Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
A/2902 and Add.1
United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Tenth Session
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.11 (A/2902 and Add.1)
1. In my report to the ninth session of the General Assembly1, I drew attention to the presence in Europe of a considerable number of refugees, including approximately 88,000 living in official camps, who had not been completely assimilated, to the continuing character of the emergency assistance problem, to the growing number of identifiable difficult cases and to the serious situation of some 14,000 refugees within my mandate in China who continue to be a matter of grave concern to my Office.
2. The General Assembly took cognizance of this situation in resolution 832 (IX) adopted on 21 October 1954, and authorized that a programme designed to achieve permanent solutions for refugees should be undertaken by my Office and that a new fund should be established for this purpose, incorporating the United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund, previously authorized in resolution 538 B (IV).
3. Considerable efforts have been directed by my Office towards the setting up of this new programme, the working out of detailed projects in consultation with Governments and organizations concerned with refugees, the obtaining of the necessary funds and the creation of suitable machinery for the implementation of the new programme, as laid down by resolution 832 (IX).
4. Pursuant to the terms of this resolution, my Advisory Committee, at its fifth session, determined an over-all target of $16 million for voluntary governmental contributions towards the new fund, with a target of $4,200,000 for 1955. In accordance with the Committee's advice, I submitted to the Economic and Social Council, at its nineteenth session, a proposal for the reconstitution of the Advisory Committee into an executive Committee with revised terms of reference and an enlarged composition. The Executive Committee which was set up by the Council will undoubtedly bring about a closer co-operation between Governments and my Office in the carrying out of the new programme.
5. During the period under review, steady progress has been made in the international protection of refugees, particularly through additional ratifications of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and through the adoption of favourable legal measures on behalf of refugees in various countries. Moreover, some of the most urgent emergency needs of refugees have been met.
6. The action taken by the General Assembly in respect of the programme for permanent solutions has given new hope to all those interested in the refugee problem. If the funds are forthcoming to meet the approved targets, there is a reasonable hope that the most difficult problem of the unassimilated refugees, namely that of the camp population, will be reduced during the remaining period of the mandate of my Office, thereby removing one of the most tragic legacies of the aftermath of the Second World War.
CHAPTER I GENERAL ACTIVITIES
A. Relations with specialized agencies of the United Nations, inter-governmental organizations, the United States Escapee Programme and voluntary agencies
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION
7. My Office has continued to participate in the work of the Technical Working Group on Migration, sponsored jointly by the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation, in connexion with the co-ordination of migration programmes and such special problems as assistance to migrants in the professional categories, My Office has also been represented at meetings convened by ILO on questions of land settlement in Latin America.
UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANISATION
8. An agreement was reached between my Office and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in January 1955 designed to assist refugees in the professional categories to establish their academic qualifications and to obtain suitable employment. A procedure for the submission and evaluation of certificates and diplomas held by refugees has been worked out, so that the academic validity and legal authenticity of such certificates and diplomas can be established. Furthermore, applications by refugees for vacant university and other teaching posts recorded by UNESCO will be dealt with by UNESCO's Exchange of Persons Service.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
9. My Office has continued to maintain cordial relations with the World Health Organization on matters of mutual interest. At my request, WHO arranged for a research team to make a survey of the mental health of refugee children in camps in Austria. At the time of writing, the report of the survey team was nearing completion. Advance information on the findings of the team indicates that camp life is having detrimental effects on the mental health of young people and that, in the opinion of the team, efforts should be made to dissolve the camps as soon as possible.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
10. A report on the activities of my Office, presented to the Council of Europe in May 1954, was discussed by the Committee on Population and Refugees in September 1954. Upon a recommendation unanimously adopted by the Committee, the Consultative Assembly, in its resolution No.55 adopted at its sixth session, welcomed the decision taken by the General Assembly of the United Nations to renew the mandate of my Office for a further period of five years, and expressed the hope that this period would suffice to find a permanent solution to the problems of refugees whose assimilation had not yet been achieved. The Consultative Assembly further expressed support for every effort made to raise new funds, and warmly welcomed the recommendation of the Government of the Netherlands to the Committee of Ministers to the effect that my programme for permanent solutions and emergency assistance should be supported by Member States of the Council of Europe. The Assembly also expressed its satisfaction at the coming into force of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
11. Exchanges of views on problems of mutual interest between Mr. Pierre Schneiter, Special Representative of the Council of Europe for National Refugees and Over-Population, and my Office have continued. Agreement was reached on the necessity to make a co-ordinated effort for the re-establishment of refugees in various European countries. Special reference to this question was made in the report presented by the Special Representative to the Committee of Ministers at its fifteenth session in December 1954. Further to a recommendation contained in the report, the Committee of Ministers decided, inter alia, to set up a committee composed of senior officials of Governments members of the Council of Europe, specialists in the problems of refugees and overpopulation, to be available for consultation by the Special Representative.
12. In my last report, I indicated that refugees has been assimilated in status to nationals by the Protocols to various social security agreements drawn up by the Council of Europe. The Protocol to the Convention on Social and Medical Assistance entered into force on 1 July 1954, and the Protocols to the two Interim Agreements on Social Security on 1 October 1954. The two Agreements, the Convention and their Protocols have now been ratified by the Governments of Ireland, Norway, the Saar and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Netherlands has ratified the two Agreements and their Protocols.
INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE FOR EUROPEAN MIGRATION
13. Apart from the Joint Operation for European Refugees in China, which is described in chapter III, paragraphs 101-109, my Office and the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration are in constant touch both at headquarters and in the various branch offices on all questions relating to the resettlement of refugees within the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner.
14. With the help of voluntary agencies, the Committee and my Office jointly operated the resumed "Two-Thousand Scheme", under which a further 700 refugees from Austria, Germany, Italy and Trieste will be admitted to the United Kingdom, and the recently approved project for the admission to the Netherlands of 250 refugee families from camps in Austria, Greece, Italy and Trieste. The Committee will also finance the transfer of a small group of refugees in Ethiopia to the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Following joint negotiations by ICEM and my Office with the Australian Government, refugees will be included in bilateral migration agreements between Australia and a number of European countries.
ORGANIZATION FOR EUROPEAN ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION
15. Co-operation between the organization for European Economic Co-operation and my Office has continued, particularly in connexion with the liberalization of the movement of man-power between States members of OEEC. As mentioned in my report to the ninth session of the General Assembly, a provision extending this action to refugees under certain conditions was embodied in the decision taken by the Council of OEEC on this matter. My Office is keeping in touch with OEEC on the implementation of this decision.
UNITED STATES ESCAPEE PROGRAMME
16. Apart from planning meetings held every month between the United States Escapee Programme, the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration and my Office, to ensure that the UNHCR permanent solutions programme is co-ordinated with the work being carried out by ICEM and USEP, there is a regular exchange of information between my Office and USEP on all matters of mutual concern to both organizations. In particular, USEP was closely consulted during the preparation of a general plan on resettlement promotion for submission to the United Nations Refugee Fund Executive Committee.
17. An over-all agreement has been reached between my Office and USEP under which USEP will pay two-thirds, and UNHCR one-third, of the grants needed for the placement in institutions of difficult cases within USEP's case-load. USEP is also studying participation with my Office in various insurance schemes for difficult cases which are described in chapter III below.
18. Finally, I should like to express my appreciation for the financial assistance given by USEP in the joint operation for European refugees in China.
FORD FOUNDATION TERMINAL GRANT
19. In March 1954, the Ford Foundation, expressing its satisfaction and pleasure at the success of the pilot projects started under its 1952 grant, made a second and final grant of $200,000 to my Office. According to the specific conditions governing this terminal grant, the major part of the funds was devoted to the continuation of the expanding refugee resettlement projects in Latin America, Canada and Australia, while part was used for the continuation of the already successful projects for assistance to students in Austria and for youth leadership training in Austria, France and Germany.
RELATIONS WITH VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
20. The voluntary agencies concerned with refugee work have always played an important role in carrying out the operational part of the programme of my Office. With the approval of the General Assembly at its ninth session of the new programme for permanent solutions and emergency assistance, it was evident that the voluntary agencies would also need to be consulted in the planning phases, both at field and Headquarters level.
21. Consequently, advisory boards consisting of representatives of the voluntary agencies and of government officials are being established by my branch offices in countries where the new programme is to be carried out. The function of these boards is to assist my Office in drawing up projects for permanent solutions and emergency assistance for submission to the UNREF Executive Committee. This procedure has so far proved most satisfactory.
22. At headquarters close contact with the agencies is maintained by regular meetings between representatives of the Standing Conference of Voluntary Agencies and my Office, in the course of which the new programme and any problems arising therefrom are discussed with the agency officials.
23. The close collaboration between the United States Escapee Programme, the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration and my Office, each of which provides funds to the voluntary agencies for certain distinct though often related activities, will make it possible to avoid duplication or overlapping in the support given to these agencies. Experience gained in this respect from the administration of the ford Foundation grant will enable my Office to make the most efficient use of the agencies, whose assistance will be invaluable in the carrying out of the projects included in the new programme.
B. Survey of the situation of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong
24. In my previous report I referred to the survey of the situation of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong which, following a recommendation made by the Advisory Committee at its third session, and with the help of a grant by the Ford Foundation, was made in the course of 1954 by a special mission, under the leadership of Dr. Edvard Hambro, former Registrar of the International Court of Justice.
25. Dr. Hambro submitted the mission's report to me on 15 November 1954 and I transmitted it to the Advisory Committee for consideration at its fifth session, held in Geneva from 6 to 10 December 1954.
26. During the discussion in the Advisory Committee, tribute was paid to the quality of the survey, but as it had only just been issued and as Governments had not then had adequate opportunity to study it in detail, the Committee decided to take note of it, proposing to postpone discussion until the next meeting. The survey has therefore been placed on the provisional agenda of the first session of the UNREF Executive Committee, which has been convened for 9 May 1955 in Geneva.
27. The Advisory Committee expressed the hope that the voluntary agencies working in co-operating with the Hong Kong authorities would continue their efforts to provide emergency assistance for the most critical needs of the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong.
28. The Committee also advised that the Governments concerned should have sufficient time to give the report their full consideration before publication. It was, therefore, agreed that the report should not be printed for publication before 1 March 1955. The report is to be printed under the responsibility of Dr. Edvard Hambro and it is hoped that it will be available on a commercial basis in the early summer of 1955.
