR and Governments.

322. Great efforts were made to assist refugees to cope with their new - and often radically different - environments, against a background of economic difficulties which prevailed in many countries. Problems of language and cultural adaptation were often compounded by persistent high levels of unemployment. This situation necessitated somewhat longer periods of care and maintenance assistance in certain cases. Programmes in the fields of counselling, job and language training and legal assistance, designed to mitigate the effects of these problems, were carried out. Some of these programmes were initiated by Governments, in co-operation with UNHCR.

323. Elderly and handicapped refugees continued to benefit from assistance measures directed to their special needs, including annuities, specialized or institutional medical care, placement in homes for the aged and housing subsidies. Most of these programmes were executed by voluntary agencies.

324. During 1980, over 30,000 Indo-Chinese refugees arrived in Europe under country quotas, the main receiving countries being Austria (1,000), Belgium (1,000), France (12,000), the Federal Republic of Germany (5,000), the Netherlands (2,000), Switzerland (3,000) and the United Kingdom (7,000). Since 1975, a total of 127,000 Indo-Chinese has been resettled in Europe, mostly in France (88,000), the Federal Republic of Germany (17,763) and the United Kingdom (14,000). Once again, UNHCR co-operated with Governments and voluntary agencies to ensure that appropriate programmes were carried out with a view to facilitating the integration of these refugees.

325. The total refugee population in Spain as at 31 December 1980 was 21,500 persons, the majority of whom were, as in previous years, of Latin American origin. During the reporting period, Spain also received some 1,000 refugees and displaced persons from South-East Asia (Lao and Vietnamese), all of whom have now left the reception centres and are in the process of settling down in various provinces of the country. In 1980, the number of persons in transit in Spain requiring UNHCR assistance was notably higher than in previous years. Most of this group came from the Caribbean area, others from the Middle-East, several African countries and Eastern Europe. Pending the promulgation of legislation defining the procedure for determining refugee status, the Ministerial Order of 16 May 1979 remains the basis for the granting of asylum in Spain.

326. During the reporting period, legislation concerning the right of asylum and the determination of refugee status was adopted in Portugal. As at 31 December 1980, there were still about 7,500 displaced persons from Africa in Portugal, and 100 refugees of Latin American, mainly Chilean, origin. Refugees received local integration assistance to promote their self-sufficiency, including help with setting up small businesses and purchasing equipment for workshops, vocational and professional training, counselling, legal assistance and supplementary aid. Twenty-two refugees were repatriated with UNHCR assistance.

327. Total obligations in 1980 for UNHCR activities in various European countries (excluding Cyprus) amounted to $8 million.

B. United Nations humanitarian assistance for Cyprus

328. At the request of the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner continued throughout 1980 to act as Co-ordinator of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance in favour of the persons displaced in Cyprus following the events of 1974.

329. With the continued help of the United Nations Peace-, Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and with the co-operation of WHO, UNHCR continued to provide medical supplies and equipment. As previously, special attention was given to the provision of permanent shelter and the needs of the young, the handicapped and the elderly.

330. At the request of the Government of Cyprus, a number of contributions were channelled through UNHCR to finance the United Nations programme which to date has received contributions of $131 million, including contributions in kind. Total obligations for 1980 amounted to $15,240,223, mainly for the construction of permanent shelter ($7,927,760).

331. Additional information concerning the humanitarian activities carried out by the United Nations in Cyprus in the course of 1980 may be found in the relevant chapters of the progress reports submitted by the Secretary-General to the Security Council in the months of June 1980 (S/13972 and Add.1) and December 1980 (S/14275).


332. In accordance with the usual practice, the UNHCR representative for Australia and New Zealand, posted in Sydney, also represented UNICEF and the United Nations Information Centre. The Joint Representative maintained close contacts with the Australian and New Zealand authorities as well as with non-governmental organizations concerned with refugee matters; discussions continued with the Governments of Fiji, Western Samoa, Nauru and Tonga. The Office also facilitated the repatriation of refugees to Zimbabwe and to Uganda and intervened on behalf of a number of individual cases of family reunion of Afghan refugees. Special emphasis was laid in 1980 on the promotion of refugee law and the issue of Convention travel documents.

333. During 1980 the Government of Australia accepted for resettlement a total of 15,404 refugees and displaced persons from South-East Asia, 12,604 of whom were "boat people". Several thousand other refugees from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa were also resettled in Australia. New Zealand received 1,816 Indo-Chinese refugees and displaced persons, 1,266 of whom were "boat people".