C. Camp adoption scheme
29. Since my last report there has been steady progress in the development of the camp adoption scheme promoted by my Office. The improved morale and living conditions in a number of camps in Austria, Germany and Greece today bear tribute to what can be achieved by generous and resourceful action undertaken by local communities in other countries. A total of forty-two camps have been adopted to date, forty of these by groups and communities in the United Kingdom as a result of the praiseworthy efforts of the Standing Conference of British Organizations for Aid to Refugees.
30. Initial setbacks have been met and overcome with perseverance and, in many cases great ingenuity, on the part of the adopting communities, but such factors as high costs of postage, customs charges and language difficulties, still impede their efforts.
31. Once the most urgent needs for supplementary food and clothing have been met, those adopting communities which have the necessary support are encouraged to concentrate on constructive measures not only to improve conditions in the camps but also to help the refugees in their eventual rehabilitation. Equipment has been provided in some cases for camp workshops, where toys, furniture and small articles can be made for sale on the local market: sets of tools required for crafts have enabled skilled men to abandon casual labouring for regular employment. Looms, sewing machines and handicraft materials, instrumental in restoring to some refugees a measure of their former economic independence, have been provided by the adopting communities as well as by a newly established organization in the United Kingdom whose objective is to encourage manufacturing firms in Europe to assist refugees in camps by gifts of work-shop equipment and material. Most welcome have been the donations of sports equipment, articles needed for the setting up of community centres, musical instruments, kindergarten equipment, games and books in appropriate languages. Several adopting communities have sent representatives to visit the camps personally, and in some cases have even financed a social worker to work among the refugees for a certain period.
32. Particular mention should be made of the constructive help provided by an organization which has adopted a camp in Greece. It arranged for thirty-eight refugee children in a tubercular and pre-tubercular condition to be brought to Switzerland and cared for four months free of charge by the Swiss Red Cross Society, while in the meantime the members of the adopting organizations explored all possibilities for establishing the children's parents out of the camp. Arrangements have also been made, through the efforts of the same organization, for an additional forty ailing children to be placed in a Greek sanatorium free of charge.
33. These results have been sufficiently encouraging to justify the extension of the camp adoption scheme to other countries in Europe. The action in the Netherlands contemplated in my last report had, in fact, to be modified in the light of a nation-wide campaign on behalf of refugees. It would now appear from the active interest shown in the refugee problem by a number of communities in Denmark that there would be good prospects of success if the adoption scheme were next to be launched in that country. Preparations for this are under way, and I am hopeful that, with the co-operation of the Danish Red Cross Society, several camps in Greece will be adopted by the end of the current year.
D. Establishment of Nansen Medal Award Committee
34. As I stated before the Third Committee at the ninth session of the General Assembly, I have instituted a Nansen medal to be awarded once a year for outstanding work on behalf of refugees. The Committee established to make the award, composed of Mr. O. Nansen, representing the Norwegian Government, Mr. M. Pilet-Golaz, representing the Swiss Government, Mr. Léon Marchal, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Charles H. Jordan, president of the Standing Conference of Voluntary Agencies working on behalf of refugees, and myself, held its first session in March 1955. The Committee adopted a constitution and rules of procedure governing the award of the medal and designated a candidate to be awarded the medal for work on behalf of refugees during 1954 and another candidate for 1955.
CHAPTER II LEGAL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
A. International agreements
CONVENTION RELATING TO THE STATUS OF REFUGEES
35. At the present time fourteen States are parties to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951: Australia, Austria, Belgium. Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany. Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Since May 1954, the date of my report to the ninth session of the General Assembly, the following States have ratified the Convention: France, on 23 June 1954; Israel, on 1 October 1954; Sweden, on 26 October 1954; Austria, on 1 November 1954; Italy, on 15 November 1954; and Switzerland, on 21 January 1955. Monaco acceded to the Convention on 16 August 1954. By a law of 6 July 1954, the Government of the Saar was authorized to take the necessary steps for the accession of the Saar to the Convention.
36. Of the States which have, since my last report, ratified the Convention, the Governments of France, Monaco and Italy have, in accordance with article 1 B of the Convention, declared that the words: "events occurring before 1 January 1951" shall mean "events occurring in Europe", while the Governments of Austria, Israel, Sweden and Switzerland have declared that they shall mean "events occurring in Europe or elsewhere".
37. The procedure for the ratification of the Convention is in an advanced stage in the Netherlands and ratification may be expected to take place soon. Several other governments, in particular those of Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Greece and New Zealand, are examining the possibility of ratifying the Convention.
38. It is encouraging that so many States have found it possible to ratify or accede to the Convention. There are, however, still a number of States which, although they have signed the Convention or have otherwise shown their interest in the refugee problem, have not yet ratified it. In accordance with the task incumbent on my Office by its Statute, my Office is continuing its efforts to secure further ratifications or accessions.
39. Most of the Governments which have so far ratified or acceded to the Convention have made reservations, some of them substantial.
40. The Government of Italy stated that it regards article 6, article 7, paragraph 2, articles 8,17,18 and 19 article 22, paragraph 2, articles 23, 25 and 34 as recommendations only. The Government of Sweden declared, when it deposited its instrument of ratification, that the application of those provisions of the Convention which grant to refugees the most favourable treatment accorded to nationals of a foreign country shall not be affected by the fact that special rights and privileged are now or may in future be accorded by Sweden to the nationals of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway or to the nationals of any one of those countries. It further made reservations on article 7, paragraph 2, article 8, article 12, paragraph 1, and article 17, paragraph 2, and has qualified its acceptance of the provisions of articles 14, 24 and 25.
41. I was able to state in my last report that, in Austria, some of the reservations made at the time of signature were amended by parliament and consequently were not made at the time of ratification. It is my hope that other Governments, too, will see their way to withdraw or amend some of the reservations made.
CONVENTION ON THE DECLARATION OF DEATH OF MISSING PERSONS
42. The Convention on the Declaration of Death of Missing Persons has been ratified so far by Belgium, China, Guatemala and Israel, and the procedure for accession in the German Federal Republic and Italy is in an advanced stage. My office continues to support the efforts of the International Bureau for Declarations of Death to secure accessions to the Convention, which is of particular importance for refugees since it facilitates the efforts of those refugees whose relatives are missing to regularize their personal status and their succession to the estates of the missing persons.
CONVENTION RELATING TO THE STATUS OF STATELESS PERSONS
43. In accordance with a resolution adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its seventeenth session, a Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Stateless Persons was held in New York in September 1954 in order to consider the draft Protocol relating to the Status of Stateless Persons which had been elaborated by the Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees and Stateless persons in 1950. A representative of my Office took part in the Conference without the right to vote.
44. The Conference decided to prepare an independent convention dealing with the status of stateless persons rather than a Protocol to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The Convention was adopted by the Conference on 23 September 1954 and the Final Act signed on 28 September. The Convention is similar to that relating to the Status of Refugees, but some of the rights to be accorded to stateless persons are more limited than those accorded to refugees by the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
45. The Conference recommended that Contracting States should, when recognizing as valid the reasons for which a person has renounced the protection of the State of which he is a national, consider sympathetically the possibility of according to that person the treatment which the Convention accords to stateless persons and that, in cases where the State in whose territory a person resides has decided to accord such treatment, other Contracting States should also accord him the treatment provided for by the Convention.
46. The Convention has so far been signed by twenty States. It will enter into force on the ninetieth day following the day of deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification or accession.
ELIMINATION OF STATELESSNESS
47. My Office continues to follow closely the work of the United Nations in regard to the elimination of statelessness. The International Law Commission revised, at its sixth session, the draft conventions on the elimination and reduction of statelessness in the light of the comments received from Governments. A member of my Office has assisted the Special Rapporteurs of the International Law Commission on this problem at their request. The General Assembly decided that a conference of plenipotentiaries should be convened for the consideration of the draft Conventions as soon as at least twenty States had declared their willingness to take part in such a conference.
DRAFT EUROPEAN CONVENTIONS ON RECIPROCAL TREATMENT OF NATIONALS
48. The competent committees of the Council of Europe are engaged in the preparation of a multilateral European Convention on Reciprocal Treatment of Nationals. In view of the importance, from the point of view of the development of international law, of such a multilateral establishment convention, which aims at the assimilation of nationals of the Contracting States to nationals of the state of their residence, my office requested that the possibility of including refugees in the provisions of this Convention should be examined. The Committee of Experts dealing with the draft Convention considered that at the present stage of its work a satisfactory solution to this problem could not be found. It expressed, however, the view that the suggestion deserved careful consideration by Governments and that it should be reconsidered after the entry into force of the Convention.
B. Admission and expulsion
DETERMINATION OF REFUGEE STATUS
49. The procedure for determining who is a refugee becomes of particular importance with the entry into force of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, in view of the fact that it is necessary first to decide that a particular refugee comes within the scope of the Convention before its benefits can be accorded to him.
50. The eligibility of refugees is determined by the branch offices only in those countries where this has been requested by the Government concerned; in some other countries the Governments have requested my Office to participate in the work of bodies established for that purpose.
51. Thus, in Belgium and Luxembourg, the eligibility of refugees is decided, at the request of the Governments, by the branch office in Brussels and by my representative in Luxembourg respectively for the purposes of the Convention and the purposes of national law. In Belgium, my representative has determined the refugee status of 2,012 persons during 1954. Of these 167 were rejected. Of the 1,845 refugees to whom the provisions of the Statute and the 1951 Convention may be applied, 250 came straight from their country of origin. Most of the others were already residing in Belgium, while some came from adjoining countries.
52. In Italy, a joint commission, consisting of representatives of the Italian Government and of my Office, determines eligibility. In the course of seventy-five meetings held during 1954, this commission examined 2,012 cases. 1,308 refugees were declared eligible and 129 ineligible; 575 cases are in suspense. Their figures do not include the refugees admitted to Trieste during the same year.
53. In France, refugee status is, according to a special law of 25 July 1952, determined by the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons. There is a right of appeal to an appeals board of three members, one of whom is my representative in France. In the course of 1954 10,000 refugees were determined by the Office for the protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons to come within my mandate, 700 of whom came straight from their countries of origin. 342 rejected cases were submitted to the Appeals Board during 1954. In 54 cases the original decision of the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons was reversed by the Board.