334. A total of $257,570 was obligated in 1980 from General Programmes, including assistance towards local integration and resettlement and supplementary aid.


A. Counselling

335. The counselling services provided by UNHCR to refugees and displaced persons have been essential in facilitating the difficult transitions faced by the uprooted. The professional staff dealt with a range of demands which varied with the particular needs of the caseload and with the availability of existing facilities in the countries of asylum. In general, counselling involved providing direct services to refugees, including interviews, assessment and documentation of needs and promotion of durable solutions.

336. An increasing scarcity of opportunities and resources available for the promotion of durable solutions in the countries of asylum together with rising caseloads have required the counselling services to assume an approach more oriented toward community development and organization, particularly in Africa. Social workers were also encouraged to assist refugees by mobilizing local resources, including information and assistance for educational placements, employment and self-employment opportunities. The counselling staff continued to work on an individual basis, however, providing professional guidance to refugees suffering from the effects of cultural dislocation, persecution, imprisonment and torture.

337. In 1980, there were counselling projects in some 40 countries in Africa, Western Asia, Latin America and Europe. The largest number of projects - in keeping with the size of the caseload - was in Africa. Two social service specialists were appointed in Nigeria and in Sierra Leone respectively to help meet the needs of the growing number of urban refugees.

338. To maintain the high professional quality of the counselling staff, training workshops and seminars were held both at headquarters and in the field during the reporting period. It is planned to continue these exchanges as a means of encouraging communication of experiences and ideas on the integration problems of different caseloads.

B. Education

339. During 1980 UNHCR continued to provide educational assistance to refugees. The figures given below reflect scholarship assistance to refugees at the secondary and tertiary level. It should be noted, however, that over and above these efforts, refugee children were offered primary education, usually in the settlements in which they were established or in the camps/centres where they were awaiting resettlement.

340. During the academic year 1979/1980 a total of 4,750 refugee students were assisted by UNHCR to pursue their studies at the post-primary level, an increase of 6 per cent over the previous academic year. The majority of these refugees were helped to pursue secondary school studies, and refugees in Africa again received the highest percentage of educational assistance. The programme was geared to meeting the needs of refugee students who could benefit from further training and the manpower requirements in the regions in which they found themselves.

341. Counselling services to refugees have emphasized the importance of selecting fields of training in which vocational skills in rare supply can be acquired and self-sufficiency attained within reasonable periods of time. This effort has resulted in an increase in the number of refugees receiving vocational training from 7.5 per cent of the total number assisted by UNHCR in 1966 to 29 percent of those assisted in 1979/1980. In real terms, this figure rose from fewer than 80 to more than 1,100.

342. In view of the fact that a number of organizations as well as the United Nations Education and Training Programme for Southern Africa (UNETPSA) cater to the needs of refugees seeking education beyond the secondary level, the UNHCR programme during the academic year 1979/1980 assisted some 430 refugees to pursue post-secondary studies. The field of study which the students planned to pursue was a major consideration in granting educational assistance. Emphasis was placed on training which would be responsive to manpower needs in the area where the refugees were likely to seek employment. The UNETPSA fellowship programme for the year 1979/1980 assisted 1,428 refugee students. The subjects pursued by these students were guided by the "priority list of studies" established by the OAU/ECA.

343. UNHCR continues to benefit from the collaboration of UNESCO, which has seconded experts to UNHCR and has made available consultants for the planning and implementation of refugee education projects, both at UNHCR headquarters and in the field.

C. Resettlement

344. During 1980, resettlement opportunities were offered by some 30 countries willing to admit refugees permanently. However, the influx of refugees in need of resettlement in various countries of first asylum in Africa, Europe, Latin America and South-East Asia called for a continued and sustained effort on their behalf.

345. The resettlement caseload in Africa, though relatively small compared to other regions in the world, grew noticeably in 1980 as a result of events in the Horn of Africa and continued uncertainty in southern Africa. Many hundreds of refugees of urban origin arrived in such cities as Djibouti, Cairo, Nairobi and Khartoum, placing a severe strain on local resources. It was estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 urban refugees in various parts of Africa needed to be resettled elsewhere, either within the African continent or outside; this does not include the refugee students on whose behalf UNHCR seeks educational placement opportunities. In line with recommendations adopted by the Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa held in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania in May 1979, a high-level delegation of the OAU Commission of Fifteen undertook missions to selected African countries with a view to promoting the principle of "burden-sharing". In cases where there was no possibility of absorption within Africa, several resettlement countries outside the continent have agreed to accept a limited number of refugees for permanent resettlement.