54. In Germany, the refugee status of persons who have entered Germany since 1 July 1950 is, under the Asylum Ordinance of 6 January 1953, determined by boards, consisting of members appointed by the Minister of the Interior, at the Federal Reception Centre near Nuremberg. A resident representative of the branch office in Germany attends the hearings of these boards. The new procedure, to which I referred in my last report. And according to which refugees who entered Germany since 1 July 1950 and whose residence has been authorized do not have to appear before the board, but have their refugee status examined in writing, has now been established as a permanent feature and works satisfactorily. A procedure has also been established for refugees who enter the Federal Territory in Berlin. They are pre-screened in Berlin and, on the basis of this screening, their eligibility is determined by the boards at the Federal Reception Centre in Nuremberg without the need for a personal appearance by the refugees. Members of the Recognition Boards at the Federal Reception Centre have recently been detached to Kaiserslautern in order to examine the refugee status of persons who serve in auxiliary units of the Allied Forces in Germany and whose residence in Germany has not yet been authorized. Recognition of refugee status entails in Germany, according to the Asylum Ordinance, the granting of asylum, i.e., of an unlimited right of residence in Germany. Since this procedure was begun, on 6 February 1953, until 28 February 1955, 5,668 applications for recognition as refugees have been received. On 28 February 1955, 2,255 cases were still pending final decision at Nuremberg and Kaiserslautern. From 6 February 1953 to 28 February 1955, 1,577 have been recognized as refugees and 1,044 have been rejected. 898 have been eliminated on other grounds. The apparent discrepancy of 106 is due to 106 cases of appeal pending before the Appeals Board. Between 1 March 1954 and 28 February 1955, 1,715 persons applied for recognition as refugees, of whom 799 were recognized and 626 rejected. The remaining 290 cases are pending.
55. No specific procedure for the determination of refugee status exists in Austria. Since the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees has entered into force in Austria, it is important that a procedure, by which the question of refugee status shall be decided ultimately by a central authority, should be established in Austria. According to the regulations at present in force, refugee status as such is not determined; instead, different officials decide ad hoc on the refugee character of the person concerned, for the purpose of the application of specific provisions of the Convention to him, without relation to the Convention as a whole and without there being the possibility of an appeal to a central authority. Negotiations are being undertaken by this Office with the Allied authorities to ensure that the interests of refugees are safeguarded before the full powers over frontier-crossers are handed over to the Austrian authorities.
56. The government of the Netherlands has requested my branch office in The Hague to establish certificates for refugees legally residing in the country and applying for the Convention travel document or other rights provided for by the Convention.
PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL ENTRANTS
57. A distinction has to be made between persons who come directly from their countries of origin and those refugees coming from a country where they has already been granted asylum. A specific problem exists as regards refugees who have entered countries of second asylum illegally or who have remained there after their residence permits have expired.
58. This problem is particularly acute in Germany, where the number of such persons is comparatively high. Since, under the Asylum Ordinance of 6 January 1953, recognition of refugee status entails the granting of permanent asylum in Germany, these persons are not recognized as refugees. A solution to this problem is urgently necessary and efforts are being made to solve it in consultation between my office in Germany and the competent German authorities.
LEGAL OBSTACLES TO ADMISSION IN COUNTRIES OF RESETTLEMENT
59. A difficult problem exists for refugees who have been convicted for offences, in that they are excluded from admission by certain immigration countries, particularly the United States of America, on the grounds of moral turpitude. An important amendment to the law has been enacted in the United States by Public Law No 770 of 1 September 1954, according to which aliens, excluded because of conviction for a misdemeanour classifiable as a petty offence, by reason of the punishment actually imposed, or excluded as persons who admitted the commission of such a misdemeanour, may be granted a visa and admitted to the United States, if they are otherwise admissible. This amendment of the law will facilitate the admission of refugees to the United States who hitherto could not be admitted because they had committed minor offences.
60. In accordance with the provisions of the Convention, a special procedure for the expulsion of refugees has been set up in some countries. As has been reported earlier, refugees affected by expulsion measures in France can, under the special law of 25 July 1952, apply to an appeals board which makes recommendations to the Ministry of the Interior as to the measure imposed. The appeals board has decided that its competence in this matter extends, not only to expulsion orders, but also to measures generally imposed on refugees in place of expulsion, such as forced residence or restriction of movement. As a result of appeals, a number of such measures taken against individual refugees have been revoked or commuted by the administrative authorities.
61. In Luxembourg, where no special procedure in expulsion cases was in force, a decree has been issued, according to which my representative in Luxembourg is to be heard in expulsion proceedings against refugees and the decision must be made in each case by the Government in Council, after a formal hearing.
62. In Germany, instructions have been issued by the Minister of the Interior of Bavaria and Hesse to the effect that, as a rule, no expulsion orders are to be made against refugees who have served prison sentences, after their release.
63. In Austria, refugees, like other aliens, no longer need residence permits under the provisions of the newly enacted Aliens Police Law. The Law provides, however, for the imposition of a domiciliary ban for the whole or parts of the territory in certain cases. The effects of this measure on refugees, who by the mere fact of being refugees cannot be expelled to another country is the subject of discussions with the Austrian authorities. Since such a domiciliary ban for the whole territory of Austria is equivalent to expulsion which, according to the 1951 Convention, may be ordered only on certain conditions, it is hoped that, with the entry into force of the Convention, this problem will be solved in Austria.
64. In Australia, the authorities have consulted my Office in a number of cases where a deportation order has been issued against a refugee and his return to his country of origin contemplated under the exceptional provision of article 33, paragraph 2, of the Convention, usually on the ground that the refugee has committed a grave criminal offence. My Office greatly appreciated this consultation before the execution of such a serious measure
C. Rights of refugees in their countries of residence
65. In Germany, the replacement of the Contractual Agreements with Germany by the Agreements adopted in Paris in October 1954 has also entailed amendments of the provisions relating to refugees which were contained in chapter VII of the Agreement for the Settlement of Questions arising out of the War and the Occupation between the Allied Powers and the Federal German Republic. Under the Paris Agreements the provisions of chapter VII, in so far as they have not yet been implemented by the Federal German Government, are replaced by an Exchange of Letters which will maintain the substance of these provisions.
RIGHT TO WORK
66. Among the rights of refugees in their countries of residence the right to work is of particular importance. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees provides that refugees shall be granted most favourable treatment as regards their right to engage in wage-earning employment, but that restrictive measures imposed on aliens or the employment of aliens for the protection of the national labour market shall not be applied to a refugee who was already exempt from them at the date of entry into force of the Convention, or who has been resident for three years in the country, or who has a spouse or one or more children possessing the nationality of the country of residence. Some countries which have acceded to the Convention have made reservations on this provision. Nevertheless, some progress has been achieved as regards refugees' right of access to the labour market.
67. In France, the Government declared at the time of ratification of the Convention that the relevant article in no way prevented the application of the laws and regulations establishing the proportion of alien workers that employers are authorized to employ in France, or affected the obligations of such employers in connexion with the employment of alien workers. The French Minister of Labour has issued a circular in which it is stated that, with the coming into force of the Convention in France, refugees who fulfil the conditions of article 17, paragraph 2, of the Convention, i.e., in particular, refugees who have resided in France for three years, are automatically entitled to the Carte permanente pour toutes professions salariées (permanent work permit for wage-earning employment) which entitles the holder to seek employment without restriction. This permit had been available before only to privileged residents who had completed ten years of uninterrupted residence in France. The circular stated further that where the application of the Law of 10 August 1932, which gives the possibility of fixing quotas for the employment of aliens, would lead to the dismissal of refugees they should be given priority in being placed in other employment. The coming into force of the Convention constitutes, therefore, an important improvement in the situation of refugees as regards their right to employment in France.
68. In Switzerland, the Government, at the time of ratification, made a reservation to the effect that refugees, as regards salaried employment, should be assimilated to other aliens in genera. It has, however, been stated that the competent authorities will make every possible effort to apply the provisions of article 17 to refugees.
69. In Germany, refugees who entered Germany before 1 July 1951 are assimilated to German nationals as regards their right to work under the Homeless Aliens Law. In respect of other non-German refugees, the provisions of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees apply. A decree was, however, issued on 8 October 1954 according to which such refugees may, without investigation of the existence of the conditions laid down in article 17, paragraph 2, of the Convention, obtain a certificate of exemption by virtue of which they are equally assimilated to German nationals and exempt from the requirement of a work permit.
70. In Austria, refugees of German ethnic origin ad already, as has been reported, been assimilated to Austrian nationals as regards salaried employment, but foreign refugees required a work permit. Although article 17 of the Convention has been accepted by Austria only as a recommendation, the Austrian Minister for Social Administration issued, on 19 November 1954, a decree providing for the exemption of foreign refugees who entered Austria before 1 February 1952 from the provisions concerning foreign labour, on obtaining a certificate of exemption; they are consequently assimilated to Austrian nationals and do not need work permits for salaried employment.
71. A Housing Promotion Law was enacted in Austria on 7 July 1954, under the provisions of which a quarter of the funds appropriated are to be used for the construction of permanent housing for persons living in barracks. In view of the high proportion living in these conditions, the application of this law should be of particular benefit to refugees.
72. By a decision of the German Ministry of the Interior, taken in March 1955, eligibility for housing loans by the Expellee Bank, for which so far only homeless foreigners within the meaning of the Homeless Foreigners Law of 25 April 1951 had been eligible, was extended to all recognized refugees.
73. A law concerning the equivalence of diplomas of political refugees has been adopted in Belgium. According to existing law foreign students cannot obtain diplomas having legal validity at the end of their studies; they can obtain only an academic diploma which does not authorize them to practise their professions. The law under consideration provides that refugee students of medicine, pharmacy and dentistry shall obtain diplomas with legal validity after undergoing a test by the Central Jury for the Conferment of Academic Degrees.
74. The Austrian Ministry of the Interior has decreed that, in future, the public assistance allowances made to refugees in federal camps will be equal to the public assistance allowances granted to persons living outside camps in the province in which the camp is situated. This measure will in certain cases result in an increase of allowances for refugees.
75. The second agreement concerning social security between Germany and Austria to which I referred in my last report has now been ratified after negotiations which were closely followed by my Office. It provides that refugees of German ethnic origin who had acquired social security rights in their countries of origin will be entitled to social security benefits according to Austrian law. Refugees of German ethnic origin who had been in the process of acquiring such rights in their countries of origin may acquire corresponding rights under Austrian social security legislation by continuing to pay contributions.
76. Under the first agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria the question of civil service pensions of refugees of German ethnic origin was regulated; the second agreement regulates the question of the social security rights of private employees. According to the agreements, the German Government contributes to the expenditure resulting from their application.