346. The situation of Indo-Chinese refugees improved considerably in 1980. More than 260,000 persons were resettled during the course of the year from camps in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macao, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. At the end of 1980, 55,202 "boat people" remained in countries of first asylum while 113,086 land cases, mostly Lao, awaited durable solutions. Of the some 135,000 Kampucheans who arrived in Thailand during 1979 and who were accommodated in UNHCR holding centres, 14,420 persons were helped to join relatives in third countries. UNHCR paid particular attention to the most vulnerable groups, such as the handicapped and unaccompanied minors. Special efforts were made either to trace relatives of the latter group or, where appropriate, to facilitate their resettlement.

347. A number of countries were particularly helpful in contributing resettlement places to a "rescue-at-sea reserve" to permit the prompt disembarkation of refugees rescued at sea by ships flying flags of convenience or flags of States unable to provide resettlement guarantees. During the course of 1980, some 15,400 persons were rescued at sea by over 200 merchant ships. Following discussions with a number of Governments a resettlement reserve of 1,040 places contributed by seven nations was placed at the disposal of UNHCR.

348. The Orderly Departure Programme from Viet Nam continued to receive particular attention during the period under review. Over 4,700 persons departed Viet Nam for various countries of new residence in 1980, while efforts continued to be made to permit the establishment of legal departures on a continuing basis.

349. In order to prepare refugees for final resettlement, a comprehensive programme of language training and orientation has been drawn up in consultation with concerned Governments and voluntary agencies and is being implemented in various countries of southern Asia. This programme consists of regular language training for all refugees awaiting resettlement and intensive language training and orientation for those proceeding to the United States.

350. As in previous years, the situation in Latin America required close attention to ensure that the influx of refugees was balanced by a proportionate level of resettlement. Refugees continued to be registered for resettlement in such countries as Argentina and Brazil, along with small numbers in Peru. Particular efforts were made to secure permanent resettlement opportunities to refugees granted temporary asylum in Brazil. During the course of 1980, 1,157 persons were resettled from Latin America to some 20 countries, bringing the total number of persons resettled since 1973 to 26,300 persons, including family-reunion cases from Chile.

351. About 125,000 persons left Cuba during the first quarter of 1980, of whom the vast majority reached the United States by boat with smaller numbers travelling by plane to Costa Rica, Peru and Spain. At the request of the Governments concerned, the High Commissioner agreed to assist in the resettlement of those who needed to be resettled elsewhere, particularly those with family members abroad. UNHCR staff members were also assigned to reception centres to process resettlement applications.

352. In Europe, a number of refugees, including the physically and mentally handicapped, did not meet selection criteria and were exposed to extended waiting periods. Measures have been taken to promote their resettlement within the framework of special schemes.

353. Many countries of Western Europe have experienced an unusually high influx of spontaneous arrivals, many of them from the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan. The host Governments have offered permanent settlement to a number of these persons, while others have found their way to other countries or have returned to their countries of first asylum.

354. Following a recommendation of the UNHCR Workshop on Integration of Refugees from Indo-China, endorsed by the 1980 Executive Committee, a tripartite working group of the Intergovernmental Committee on Migration, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies and UNHCR has been set up and has agreed to establish a tripartite resource centre under the aegis of the three organizations to facilitate the sharing of resource materials, data and information on resettlement and integration.

355. UNHCR expenditure for resettlement in 1980, mostly for the transportation of refugees arranged by ICM, amounted to some $23 million. These funds were also used to finance the registration of refugees, the construction of a transit centre near Bangkok, provision of documentation, medical examinations and other related expenses. Special contributions by the United States Government have made available a total of $16.4 million to be used to provide intensive language training and cultural orientation to Indo-Chinese refugees.

D. Assistance to handicapped refugees

356. In 1980 over 200 refugees benefited from the over-all project for the treatment and rehabilitation of handicapped refugees. As in past years assistance measures included special medical and psychiatric treatment of refugees in their countries of asylum and, whenever required, movement to a country where the necessary medical and rehabilitation services were available. Specific services rendered included surgery, provision of orthopaedic aids, physiotherapy and psychological treatment for refugees with behavioural problems. Throughout the year, increasing emphasis was placed on ensuring that aid, rehabilitation and social welfare schemes in countries of asylum were made available to handicapped refugees on the same basis as to nationals. To this end UNHCR collaborated with governmental and non-governmental agencies to ensure that an appropriate medical diagnosis was obtained and that the treatment and rehabilitation plans considered necessary for each case were implemented.