77. The provisions of the 1951 Convention relating to administrative assistance to refugees have been implemented in Belgium by the establishment of a special office within the Foreign Ministry which issues documents to refugees. Developments in other countries are closely followed by my Office.
78. The Austrian law providing for the acquisition of Austrian nationality by refugees of German ethnic origin by option, referred to in my last report as being under consideration, was enacted on 2 June 1954. It provides that refugees of German ethnic origin who established their residence in Austria between 1 January 1944 and 31 December 1949 and have maintained their residence since 1 January 1950 may acquire Austrian nationality by declaration. When the Office of the Provincial Governor has ascertained that the provisions of the law apply to the declarant, he is issued with a certificate stating that he has acquired Austrian nationality at the date of the declaration. Up to 1 February 1955 a total of 4,302 refugees of German ethnic origin had acquired Austrian nationality under that law.
79. In the Argentine a new nationality law was enacted in October 1954. It provides that foreigners may be naturalized after two years' residence on application, and shall acquire Argentine nationality automatically after five years' residence unless they make a declaration that they do not wish to acquire it.
LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN INDIVIDUAL CASES
80. A considerable number of refugees still apply to my Office and to my branch offices for legal assistance. Assistance is given by my Office where the cases raise a general problem of legal protection or where legal advice can easily be given to the applicant. Other cases are referred to the competent voluntary agencies. My Office makes every effort to co-ordinate the activities of such agencies, in order that indigent refugees may be able to obtain free legal aid and assistance. Meetings for this purpose are held between my representatives in individual countries and the voluntary agencies concerned.
81. In Austria, legal conferences, in which the legal advisers of voluntary agencies working for refugees and representatives of the competent government departments and of the provincial authorities take part, are held from time to time. Such meetings have proved very useful for the purpose of co-ordinating legal assistance activities and exchanging information on legal questions affecting refugees.
82. In the course of its efforts to ensure that legal advice and assistance may be obtained by refugees from existing agencies and to set up appropriate bodies where they do not exist, my office has, in Venezuela, obtained the promise of the support of the Government for setting up a national organ for administrative, legal and material aid to refugees. Pending its establishment, the Venezuelan Catholic Commission has declared itself willing to render legal assistance to refugees by an expansion of their social assistance services and to establish a panel of young lawyers to provide a legal counselling service.
83. In Germany, Beiräte (advisory councils) exist in the various Länder, consisting of representatives of refugees and governmental officials, to advise the competent government authorities on questions relating to refugees. In addition, the Federal Beirat for German Expellees and Refugees has admitted as an observer a representative of the non-German refugees who are within my mandate, as well as a representative of my Office. In Austria such Beiräte exist, both on the federal and on the provincial level, for refugees of German ethnic origin.
84. Every effort is being made to disseminate important information among refugees and the voluntary agencies working for refugees. As stated in my previous reports, handbooks containing such information have been issued in Germany and Austria, in various languages for use by refugees, as well as an information bulletin in Italy. Information bulletins are issued currently by my branch offices in both Germany and Austria, and lately a special bulletin containing legal information has been issued regularly in Austria.
D. Travel documents
85. The travel documents provided for by the Convention on the Status of refugees are at present issued in Austria, Belgium, France, the German Federal Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In Austria, Belgium, France, the German Federal Republic, Luxembourg, Sweden and Switzerland the document is in conformity with the specimen issued by my Office, the colour of which is that of the United Nations emblem. In order to ensure recognition by countries which are not parties to the Convention of the new Travel Document issued according to the Convention, specimen copies of the travel documents issued by individual countries are sent to the Governments of countries which have signed the Convention, those which are parties to the London Agreement of 15 October 1946 or which have undertaken to recognize the Document issued under that Agreement. No difficulties have been encountered as regards the recognition of the new Travel Document and the Governments of Ceylon, China, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Liechtenstein and Portugal have officially declared that they will recognize travel documents issued in accordance with the Convention by the parties thereto.
86. In the Netherlands, the Government has decided to extend to three years the validity of the travel document issued to refugees.
87. In Germany, difficulties arose from the fact that the affidavit in lieu of passport issued in the United States was not recognized as a passport-type document according to the Passport Law, for the purpose of affixing visas. The difficulty was overcome by instructions according to which the return visa given to refugee immigrants in the United States who travel on affidavits in lieu of passports is to be accepted as a substitute for a passport for visa purposes.
88. While at present refugees are as a rule in a position to obtain travel documents, their freedom of movement is nevertheless restricted by the fact that they frequently encounter difficulties in obtaining visas. For nationals the visa requirement has been abolished between most European countries on a reciprocal basis, but refugees still need visas. Frequently visa applications of refugees have to be referred by consuls to the central authorities, which cause delay, and the fees levied on the issuance of visas are sometimes considerable. My Office greatly welcomes the decision of the Governments of the countries belonging to the Benelux Union to waive the visa requirements for refugees who hold travel documents issued under the London Agreement or the 1951 Convention by one of the Governments members of the Union, for the purpose of travel to other countries of the Union for a temporary stay. This measure will ease the position of refugees whose profession involves travel and who are usually handicapped by the fact that they have to wait a long time to obtain the necessary visas and pay high fees for them. My Office will pursue its efforts to facilitate the travel of refugees in other countries.
E. Unaccompanied children
89. In my report presented at the eighth session of the General Assembly, a full account was given of the position of unaccompanied children within the competence of my Office.
90. In Germany negotiations between the Allied authorities and the German Government for the handing over of responsibility for displaced unaccompanied children to the German authorities have been completed and the transfer of responsibility was effected in September 1954. A special committee on a ministerial level was set up by the German Government to make recommendations to the competent guardianship courts and youth offices, which have to take decisions as regards unaccompanied children. My Office is represented on the committee.
F. Special problems of legal protection
INDEMNIFICATION OF VICTIMS OF NAZI PERSECUTION
91.'The German Federal Supplementary Law for Indemnification of Nazi Victims of 18 September 1953 is now being implemented by the competent German authorities. Some of its provisions are still considered as unsatisfactory and consultations concerning amendment have taken place between Allied and German experts. A special committee has been set up by the German Parliament in order to consider the question of an amendment of the Law. My Office considers, in particular, that the rates of compensation provided for refugees who were persecuted on national grounds are inadequate compared with those laid down for other victims, and will continue its efforts for an improvement by amending legislation.
92. Under a special provision of the Federal Indemnification Law political refugees and stateless persons may claim indemnification for loss of liberty and damage to health, even if they do not fulfil the residence conditions generally required for compensation. In order to qualify for compensation under this provision, proof of refugee status is important. As a result of consultations between my branch office in Germany and the competent German authorities, agreement has been reached as to the methods of proof of refugee status and the assistance which my Office will give to the competent authorities, within the limits of its administrative possibilities, in ascertaining the refugee status of claimants.
TRANSFER OF ASSETS
93. The gradual relaxation of currency restrictions is of particular benefit to refugees who, owing to their frequent displacement, are especially affected by such restrictions. In accordance with the recommendation contained in the 1951 Convention, my Office makes a representation, in deserving cases, for a liberal interpretation of existing currency regulation in order to facilitate the transfer of assets of refugees.
94. In Germany the transfer of indemnification payments has now been authorized without special license. Instructions have been issued as to the conditions on which social security payments may be transferred to refugees resident abroad. Further efforts are being made in order to obtain the release of assets of refugees which are blocked as enemy assets on the grounds of their nationality.
95. The inquiry carried out by the Netherlands authorities at the request of my Office into the documentation of refugee seamen serving on ships docking in Netherlands ports has now been completed. The survey showed that, out of 550 refugees, only 220 possessed documents enabling them to return to the country to which the ships on which they were serving belonged; 124 were entitled to return to some other country; 59 of the remaining 206 refugee seamen held travel documents which had either expired or were not valid for return to the issuing country; the remaining 147 did not possess any valid travel documents.
96. This survey shows the precarious position in which many refugee seamen find themselves and the need for a general solution of this problem. In the absence of a general solution, my Office and its branch offices are frequently approached by individual refugee seamen, and many cases have been solved thanks to the co-operation of the authorities concerned. The suggestion has been made in various quarters that individual countries should accept a share of refugee seamen for residence in their countries. While such a measure would be very helpful in solving the problem of refugee seamen, whose situation is at present precarious, there is also a need for a general regularization of the conditions of issuance of travel documents to refugee seamen and their right to land, in accordance with the recommendations contained in article 11 of the Convention on the Status of Refugees.
97. My Office continues its efforts, in consultation with the International Labour Organisation, for the promotion of international measures to solve this problem.
G. Co-operation with the Egyptian Government
98. Following negotiations which took place in 1954, an agreement between the Egyptian Government and my Office was concluded, providing inter alia for the establishment of a branch office in Cairo. Set up in July 1954, the branch office co-operates closely with the Egyptian authorities in ascertaining the number of refugees coming within my mandate in Egypt. In this connexion, a special Bureau was established in the Department of Passports, Nationality and Immigration of the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior. Applications for residence permits and other documents by refugees within the mandate of my Office are referred to this Bureau, an arrangement which has proved satisfactory to all concerned.
CHAPTER III EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE, INCLUDING DIFFICULT CASES
99. The statement given below in paragraph 112 shows the contributions received as at 31 December 1954 from Governments and other sources in response to the appeal made under General Assembly resolution 538 B (VI) authorizing me to issue an appeal for funds for the purpose of enabling emergency aid to be given to the most needy groups among the refugees within the mandate of my Office. Details are also given in this statement of the amounts expended, leaving a balance of $238,530.99 carried forward to the combined United Nations Refugee Fund as at 1 January 1955. During the period in which the United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund was operated (1 March 1952-31 December 1954), a total of approximately $927,600 was used for refugees of European origin in China and $290,000 for emergency assistance (including placement of difficult cases) in other countries.
REFUGEES OF EUROPEAN ORIGIN IN CHINA
100. During the last twelve months, the major part of the contributions received for emergency assistance was spent on help to destitute refugees of European origin in China and on the placement in European countries of the difficult cases from China and elsewhere.
101. The Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration and my Office have continued the joint operation on behalf of refugees of European origin in China, which was begun on 1 February 1952 following the termination of operations of the International Refugee Organization. As explained in previous reports, my Office is responsible for administration of the United Nations Refugee Office in Shanghai, while ICEM administers an office in Hong Kong headed by the joint special representative of the Committee and of my Office.
102. At the beginning of the joint operation, my Office in Shanghai continued to give monthly cash grants amounting to about $10 per capita to approximately 2,000 refugees registered by IRO. Since that date, the number of refugees receiving monthly cash grants has decreased steadily owing to departures for resettlement, as can be seen from the following table:
|1 February 1952||1,955|
|31 December 1952||1,387|
|31 December 1953||894|
|31 December 1954||575|
|31 March 1955||529|
103. The total case-load of refugees registered with voluntary agencies is approximately 14,000, some 1,300 of whom are receiving financial assistance from two voluntary agencies. Owing to lack of funds, however, these agencies are unable to maintain this assistance in full, in particular for 700 aged and destitute refugees living in the Harbin area. For this reason, in the estimates submitted to the UNREF executive Committee for the continuation of the operation, an item of $50,400 has been included to cover the cost of the maintenance of these refugees, at $6 per capita per month, during 1955.
104. The office in Shanghai also maintains an emergency staging centre which houses at present 50 persons. They are the last of a group of refugees moved to Shanghai in 1949 by IRO for evacuation to the Philippines, and who were stranded when the vessel scheduled to evacuate them was refused permission to enter Shanghai. Approximately 30 of the residents of this centre need to be placed in an institution and are being given priority by my Office in all negotiations with Governments for the admission of difficult cases. It is my hope that this centre can shortly be closed down. There are, in addition, approximately 40 tubercular, mental and chronically sick refugees at present hospitalized in Shanghai at the expense of the United Nations Refugee Fund.
105. From the beginning of the joint operation on 1 February 1952 up to 31 March 1955, a total of 5,915 refugees were resettled, mainly in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Israel, Paraguay, Turkey and the United states of America, with funds provided by ICEM, Which undertakes the transportation of refugee migrants through the joint special representative in Hong Kong. Despite numerous difficulties, including the suspension of the Brazilian programme during the latter part of 1954 and delays in the issue of exit permits from China, a total of 1,207 refugees were resettled during the period 1 April 1954-31 March 1955.
106. Among the 14,000 refugees remaining in China, over 6,000 have visas or promises of visas and are in varying stages of processing for resettlement. Many are detained pending delivery of exit permits by the Chinese authorities.
107. The sum of $235,000 allocated to my Office by IRO was exhausted on 1 November 1952 and since that date the costs of the High Commissioner's share of the joint operation, which amounted to a total of $930,765 on 31 December 1954, have been borne by the Refugee Fund. This financial burden has been a first charge on all contributions made to the refugee Emergency Fund. In the plan of operations (A/AC.79/3), submitted to the UNREF Executive Committee at its first session, it was estimated that expenditure under the China operation would amount to $321,000 for 1955. It has now been possible to reduce this estimate by $20,000, which represents an expected reimbursement from the United States Escapee Programme at the rate of $50 per capita towards the maintenance costs in 1955 of 400 refugees in transit in Hong Kong pending their resettlement.
108. The following is an analysis of the estimates for 1955 covering the UNHCR share of the joint operation for European refugees in China:
|Emergency assistance to an average of 400 refugees registered by the UNHCR Shanghai office, at $3,840 monthly||46,000|
|A further 700 non-registered refugees previously assisted by voluntary agencies at an average monthly cost of $4,200||50,400|
|Medical expenses, hospitalization costs and medical processing||32,600|
|Administrative costs, Shanghai office||72,000|
|(b) Hong Kong|
|Maintenance of an average of 200 refugees in transit in Hong Kong pending resettlement at an average monthly cost of $10,000||120,000|
|Less reimbursement by USEP for the maintenance of 400 refugees at $50 per capita||20,000|
EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES (other than China)
109. An amount of $290,000 was spent during the period 1 March 1952-31 December 1954 for placement in Belgium, France, Sweden and Switzerland of difficult cases including refugees of European origin from China ($56,000), and for supplying emergency aid, principally in the following countries:
(a) Austria - for relief to the refugee victims of the floods, maintenance of refugee students, extension of hospital facilities for tubercular refugees, provision of medical supplies, and small grants to welfare cases for food and fuel ($39,958);
(b) Egypt - for food, medical supplies, clothing, fuel and lodging for destitute refugees ($288);
(c) France - (with a contribution restricted to that country), for the improvement of a home for Russian refugee orphans and for grants and loans to needy refugees, including a group of Spanish refugees (37,551)
(d) Federal Republic of Germany - for relief for needy refugees, maintenance of refugee students, and assistance for a hospital for mentally deficient refugee children ($20,499);
(e) Greece - for supplementary feeding and relief to destitute refugees and for hospitalization and medical care ($29,890);
(f) Iran - for assistance and for a medical insurance plan for indigent refugees living out-of-camp, and supplementary food for tubercular refugees in Trieste camps ($42,668);
(h) Jordan, Lebanon and Syria - for supplementary feeding, clothing, medical care and lodging ($28,082); and
(i) Turkey - for maintenance of a group of destitute Bulgarian refugees and for medical and dental aid ($16,447).
110. In addition, small sums were disbursed for emergency aid to refugees from imprest accounts which were maintained at headquarters at Geneva and by my branch offices in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Egypt, German Federal Republic and Greece.
111. In all cases assistance was given through voluntary agencies working for refugees in the countries concerned.
112. Status of the United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund 1 March 1952-31 December 1954
|A. Receipts (tabulated below)||1,487,112.53|
|B. Expenditures (tabulated below)||1,248,581.54|
|Surplus (carried forward to the United Nations Refugee Fund established by General Assembly resolution 832 (IX))||238,530.99|
|International Refugee Organization||246,698.49|
|Interest on investments||14,442.27|
|Cost of operation for refugees of European origin in China||719,344.48|
|Net payments to ICEM in respect of Shanghai refugees in transit at Hong Kong||208,298.18|
|Cash grants to voluntary agencies and others||290,076.79|
|Administrative expenses, Geneva headquarters||30,862.09|
NEW COMBINED FUND
113. In resolution 832 (IX) authorizing me to undertake a programme to achieve permanent solutions for the problems of the refugees within my mandate, the General Assembly requested the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds to negotiate with the Governments of Member and non-Member States for voluntary contributions towards a combined fund to be devoted principally to the promotion of permanent solutions and also to permit emergency assistance to the most needy cases, and it specified that the fund should incorporate the fund authorized in resolution 538 B (VI). Consequently the United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund was merged with the United Nations Refugee Fund (UNFEF) with effect from 1 January 1955.
ESTIMATES FOR 1955 FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
114. My Advisory Committee, which at its fifth session determined the target for the combined fund for 1955, fixed the provisional target for emergency assistance for that year at $1 million and recommended that, as far as possible, emergency aid should be granted in such a way as to contribute to the achievement of permanent solutions.
115. In the plan of operations (A/AC.79/3) which I subsequently presented to the Executive Committee at its first session, I submitted projects up to the specified total, including provision for the continuation of the operation on behalf of European refugees in China ($301,000); the placement and assistance of difficult cases (594,000); and emergency aid (mainly supplementary feeding and medical assistance) in Greece ($25,000), Italy ($21,000), Syria, Lebanon and Jordan ($18,000) Iran ($12,000) Egypt ($10,000) and Turkey ($9,000). I pointed out, however, that those projects did not represent the total emergency needs of the refugees within my mandate, as the fixing of the target at $1 million made it necessary to omit any projects for emergency needs in Central Europe and also necessitated a severe reduction in the allocations for Greece and Italy.
116. Since its inception, my office has had to face the problem of a steadily increasing number of identifiable difficult cases among the refugees who are within its mandate and for whom no placement opportunities have been found. These refugees who, for reasons of age or health, do not qualify for normal resettlement, are in need of either placement in institutions or other special care.
117. In my report to the last session of the General Assembly I referred to over 13,000 identifiable difficult cases who required institutional or special care. Since that time, a survey of difficult cases in Austria has been completed; it shows an additional number of approximately 2,000 persons. This number, together with the new cases which have come to light in China and Italy, brings the total number of identifiable difficult cases requiring institutional or special care to at least 15,500.
118. One of the salient developments in the period under review has been the receipt of a grant of $200,000 from the Netherlands Government and of part of the proceeds of the National Campaign for Refugees in the Netherlands destined to find solutions for difficult cases located in Europe. These contributions will enable my office to extend financial assistance to difficult cases, in Austria, Italy, Greece and Turkey, as well as to those in China, to which priority has been given so far in view of the special conditions prevailing in that area.
119. As action is extended to other areas a new approach to the problem has become necessary, such as local placement in institutions in countries where this is possible or provision for life insurance where placement in institutions is unsuitable.
120. Considerable headway has been made during the period May 1954 to May 1955 in investigating the position of difficult cases in various areas and finding solutions to this problem. It is clear that a number of possible solutions, involving expenditure in excess of the funds at present at my disposal, may be applied when more funds become available.
121. I must emphasize that the work so far accomplished solves only a small part of the problem and that a final solution depends largely on the availability of adequate funds.
122. The country in which the increase in the number of known difficult cases requiring placement had the most severe repercussions was China, where many hundreds of cases, registered with the voluntary agencies, were added to the UNHCR case-load. In addition to the 196 (including 58 dependants) UNHCR-registered cases for whom no placement is so far available, which include a noticeable number of new tubercular cases, there is an estimated voluntary agency case-load of 800 difficult cases. The voluntary agency cases whose eligibility has so far been checked by my representative in Hong Kong number 670 (including 126 dependants) and further cases are under examination at present.
123. Close co-operation has been established with the voluntary agencies in the search for placement possibilities and the best possible use of them.
124. As local solutions are not possible for difficult cases in China, efforts have been directed towards placement in institutions in Europe. Renewed approaches were made to some European Governments and resulted in the acceptance of a further 71 difficult cases, in particular in Belgium, France, Sweden and Switzerland. At the time of writing this report, the total number of difficult cases from China for whom placement has been found in Europe through the efforts of my Office is 376 (including 32 dependants). These refugees were accepted for placement in homes in Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
125. One of the main problems facing my Office during the period under review was the lack of funds for grants for aged and sick refugees who might have been placed in European institutions. This shortage of funds has slowed down the pace of placement of difficult cases from China.
126. Another factor which retarded the solution of the problem was the shortage of placement possibilities for the chronically sick and mental cases. The majority of vacancies which were made available to refugees were in homes for the aged which did not have the required medical and nursing facilities to accept chronically sick or physically handicapped cases requiring constant attention.
127. As regards mental cases, it became evident that the mental asylums in most European countries were full and that, therefore, no vacancies could be offered to refugees. The only two countries which were able to accept a number of mental cases were Denmark and the Netherlands.