357. Special country projects were developed and implemented in Spain and Venezuela for groups of psychologically handicapped refugees suffering from the effects of specific traumatic experiences and of dislocation in general. Both projects utilized a professional team of social workers, medical doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists using individual and group approaches to psychotherapy and social rehabilitation.

358. Several hundred physically and socially handicapped refugees were resettled with their families through normal procedures and special operations in Africa, South-East Asia, Europe and Latin America; some 20 other severely handicapped refugees were resettled in 1980 in countries participating in the "Ten or More Plan" (commitment to accept 10 handicapped refugees a year) and in other countries with special schemes for handicapped refugees.

359. In 1980, a total of $240,552 was obligated under the UNHCR Project for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of the Handicapped. A larger number of beneficiaries coupled with the greatly increased cost of treatment were responsible for the increased expenditure over the previous year.


A. Co-operation between UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Nations system

360. Co-operation between UNHCR and other agencies within the United Nations system took several forms during the reporting period, including direct participation and involvement of other agencies in UNHCR assistance programmes, provision by other agencies of technical advice, attendance by UNHCR at meetings of other United Nations bodies to increase their awareness of refugee situations and to assess their potential for assistance, and UNHCR participation in interagency missions, notably to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Sudan, to help assess the magnitude and scope of refugee problems and the assistance measures required. The Office participated in the meetings of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC) and its subsidiary organs and meetings of the governing bodies of several United Nations agencies and programmes.

361. The World Food Programme (WFP) continued to provide basic food needs for large refugee populations in Africa and Asia and also served as a major channel for bilateral contributions. For some major relief operations, such as Pakistan, Somalia and Thailand, WFP assumed the role of food aid coordinator and shared with the respective Government and UNHCR the responsibility for its distribution. It also continued to provide substantial food aid to settlements geared toward promoting the local integration of refugees. In addition to its more than 20 current projects in 14 African countries, WFP has handled food relief for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Kampucheans in Thailand and has provided assistance in China for refugees accepted for resettlement there. In Central America, WFP assistance has been mainly directed towards assisting Salvadorian refugees in Honduras.

362. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) increased its refugee-related activities during 1980. Refugees in Pakistan received drinking water through a UNICEF-sponsored project, and in Somalia, a similar project, funded by UNHCR, was implemented by UNICEF. In most of the countries with large refugee populations, UNICEF has donated a wide range of supplies to refugee groups. In Somalia, UNICEF is also involved in community development work, has sponsored a programme for training community health workers, has carried out adult literacy programmes and set up day care centres for refugees. In conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF has coordinated the relief efforts in Kampuchea, in close co-operation with UNHCR. In a number of refugee situations, UNICEF has provided expert advice and materials relating to nutritional problems, vaccination campaigns, educational and health needs in response to requests from UNHCR.

363. UNHCR has continued to receive the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) particularly in those countries where UNHCR is not represented. UNDP Resident Representatives have visited UNHCR Headquarters to discuss opportunities for co-ordination and co-operation. UNDP has been working in conjunction with UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF in Uganda where relief efforts are aimed at internally displaced persons as well as returnees. Thirty-seven United Nations Volunteers worked with UNHCR in 1980 in the assistance programmes for Indo-Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Some Chadian students living outside their country, including refugees, have benefited from UNDP material assistance.

364. The guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO) was sought in monitoring health programmes in countries with large refugee populations. In Indonesia, a WHO doctor was attached for a short period during 1980 to UNHCR, and in both Somalia and Thailand senior health coordinators have been seconded to the UNHCR offices. WHO assistance helped with a cholera prevention campaign in the United Republic of Cameroon, and in Somalia a WHO officer played an active role at an early stage in the development of the refugee community health programme. Technical advice has continuously been solicited from WHO with respect to the medical needs of refugees, particularly in emergency situations; the UNHCR Emergency Unit is working in conjunction with WHO to compile standard lists of medicines and medical equipment in such situations.

365. Co-operation with other agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator, continued, as did consultations with the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organizations in connexion with the rescue of persons on the high seas. The assistance of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and of the United Nations Environment Programme has been valuable in selecting suitable sites for refugee settlements. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has collaborated with UNHCR in setting up appropriate training programmes and self-help schemes for refugees while the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has lent its expertise to planning educational programmes, notably in Zaire and Zambia. UNESCO associate experts were posted to the UNHCR Regional Offices in Dakar and Nairobi for this purpose.