128. Solutions will still need to be found for the problems of refugees in the 50-65 age group who, although not sufficiently old for placement in institutions, have nevertheless very restricted possibilities of emigrating under normal resettlement schemes.
129. The results of the survey on difficult cases prepared in 1954 revealed approximately 3,500 identifiable cases in Austria requiring institutional care and many thousands more requiring some special care. Priority was given by my Office to finding solutions for the first group and contacts were established with the Austrian Government and the main voluntary agencies to this effect.
130. Local placement possibilities were investigated and several schemes started with the help of funds from the Netherlands Government grant for difficult cases and the proceeds of the Netherlands National Campaign. While giving priority to local placement, possibilities for settlement outside of Austria had to be sought as well, the large number of difficult cases in Austria precluding their total absorption by this country. Those projects will enable over 350 difficult cases to be placed. Of these, 72 aged refugees from Austria have already found asylum in homes for the aged in Belgium.
131. Apart from several hundred tuberculosis cases requiring institutional care, there are some 2,000 TB cases needing out-patient treatment and 3,000 closed TB cases in need of medical care or supervision. This problem is of particular concern to my Office and efforts are being made to assist, in the first instance, those cases in need of care. Thus, my Office has given its financial participation to a project, sponsored by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, for the improvement of conditions in the existing Federal sanatorium for TB cases at Thalham and the construction of a new wing which will allow 50 additional TB cases at a time to receive institutional care.
132. I am also glad to be able to report the interest shown by the Governments of Sweden and Denmark and by the Danish Red Cross Society in the problem of tubercular cases which, it is hoped, will result in solutions being found for more of them.
133. While the census of difficult cases in Italy is still proceeding, there are, accordingly to present estimates by the Italian authorities, approximately 1,000 difficult cases in that country.
134. Investigations carried out in Italy by my Office have shown that placement in institutions, adopted in some other countries, is not suited to the local conditions. Possibilities for such placement within Italy are scarce and as a rule refugees, being anxious to continue to live in private quarters, are unwilling to be placed in institutions in other countries. While using local placement and resettlement possibilities to a limited extent, other solutions had therefore to be sought.
135. A group insurance system was devised to provide the beneficiaries with a monthly pension until their death, against a single payment to an insurance company. A standard payment of $1,500 per person will allow both the younger and the older refugees to receive the same monthly amount of 10,000 lire. This insurance scheme will be applied to a first group of 125 refugees living outside camps, whose means are insufficient for them to subsist but who could fend for themselves if they received permanent assistance to cover their minimum needs. It will be financed jointly by my Office, the United States Escapee Programme and the main voluntary agencies, such of these organizations participating in the insurance for candidates who are within their case-load.
136. Plans have also been made to apply the insurance scheme to a second group of refugees at present residing in camps. These projects were set up within the framework of my programme for the dissolution of comps and will have the financial participation of the Amministrazione Aiuti Internazionale. The refugees to benefit by this scheme will be provided with a monthly pension enabling them to re-establish themselves outside camps. Since these refugees will be fully dependent on their pension for their upkeep, they will receive a larger sum than the first group (15,000 lire per month against a lump sum payment of $2,400. Projects to benefit 45 aged refugees belonging to this group have been set up to date with the financial participation of USEP and voluntary agencies.
137. In addition to the action taken by my Office, it should be mentioned that the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration has continued its efforts to find placement for difficult cases from Trieste with the help of the special fund of $1 million made available to it for this purpose. It is expected that the majority of difficult cases in Trieste will be resettled and that only a limited number of incurable TB cases will have to remain in Italy.
138. Information available to this Office indicates that there are in Greece 721 identifiable difficult cases, with 207 dependants.
139. As in Italy, these refugees, who have lived in Greece for many years and have frequently set up closely knit communities, show a disinclination to be uprooted. It was therefore necessary to seek local solutions and possibilities of placement in local institutions have been investigated. Since existing facilities are scarce, plans had to be made to build new homes with the help of UNREF funds and, in exchange, to secure guarantees of permanent care and maintenance from local sources. These were provided by the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox Churches and Voluntary agencies.
140. In addition plans have been made to provide a few aged refugees with a group life insurance on the lines of the Italian scheme, with the participation of USEP and a voluntary agency. If it becomes possible to carry out all the projects at present under examination, solutions will have been found for 285 difficult cases in Greece.
141. Information available to this office at present indicates that there are in Turkey 117 identifiable difficult cases with 36 dependants.
142. As in Italy and Greece, local solutions had to be sought and a programme has been worked out including placement in institutions and a pension scheme. With the participation of USEP and the Red Crescent Society, a home to provide accommodation for 30 aged refugees is to be established at Bursa near Smyrna. The UNHCR share in this project will be financed out of the Netherlands Government contribution. In addition, USEP has agreed to participate in a pension scheme to benefit another 30 refugees. This project will be carried out when the necessary funds become available.
NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST
143. A partial investigation has revealed the presence of 240 (plus 13 dependants) identifiable difficult cases in the Near and middle Ease, i.e., in the Lebanon (15 difficult cases, plus 1 dependant), Jordan (27 difficult cases, plus 3 dependants), Syria (16 difficult cases, plus 4 dependants), Iran (96 difficult cases, plus 5 dependants), Egypt (86 difficult cases, number of dependants unknown).
144. Local solutions for difficult cases in Iran being limited, a two fold programme comprising local placement and resettlement in European homes had to be envisaged to solve the problem of the difficult cases in that country. A first step towards such a solution was made through the establishment by the World Council of Churches, with the financial participation of UNREF, of a home for the aged in Teheran in which 23 aged refugees have found asylum. In addition, 6 aged refugees were resettled in a home for aged refugees set up in Cannes (France).
JORDAN, LEBANON AND SYRIA
145. No possibilities for placement in local institutions appear to be available for refugees in these countries and efforts must therefore be directed towards their placement in institutions abroad. Six aged refugees from these countries have already found asylum in the home for aged refugees at Cannes.
146. The establishment of a UNHCR branch office in Cairo has enabled me to get first-hand information on the scope and characteristics of the difficult cases problem in Egypt. My Office is endeavouring to find solutions for most of the cases known at present. At the time of writing, negotiations are under way for the establishment of a home for 30 aged refugees, with the help of UNREF funds. The possibility of applying the pension scheme to some Near and Middle Eastern countries is also being investigated.
CHAPTER IV PERMANENT SOLUTIONS
A. Repatriation and resettlement
147. The attention of the General Assembly has been drawn to the lack of response to the numerous appeals addressed by my Office to the consular representatives of certain countries of origin of refugees. Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, my Office will continue its efforts to facilitate the repatriation of any refugee who asks for assistance in this respect.
148. In accordance with article 8 (d) of its Statute, my Office is responsible for promoting the admission of refugees to the territories of States and has constantly taken every opportunity through negotiations with Governments and inter-governmental organizations to ensure that refugees are given a fair share of all resettlement possibilities.
149. My Office has continued its close co-operation with the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration on all matters connected with the overseas resettlement of refugees, and in particular under the joint operation on behalf of European refugees in China. During the year 1954, ICEM assisted in the resettlement of 16,224 refugees within the mandate of my Office. Of these refugees, 5,315 were admitted to the United States of America, 3,253 to Australia, 2,929 to Canada, 2,038 to Brazil and 2,689 to other destinations. They came from the following countries of emigration: Germany 3,208, Italy (Trieste) 3,095, Austria 2,967, China 1,344, Italy 624, Greece 308, the Netherlands 43, and other countries 4,635.
150. In ICEM's operational plan for 1955, provision is made for the movement of 142,165 migrants, of whom it is estimated that up to a maximum of 25,000 would be within the mandate of my Office. This figure is bases on an anticipated increase in movements to the United States under the Refugee Relief Act.
151. My Office has also continued to work in close co-operation with the United States Escapee Programme which, since the beginning of its operations, has registered over 35,000 escapees, of whom some 15,672 had been resettled as at 28 February 1955.
152. Mention should be made of two resettlement programmes in which my Office has played a major part, one in the Netherlands and the other in the United Kingdom.
153. The United Kingdom Government announced towards the end of 1953 that it would complete the "Two-Thousand Scheme" originally introduced in April 1950 and under which there remained 700 vacancies. It was agreed that these 700 vacancies should be allotted to refugees under the mandate of my Office in Austria, Germany and Trieste (Italy was subsequently included), under sponsorships provided by the Czech Refugee Trust Fund (300), the British Council for Aid to Refugees (350) and the Board of Deputies for British Jews (50). My branch office in London and the British Council for Aid to Refugees were given the task of co-ordinating the work of finding sponsors, preparing lists of candidates for submission to the Home Office and arranging for reception and placement of refugee migrants. The Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration generously agreed to accept responsibility for processing and transportation to the United Kingdom. The first United Kingdom selection mission which visited Europe in the autumn of 1954 finally selected 178 refugees and other selection missions will follow until the total of 700 has been reached.
154. Due to the liberal selection criteria, this Scheme should prove of great benefit to those refugees who fall into the intermediate category of persons who cannot qualify under strictly labour schemes and who, at the same time, are capable of becoming independently established in a new country. It is hoped that sufficient sponsorships can be found in the United Kingdom so that the total number of refugees can be admitted.
155. The Netherlands Government, in a gesture of appreciation for the help received when their country was struck by the disastrous floods in February 1953, agreed early this year to admit 250 refugee families from camps in Austria, Greece, Italy and Trieste. The families to be selected must include one skilled or semi-skilled worker in the building trade. On arrival in the Netherlands, families will be placed in centres in which they will receive some trade training, language instruction and general orientation, after which they will be given newly built homes offered by certain Dutch communities. The selection criteria are exceptionally liberal and even families with sick members can be admitted.
156. The Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration has agreed to undertake processing, presentation to the Netherlands selection mission and transportation to the Netherlands frontier.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
157. During the period 1 February 1952-31 December 1954, 27,764 refugees within my mandate have been transported to the United States by the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration. The figures, broken down by calendar years, are as follows:
158. The Refugee Relief Act 1953 (Public Law 203) provides inter alia for the admission to the United States of the following quotas, which include refugees within the mandate of my Office:
|(a) Escapees in Germany and Austria||35,000|
|(b) Refugees of Greek ethnic origin||15,000|
|(c) Escapees in countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization||10,000|
|(d) Polish veterans in Great Britain||2,000|
|(e) European refugees in the Far East||2,000|
159. It is difficult to foresee how many refugees within my mandate will obtain visas under the Refugees Relief Act. The following factors will need to be taken into account in any assessment of this operation:
(a) On 1 April 1955, a total of 24,217 visas had been issued, of which the majority were for close relatives. Of the remainder, a small number were granted to refugees within the mandate of my Office,
(b) The quota for escapees in Germany and Austria also covers Germans and Austrians from the Soviet zones and it is consequently difficult to ascertain with any certainty how many visas under this quota will be granted to refugees within the mandate.