366. In accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions, the United Nations Education and Training Programme for Southern Africa (UNETPSA) has continued to provide scholarships to student refugees from South Africa; UNHCR has also administered assistance programmes financed by the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa.

367. In addition to co-operating with or consulting a large number of organizations of the United Nations system, UNHCR has participated in discussions with various United Nations organs18 on the strengthening of the capacity of the United Nations system for responding to emergencies.

B. Relations with other intergovernmental organizations

368. The period covered by this report saw a further intensification of the already close co-operation between the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and UNHCR. The High Commissioner attended the seventeenth OAU Summit in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in July 1980. Similarly, the OAU was represented as an observer at the thirty-first session of the Executive Committee in October 1980. Joint OAU-UNHCR activities were undertaken as a follow-up to the recommendations of the Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa held at Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, in May 1979. Moreover, OAU and UNHCR maintained close contacts in the context of preparations for the International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa.

369. The traditional exchange of views and close relations with the Council of Europe, particularly in the field of protection, has been maintained. New links were established with the European Resettlement Fund to ensure further assistance to European countries which accept large numbers of refugees without drawing on UNHCR resources.

370. Relations with the Intergovernmental Committee for Migration (ICM) continued to be of utmost value, especially in the field of arranging transportation for the resettlement of Indo-Chinese and Latin American refugees.

371. Renewed contacts were undertaken with the Organization of American States. Reference has already been made to the adoption under the auspices of the OAS of the Inter-American Convention on Extradition, which excludes the extradition of a refugee to a country where he may have reason to fear persecution (see para. 71 above).

372. The High Commissioner attended the Conference of Heads of Islamic States held in Taif, Saudi Arabia, in January 1981. Contacts were maintained with the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, with both organizations attending the thirtieth session of the UNHCR Executive Committee in October 1980. Moreover, UNHCR attended, as observer, a number of meetings held by Islamic States including the second Conference of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Islamic States held in May 1980 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Co-operation with the European Community

373. The European Community has again shown considerable interest in international humanitarian work. This is reflected in the number of resolutions passed through the European Parliament on humanitarian issues and the considerably increased contributions to UNHCR programmes. During 1980, the European Community doubled its over-all assistance to UNHCR with particular emphasis on the situations in Democratic Kampuchea, Pakistan, Somalia, the Sudan and Zimbabwe. A total of some $83 million has been received, of which some $23 million in the form of food contributions.

374. UNHCR participates, along with the 10 member countries of the European Community, in the co-ordination meetings on major humanitarian matters which are held in Brussels.

C. Co-operation with liberation movements

375. Pursuant to the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, UNHCR continued to maintain close working relations with liberation movements recognized by the OAU and the United Nations. The African National Congress, the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania, and the South West African People's Organization attended the thirty-first session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme as observers.

D. Relations between UNHCR and non-governmental organizations (voluntary agencies)

376. With the steady expansion of refugee problems, the activities of the voluntary agencies have increased considerably within the traditional framework of their partnership with UNHCR.

377. The Office has working relations with over 200 voluntary agencies, whose support constitutes a vital factor in numerous refugee operation's. The resources of the agencies in terms of providing funds, expert personnel, sponsorship of refugees for resettlement, arousing community conscience through publicizing the plight of refugees and serving as operational partners in implementing UNHCR programmes form an indispensable component in the world-wide tasks that face UNHCR.

378. The expertise of the voluntary agencies has been increasingly drawn upon, particularly in emergency situations where they have been called on to provide, often at very short notice, medical personnel, agronomists, construction engineers, language training teachers, counsellors and other skilled personnel. The most striking examples are probably in Thailand, where 52 voluntary agencies are working, and in Somalia, where 27 agencies with a total staff of nearly 260 are entrusted with carrying out operations in the field under the over - all co-ordination of UNHCR.

379. Co-ordination and consultation with the voluntary agencies are the primary responsibilities of the Section for Liaison with Non-governmental Organizations, which arranges briefing sessions and seminars and ensures that the Office is represented at all the major meetings of the agencies. This task has been greatly facilitated by the increasing number of umbrella organizations that have been set up to harness the resources of the agencies in a particular region. The principal coordinator remains the International Council of Voluntary Agencies in Geneva, with which the Office is in continuous contact. In other countries some of the principal umbrella groups are the Standing Conference on Refugees in the United Kingdom, the Standing Conference of Canadian Organizations Concerned for Refugees in Canada, the Committee for Co-ordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand, Australians Care for Refugees in Australia, the American Council of Voluntary Agencies in the United States and the various Nordic bodies such as the Danish Refugee Council, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Rädda Barnen in Sweden.

380. A major role continues to be played by the League of Red Cross Societies, which is very much involved in refugee problems, particularly in South-East Asia and Africa. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) carries out important operations, particularly in situations of civil conflict, and has implemented relief programmes, notably in the border zone of Thailand, as well as developing its traditional function of tracing, which has led to the reunion of many thousands of dispersed families. The financial input of the League and ICRC in refugee problems runs into millions of dollars.

381. The total financial contributions of the voluntary agencies to various UNHCR programmes, excluding the provision of commodities and expert personnel, reached a record figure of $23,595,000 in 1980.

E. United Nations Decade for Women

382. UNHCR was represented at the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, which took place from 14 to 30 July 1980 in Copenhagen. In addition to the document, entitled "The Situation of Refugee Women"' (A/CONF.94/24), which had been prepared prior to the meeting in accordance with General Assembly resolution 34/161 of 17 December 1979, a fund-raising and public information effort organized by the Office at the Conference itself was well received. Wide coverage of the UNHCR presence was given by the international media.

383. In the speech before the second committee of the Conference, the, representative of UNHCR stressed the commitment of the Office to provide protection and assistance to all refugee groups, pointing out, however, that women and girls are recognized as a vulnerable group, and as such are the subject of Special programmes which seek to render less arduous the particularly difficult situations of women who are refugees.

384. The Conference adopted two resolutions on the situation of women re and displaced women and a third on Sahrawi women.19 The High Commissioner distributed the texts of these resolutions to his staff, asking them to keep in mind the special needs of refugee women within the context of assistance to all refugee groups.

F. International Year of Disabled Persons

385. UNHCR participated in interagency consultations on the International Year during 1980. In preparation for the Year, UNHCR has undertaken a survey to determine the number of refugees suffering from physical, mental and social handicaps, the kinds of treatment, training and rehabilitation facilities available for the handicapped in asylum countries; which voluntary agencies are interested and active in assisting the handicapped: and the accessibility of necessary facilities to needy refugees. The facts and recommendations emerging from this survey will form the basis for promoting special measures on behalf of handicapped refugees. UNHCR is also co-producing a film with Swiss television for international distribution depicting the conditions of and potential for rehabilitation of handicapped refugees. A series of articles in the UNHCR tabloid on the situation of handicapped refugees is planned.

G. World Assembly on Aging, 1982

386. The Office has also been actively involved in preparations for the World Assembly on Aging by participating in consultations and gathering data on the number and needs of elderly refugees. It is hoped that services can be expanded to meet the needs of this heretofore relatively neglected group. Nansen Medal Award

387. The Nansen Medal for 1980 was presented to Mrs. Maryluz Schloeter Paredes, Director - General of the Venezuelan Commission of the International Social Service, in recognition of outstanding services rendered to the cause of refugees in Venezuela, a country known for its generous asylum policy. Mrs. Schloeter Paredes distinguished herself especially through her imaginative approach to the problems of refugee children and of the aged.

388. In awarding the Nansen Medal to Mrs. Schloeter Paredes, the Committee also honoured the International Social Service, which has been the operational partner of UNHCR in Venezuela for a number of years.

389. The monetary prize of $50,000 which accompanies the award Will be used to fund a special project drawn up by Mrs. Schloeter Paredes on behalf of young refugee children and their mothers in Venezuela.


390. The dramatic increase in numbers and needs of refugees which took place in 1979 continued throughout 1980 with additional or emergency needs occurring in three major areas: Pakistan, Somalia and the United Republic of Cameroon. In 1980, the needs of refugees in these three countries alone amounted to $110 million, excluding basic food. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its thirty-first session in October 1980 approved an increase in the 1980 General Programmes target from $233,895,000 to $299,106,400. The international community responded to the needs with generosity and the Programmes for 1980 were fully financed. Continuing the welcome trend of previous years, non-governmental organizations increased their direct contributions towards all programmes of UNHCR from $17 million in 1979 to $23.5 million in 1980.