(c) The Graham amendment, which provides for the merging of quotas for the categories of refugees and relatives in Italy, Greece and the Netherlands, may tend to reduce the number of refugees within the mandate of UNHCR admissible under the Act.
(d) No visas under this act for European refugees in the Far East have as yet been issued, due to certain difficulties in reaching agreement with the Hong Kong administration on the granting of re-entry certificates.
160. Now that some of the initial difficulties encountered in administering the Refugee Relief Act have been overcome, I hope that the higher rate at which visas may be granted will increase the prospects for refugees within the mandate of my Office. However, I should state that, apart from the latter Act, a number of refugees will be granted visas under the current immigration legislation.
161. For many thousands of refugees, resettlement in the United States continues to be the most desired solution for their problems.
162. During the calendar year 1954, 3,253 refugees were transported with the assistance of ICEM to Australia, which continues to rank among the major countries of resettlement for refugees.
163. From at least two particularly critical areas, where resettlement is the only possible solution, Australia remains an important destination for refugees. Australian selection missions visited Trieste regularly during 1954 and selected a total of 1,959 refugees, who were transported by ICEM. A small group of unaccompanied youths from Trieste and Italy has recently been admitted to Australia under the sponsorship of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. From China, Australia admitted 298 refugees of European origin during the year 1954, making a total of 1,047 since the beginning of the joint operation in February 1952.
164. Following negotiations with the Minister of Immigration, the Australian Government decided, in October 1954, that refugees could be selected on the same basis as nationals under various bilateral migration agreements concluded between Australia and a number of European countries. The IRO mass refugee programme was suspended at the end of 1951 and, since that date, only those refugees who could secure landing permits on nominations made by private sponsors have been able to enter Australia. However, from now on refugees may once more be recruited under mass resettlement programmes in Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece and Holland, and transported to Australia with ICEM-assisted passages.
165. The Minister of Immigration recently announced that the Government planned to increase the total immigration target for the fiscal year 1954-1955 to 115,000, and that the assisted passage scheme would be extended to the Scandinavian countries. I have no doubt that, under the present far-sighted and vigorous immigration policy adopted by the Australian Government, many more refugees under the mandate of my Office will find a new home in Australia.
166. Canada offers very good prospects as a resettlement country for refugees who are either eligible under governmental labour schemes or who have private sponsors in Canada. Refugees proceeding under labour quotas qualify for inclusion in the Canadian assisted passage scheme and receive travel warrants reimbursable by the refugee from salary deductions after arrival in Canada. Refugees admitted as sponsored cases may receive travel loans from the voluntary agencies covering the costs of their transportation.
167. During the year 1954, 2,929 refugees were admitted to Canada bringing the total accepted since the start of IRO operations in July 1947 to over 176,000. During 1954, 121 refugees from Trieste and 13 from China were granted visas.
168. The New Zealand Government, which became a member of ICEM in march 1955, plans to increase the annual intake of migrants from 15,000 to about 20,000, and has indicated that priority will be given to skilled workers, building tradesmen and farm labourers, preferably singly men. It is not expected that many refugees, except possibly new arrivals, will be included in the schemes presently under examination; nevertheless, the Government has always been particularly sympathetic to visa applications from refugees having sponsors in New Zealand.
169. In the implementation of their general plans of immigration, carried out with the co-operation of ICEM, the Argentine authorities have maintained the policy of limiting the admission of migrants in general and refugees in particular to families coming to join their heads already established in the country, to migrants with special skills, and to persons privately sponsored or having contracts of work, to be established away from the large population centres, especially in agriculture. The general situation of refugees established or recently arrived in Argentina is satisfactory, and the authorities, with their long experience in immigration matters, give sympathetic consideration and ready assistance to the problems of newly arrived refugees. Through the intervention of ICEM, the International Catholic Migration Commission and the Lutheran World Federation, 311 refugees were admitted to Argentina from 1 January 1954 to 28 February 1955.
170. Shortly after the issue by the Brazilian Government, in May 1954, of the regulations for the National Institute of Immigration and Colonization, created by the law of 5 January 1954, the temporary suspension of new of already authorized visas for stateless persons was put into effect by the Institute pending the revision of its immigration policy in general and selection procedures in particular. Since September 1954, the Institute has been taking measures tending to the resumption of the admission of refugees, though with more precise criteria as to selection. While certain facilities are given as regards reunion of family members with refugees already established in Brazil and the admission of refugees coming to the country under governmental immigration programmes, individual immigration is subject to previous approval by the Institute. Refugees admitted to Brazil in considerable numbers through the good offices of ICEM and several international and national voluntary agencies have all been able to build up a new existence, thanks to the vast resources of the country and to the marked sympathy shown by the Brazilian authorities and people. During the period from 1 January 1954 to 28 February 1955, 2,135 refugees were admitted to Brazil, 600 of them being European refugees from China.
171. The Direction of Immigration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entrusted with the implementation of the Government's immigration policy, has expressed to my representative in Latin America its readiness to continue authorizing the admission of small numbers of carefully selected refugees, presented through the voluntary agencies working in Chile. A hostel for immigrants, maintained by ICEM and the International Catholic Migration Commission, is lending valuable services to immigrants on their arrival. The government is furthermore interested in the establishment in new agricultural settlements of some 130 agricultural families. The number of refugees received by Chile from 1 January 1954 to 28 February 1955 had been 505, 16 of them refugees of European origin from China.
172. The Institute of Land Settlement and Immigration, created in 1953, has compiled a census of national needs with regard to technicians and skilled workers and has entrusted ICEM with the pre-selection of candidates for filling available openings. At the same time, the Colombian Consulate General in Rome has been charged with the supervision of the final selection of prospective migrants and the granting of visas to them.
173. The International Catholic Migration Commission, with the co-operation of the Colombian Catholic Immigration Committee, has been instrumental in the admission and placement in agriculture and industry of 200 refugees, 170 of whom came from Trieste. With the support of the Institute of Land Settlement and Immigration, the Colombian Catholic Committee has established a reception centre in the neighbourhood of Bogota. The Committee, with the whole hearted approval of national and church authorities, has launched a programme for the adoption of refugee families by rural and semi-rural parishes, and it is hoped that this campaign will result in the placement of an appreciable number of refugees in Colombia.
174. In spite of the limited possibilites for immigration, due to the small area of he country, Costa Rica has shown an active interest in the refugee problem and has joined ICEM. With the close co-operation of church and civil authorities, a small number of refugees have been successfully resettled in the country.
175. While a good number of the refugees resettled by IRO in the Dominican republic have moved to other countries in the American continent, those who have remained are, in general, satisfactorily placed in trade, industry and agriculture. During 1954 the Dominican Government generously agreed to receive in its territory several refugees under my mandate, for whom it had not been possible to obtain asylum in other countries.
176. Ecuadorian officials and private persons have expressed to my representative in Latin America interest in the admission of small numbers of well-chosen refugees for industrial or agricultural activities. A small group of refugee fishermen has been resettled in Ecuador and it is to be hoped that, through the voluntary agencies working in Latin America, it will be possible to direct to Ecuador in the near future a small but steady current of well-selected refugee migration.
177. In the development of its land settlement programme the Institute of Agrarian Reform has continued to give participation in its projects to refugees sponsored by voluntary agencies, especially by the World Council of Churches. Refugees resettled by IRO, as well as those admitted in the recent past, are satisfactorily established, mainly in agriculture. During the period January 1952 to 31 March 1955, 158 refugees have been resettled in Paraguay.
178. A programme for the reunion of families with their heads, already established in Uruguay, was approved by the Government in July 1954, according to the basis presented by ICEM. The programme also affords the possibility of admission of migrants sponsored by residents in Uruguay, or holding contracts of work in trades or activities useful to the country. refugees satisfying these general requirements are eligible for participation in the programme.
179. The admission of migrants and refugees through the National Agrarian institute or through individual sponsorship has maintained the satisfactory rhythm of former years. ICEM, and the voluntary agencies, with the active support of the Venezuelan Catholic Immigration Commission, have co-operated with the Venezuelan authorities in the selection, transportation, reception and placement of migrants. The situation of refugees established in the country is satisfactory and a better distribution throughout the country has been obtained in recent years. According to the latest statistical data available, of approximately 21,000 refugees received by Venezuela about 2,500 have become Venezuelan citizens. The number of refugees admitted to the country from 1 January 1954 to 28 February 1955 has been 228.
B. Economic integration
180. During the period under review, my Office has continued to devote considerable attention to the economic integration of refugees in their present countries of residence, by keeping in close touch with Governments and private organizations with a view to the continuation of existing schemes and by furthering new initiatives. This progress in the economic integration of refugees has been much too slow as compared with the task which still remains to be performed, despite the general improvement in the economic situation of the European countries which was also noticeable in those countries where large numbers of unassimilated refugees reside. The need for measures particularly designed to further the integration of refugees into the local economy is still as great as it has been during recent years, and the fact that the countries of residence are, for the time being, in a better economic and financial position offers an excellent opportunity to stimulate, by increased contributions from international sources, the integration of refugees by those Governments which are now in a position adequately to match these contributions. The present opportunity should be fully exploited, since these Governments might, at a later stage, be in a less favourable position to contribute towards the local establishment of unassimilated refugees.
181. The general progress of the Austrian economy has increased the opportunities for refugees to obtain employment and made it possible for the Austrian Government to extend the right to work to those refugees of non-German origin who entered Austria before 1 January 1952, a measure which was taken on 19 November 1954. However, the employment of refugees, particularly of those of non-German origin, has continued to meet with various difficulties, such as lack of skills and of adaptation, and resistance by employer. The social down-grading of refugees who are employed on a lower level than they used to be in their countries of origin has continued to be a widespread feature of the refugee situation.
182. The Austrian Government has put into operation a second agricultural settlement scheme financed by an amount of 10 million shillings from the counterpart funds of the United States Economic Aid to Austria. 238 families have thereby been re-established in Austrian agriculture, mainly through the purchase or lease of available farms.
183. Refugee credit associations and other voluntary organizations have helped a number of refugee families to establish themselves in crafts and trades and this has prepared the field for the creation of better credit facilities in favour of refugees under the UNREF programme.