391. During 1980, the High Commissioner was obliged to launch a number of appeals for additional funds for Special Programmes. Given the unpredictability of refugee situations, it is inevitable that urgent needs requiring further appeals will occur during any given year. In 1980, needs were considerable both in the number of situations and in the volume of financial requirements. Appeals were launched for the repatriation of Zimbabwean refugees, the needs of Afghan refugees in Pakistan (the target for which had to be revised upwards in a further appeal later in the year), humanitarian assistance to returned refugees and displaced persons in Zimbabwe, Chad refugees in the United Republic of Cameroon, returnees to Ethiopia and returnees to Kampuchea. Due to the generosity of the international community, the additional resources appealed for were funded almost in full.

392. Total expenditures by UNHCR in 1980, under both General and Special Programmes, amounted to $497 million.

393. At its thirty-first session, the Executive Committee approved a target of .$334,995,000 for General Programmes in 1981, in view both of the increased requirements in Africa (where emergency or expanded needs continue to occur at the same time that UNHCR is pursuing the achievement of self-sufficiency or durable solutions by refugees) and the continuing needs in South-Past Asia, which remain at a considerable level even when consolidation and reduced caseloads have been taken into account. This target, together with requirements anticipated under currently identified Special Programmes, implies that, as far as can be estimated at the present time, some $450 million may be required from voluntary contributions during 1981. Total contributions in 1981 for both General and Special Programmes as of 31 March 1981 amounted to some $149.4 million.

394. Table 3 of annex II shows contributions to UNHCR General and Special Programmes for the years 1980 and 1981, which were paid or pledged as of 31 March 1981.

395. The High Commissioner is fully aware of the considerable volume of financial resources he is obliged to request from the international community and of the budgetary problems caused by additional special appeals. The response to identified refugee needs has been, in most cases, both prompt and generous. The High Commissioner depends on donors to maintain such understanding and generosity so that refugees may be assisted to the extend necessary and in a balanced and effective manner.


396. UNHCR continued to receive a high degree of attention from the media in 1980. World - wide publicity was given by the media to refugee questions on all continents, focusing particularly on refugees and displaced people in South-East Asia, but also taking note of new and pressing developments in the Horn of Africa and Pakistan. The Public Information Section continued to supply an increasing amount of information and material to newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and freelance journalists interested in UNHCR activities around the world.

397. Public Information sought to place the issue of refugees before the international conscience in essentially two ways: through the production and distribution of its own information material and through direct co-operation with existing sources and organs of information.

398. The bimonthly tabloid publication "News from UNHCR" was published regularly in English and French during 1980. A special issue on refugee women was published in June, to coincide with the international conference held in Copenhagen to mark the mid - point of the United Nations Decade for Women. Among other highlights in this publication was the inclusion of a selected bibliography on refugees in the October issue and a supplement on UNHCR and voluntary agencies in the December issue. Special editions of "News from UNHCR" were prepared in Arabic, Spanish and German.

399. Other UNHCR publications continued, ranging from press releases to the fortnightly fact sheet "Refugee Update", which regularly supplied journalists and other interested parties with up-to-date information on continuing developments. A review of UNHCR activities in the 1970s, entitled "UNHCR; The Last Ten Years" was published to mark the beginning of the new decade. Special information sheets on selected refugee situations were also produced. During 1980, the demand for UNHCR publications grew enormously, necessitating a significant extension of the mailing list and the drawing up of plans to computerize the distribution system.

400. In addition to written publications, the UNHCR photo-library distributed 25,000 photographs in the course of 1980, doubling its output for the previous year. As the demand for photographs increased, a new system was evolved featuring the automatic distribution of photo- and slide-sets on current refugee problems to voluntary agencies, media representatives and UNHCR Branch Offices. Twenty-four photo exhibitions were organized in various parts of the world.

401. The film department produced and distributed four refugee films in 1980: on "Refugee Women", on refugee children in South-East Asia ("Only When it Rains"), on the largest refugee camp in Thailand, Khao-i-Dang ("Bamboo City") and on UNHCR assistance to refugees in the last decade ("Not in Vain"). In addition, a brief introduction to UNHCR activities, in the form of a filmed television spot, was made, interspersing an interview with the High Commissioner by Peter Ustinov with footage on UNHCR operations in various countries. Towards the end of the year, film crews sponsored by UNHCR had begun work on three films scheduled for completion in the first half of 1981, including "Zimbabwe: From Swords to Ploughshares", recounting the story of former Zimbabwean refugees now being rehabilitated in their homeland.

402. UNHCR also increased its output of radio programmes, producing tapes on its own and in conjunction with other United Nations bodies for broadcast on United Nations radio and on numerous international outlets.

403. Public Information also aimed at assisting the world media to develop and sustain an interest in refugee problems. The Section kept in regular contact with the press, radio and television, while Public Information Officers maintained a network of contacts with the world media, responded to numerous enquiries and granted interviews to interested journalists. UNHCR Representatives continued to keep the press in their respective countries informed, and in a number of regions where media interest was high, Public Information Officers were appointed.

404. Requests from journalists and television crews for UNHCR assistance in reporting on various situations around the world continued to increase. Two itinerant journalists' seminars were organized to the Horn of Africa and to South-East Asia, each taking groups of over a dozen journalists from the major international media to examine the refugee situations in detail. A workshop for Central American journalists, convened in Costa Rica, served to enhance awareness and to augment support in the regional media for UNHCR work. Close collaboration with television stations has been increased and three co-productions on refugee themes were undertaken with French, German and Swiss television.

405. Public Information's long-standing co-operation with UNHCR voluntary agency partners continued to expand. Public Information materials in the form of films, photos, posters, printed materials, calendars and education kits were provided to voluntary agencies to support their fund-raising projects and information campaigns.. A Public Relations unit within the Public Information Section was created to focus on the areas of advocacy and public education, particularly in the context of fund-raising requirements. Multi-media education material on the themes of "refugee women" and "rural settlements in Africa" were distributed to non-governmental organizations and secondary schools.

406. UNHCR participated actively in the World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women in July 1980. The Public Information Section was represented at the journalists' encounter prior to the Conference, which enhanced media awareness of the needs of women refugees. A major 20-panel exhibit on the plight of refugee women attracted television and photographic attention. UNHCR launched a public relations/fund-raising campaign after the Conference, appealing to the community of non-governmental organizations to raise funds for refugee women.

407,. Co-operation continued with the United Nations Department of Public Information both in Geneva and New York, especially in the audio-visual field. UNHCR contributed to the financing, planning and preparation of a United Nations interagency film on African refugees, made early in 1981.

408. As 1980 drew to a close, Public Information's focus turned to the International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa. In addition to highlighting the needs of African refugees in the course of its routine activities, the Section was actively involved in early planning for the Conference. A Public Information Interagency Working Group was established in Geneva and co-operation with non-governmental organizations in the field of information on African refugees was also enhanced. During the last quarter of 1980, the groundwork was laid for the major Public Infomation effort launched in the first quarter of 1981.

(Note: Statistical and financial tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)

1 1 April 1980 to 31 Search 1981; except for statistical and financial data, most of which cover the calendar year 1980.

2 Resolutions 35/27 of 11 November 1980-, 35/37 of 20 November 1980-1 35/41 A and B and 35/42 of 25 November 1980: 35/92 B, 35/94 and 35/103 of 5 December 1980; 35/135 of 11 December 1980; and 35/130, 35/181, 35/182, 35/183, 35/184 and 35/187 of 15 December 1980.

3 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No 2454, p. 137.

4 Ibid., vol. 606, No. 8791, p.267.

5 See Report of the Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa, Arusha, United Republic of Tanyania, 7-17 May 1979 (REF/AR/CONF/RPt.1), abridged version issued as A/AC.96/INF.158.

6 Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-fifth Session, Supplement No, 12 A (A/35/128

7 Ibid., para. 48 (2) (b, d, e, f,).

8 Ibid., para. 48 (5) (d) (k-iv).

9 A/AC.96/INF.156, OP. CIT., PARA. 2(B), P. 11.

10 Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-second Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/32/12/Add.1), para. 53(6) (a-g).

11 A/AC.96/INF.158, OP. CIT., PARA. 6, P. 9.

12 See annex I to the present report for a table showing the status of accession to the relevant instruments.

13 Adopted by the General Assembly as the annex to resolution 428 (v) of 14 December 1950.

14 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 506, No. 7384, p. 125.

15 Ibid., vol. 360, no. 5158, p. 117.

16 A/AC.967 INF.148, OP. CIT., PARA. 5, PAGE 13.

17 Article 1 provides that "the term 'refugee' shall also apply to every person who, owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either part or the whole of his country of origin or nationality, is compelled to leave his place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside his country of origin or nationality".

18 Notably the Economic and Social Council and the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination.

19 Resolutions 12, 13 and 34 (A/CONF.94/34/Add.1).