184. The housing problem of refugees has remained, generally speaking, of the same magnitude, although the number of refugees in camps has slightly diminished. A few housing projects for the supplementary financing of which funds had been earlier allocated from the Ford foundation grant were completed in the course of 1954.
185. The general economic situation in the Federal Republic of Germany made further progress during the year 1954 and the first months of 1955. The overall figure of unemployed continued to fall and there is in various German industries a great demand for skilled labour. Although the refugees within my mandate residing in the industrial areas of Germany have benefited from this economic development, the unemployment amongst refugees has remained, on the whole, at a high level, the reasons being the lack of skills, the location of camps, a number of which are far away from the industrial activity, and the moral and psychological conditions affecting the refugees.
186. The procurement of employment for refugees has been facilitated by a recent decision of the German government, according to which work permits are not now needed by those refugees who entered the Federal territory after 30 June 1950 and whose status depends entirely on the Convention of 28 July 1951. (A majority of the refugees had been earlier assimilated to German nationals, with regard to their right to work, under the Law on the Status of Homeless Foreigners of 25 April 1951.) Special measures directed to procure employment to refugees have been undertaken in a few industrial areas with the assistance of the German authorities, of my office and of voluntary agencies, and have given new evidence of the fact that satisfactory results are obtained if the efforts can be sufficiently concentrated.
187. The non-German Refugee Branch of the Expellee Bank has continued the distribution of loans to refugees to re-establish themselves in crafts and trades and other independent occupations. As at 31 march 1955, a total of 960 loans had been granted, amounting to DM 5,196,792.
188. This department of the Expellee Bank had also granted as at 31 March 1955 117 housing loans to the amount of DM 673,450, benefiting 165 refugee families. By a decision of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, taken in march 1955, eligibility for housing loans granted by the Expellee Bank, for which so far only "homeless foreigners" had been eligible, was extended to all refugees within the mandate of UNHCR.
189. The refugees within the mandate of my office have been included in a general camp dissolution programme undertaken by the German authorities. The first annual programme was completed on 31 March 1955, by which time 525 non-German refugees formerly residing in camps in Lower Saxony had been given employment and housing. A similar new programme which will also benefit a number of refugees under my mandate is being undertaken by the German government in the current fiscal year.
190. The German Government intends to put at the disposal of the non-German refugee Department of the Expellee Bank an additional amount of DM 3.5 million from counterpart funds of the United States Economic Aid. Of this amount, DM 2 million will be utilized to grant loans for the establishment or consolidation of small and medium-sized refugee enterprises; DM 1 million will serve to establish a guarantee fund for credits which foreign refugees might obtain from ordinary business banks; and DM 500,000 are earmarked for housing and furniture loans to be given to refugees whose applications will have been prepared and submitted to the Expellee Bank by the United States Escapee Programme.
191. In Greece, it has been gradually realized that the emigration of refugees would not permit an over-all solution of the refugee problem and that, in addition to the pre-war refugees who are still in Greece, a fairly high proportion of the post-war groups would remain for a long time in the country. This has induced the Greek Government to revise its refugee policy and, while continuing to encourage the emigration of refugees, to devote also more attention to measures designed to facilitate the local integration of refugees, particularly of refugees of Greek ethnic origin.
192. A few isolated measures have been taken, such as the creation of the Greek-Romanian Seamen's Union and its recognition by the authorities, which will enable the members of this Union to be assimilated for the exercise of their profession to Greek nationals. Through the co-operation of the Greek authorities and my Office, it has been possible to put again into operation a pottery near the Lavrion refugee settlement, and this has provided vocational training and also regular employment to a small number of refugees.
193. In Italy the main efforts of the authorities and voluntary agencies have been concentrated, as in previous years, on emigration. The Italian Government has agreed, however, to co-operate with my Office towards the local establishment within the frame of the permanent solutions programme of those refugees who cannot emigrate, and could find employment in those professions to which they can be admitted with the agreement of the Italian Government.
194. Assistance towards integration and consolidation of the economic and social position of refugees has been given, as in previous years, by the authorities and voluntary organizations in the other European countries where large groups of refugees under my mandate reside, such as Belgium, France, the Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom. In some of these countries, however, additional measures are required in order to complete the local integration of refugees.
C. New programme for permanent solutions for the problems of refugees; implementation of General Assembly resolution 832 (IX)
195. In my report to the ninth session of the General Assembly, I submitted an outline of a five-year programme, estimated to cost approximately $12 million, for the promotion of permanent solutions for the problems of refugees (A/2648, paragraphs 231-261, and A/2648/Add.2, paragraphs 1-11), which would make possible the absorption of a considerable number of the refugees who do not wish to be repatriated and have not been completely assimilated.
196. In resolution 832 (IX), the General Assembly authorized me to undertake a programme designed to achieve permanent solutions within the period of my current mandate for the refugees included within the above proposals. It requested the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds to negotiate with the Governments of Member and non-member States for voluntary contributions towards a fund based on my proposals; the amount to be determined by my Advisory Committee at its next session. The fund was to be devoted principally to the promotion of permanent solutions and was also to permit emergency assistance to the most needy cases; it was to incorporate the fund authorized in resolution 538 B (VI).
197. The Assembly further authorized me to make appeals for funds for the purposes set forth above. It requested the Economic and Social Council, in the light of proposals to be submitted to it by me upon the advice of the Advisory Committee, either to establish an executive committee responsible for the direction and financial supervision of the new programme, or to revise the terms of reference and composition of the Advisory Committee in order to enable it to carry out the same duties. It further requested me to prepare, for presentation to the executive committee, detailed projects, including plans for adequate financial or other contributions from sources within the countries of residence, and requested the Governments concerned, in the negotiation of agreements for the projects for permanent solutions, to give assurances that they would assume full financial responsibility should any of the refugees within the scope of the programme still require assistance at the end of the stipulated period.
TARGET FOR THE COMBINED FUND
198. The authorization given to me by the General Assembly to undertake a programme for permanent solutions with in the period of my current mandate implies in effect that the proposed programme will have to be carried out during the following four years (1955-1958). According to paragraph 2 of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly, my Advisory Committee was to determine, at its fifth session, a target for the combined fund for the promotion of permanent solutions and emergency assistance during that period. In order to enable the Committee to fix this target it was necessary for me to ascertain, from the Governments of the countries of residence of the refugees, the nature and size of the supporting contributions which they might make available. To this effect, negotiations were entered into with the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany; Austria, Greece and Italy and concrete projects were worked out and discussed with these Governments for refugees residing in their territories.
199. My proposals for a target for the combined fund for the promotion of permanent solutions and emergency assistance, together with estimates for both programmes in Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece and Italy, were embodied in a report submitted to the Advisory Committee at its fifth session (A/AC.36/ 37).
200. In this report I proposed that the target figure for the combined fund for the next four years, based on the estimates for 1955, should be set at $17 million of which $12 million were designed for permanent solutions and $5 million for emergency assistance. As a target for 1955 I suggested $4,600,000 consisting of $3,350,000 for permanent solutions and $1,250,000 for emergency assistance.
201. While I could not at that stage propose a definite geographical distribution for a total four-year programme for permanent solutions, I suggested the following tentative distribution for the year 1955, on the bases that priority should be given to finding a solution to the problems of the refugee camp population:
|Italy, including Trieste||280,000|
|Resettlement promotion in countries of immigration||260,000|
202. On the basis of negotiations concluded with the Governments, I presented to the Advisory Committee the outlined of projects designed primarily to promote solutions for the problems of the refugees in agricultural or other types of employment, vocational training, assistance to students and counselling to be undertaken by the voluntary agencies. Proposals for the promotion of the resettlement of refugees in immigration countries were also included.
203. The emergency assistance estimates for 1955 totalling $1,250,000 submitted to the Advisory Committee included an amount of $321,000 for the continuation of the operation on behalf of European refugees in China, $210,000 for refugees requiring supplementary feeding or medical aid in Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, and an amount of $675,000 for the placement of difficult cases requiring special care, either by local settlement in their countries of residence or, where that was impossible, by placement in institutions in other countries.
204. The Advisory Committee, after having considered my report, felt that the total target for the four years 1955-1958 should be fixed at $16 million and that the target for government contributions, to be sought by the Negotiating Committee for the combined fund for 1955, should be $4,200,000. The Committee felt that the target for the second and subsequent years should be fixed annually by the executive committee to be established by the Economic and Social Council. It also considered that the division of expenditures from the fund as between permanent solutions and emergency should be made by the executive committee and that, pending such a decision the rate of expenditure under the heading of emergency relief should be, subject to the availability of funds, $1 million per annum.
205. After its consideration of the various country programmes contained in my report, the Advisory Committee, while recognizing that a decision as to specific allocation of the projects would be a matter for the executive committee, expressed the opinion that:
" (a) The policy suggested by the High Commissioner of giving priority to permanent solutions for those refugees living in camps is correct;
" (b) That proportional allocation between the various countries is an adequate basis on which detailed projects can be prepared;
"(c) The fund should be primarily directed towards permanent solutions, and in so far as possible emergency aid should be granted in such a way as to contribute to this objective;
"(d) The projects should as far as possible be 'self-help' projects which require the active interest and participation of the refugees."
206. The Advisory Committee further considered that, when presenting projects to the executive committee, an order of priority should be suggested which the committee would have to bear in mind in approving the projects. The Committee also stressed the importance of my programme being co-ordinated with other existing programmes, including those of the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration, the United States Escapee Programme and voluntary agencies.
UNREF PLAN OF OPERATIONS FOR 1955
207. Pursuant to the terms of resolution No. 832 (IX) adopted by the General Assembly, I prepared for submission to the Executive Committee at its first session a plan of operations for 1955 (A/AC/79/3). In this plan I included detailed projects for permanent solutions for the problems of refugees in the following countries where there are still refugee camps: Austria, Germany, Greece and Italy, as well as projects for the promotion of resettlement, for the placement of difficult cases and for emergency assistance to the most needy cases.
208. In accordance with the decisions of the Advisory Committee the country allocations for 1955 were re-adjusted in the plan of operations as follows:
while the following revision was also made in the estimates for the programme of emergency assistance and difficult cases:
|Solution of the problem of refugees of European origin in China||301,000|
ASSURANCES FROM GOVERNMENTS CONCERNING THEIR FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE PROGRAMME
209. According to paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 832 (IX) the Governments of countries where projects for permanent solutions are to be implemented are requested, in the negotiation of agreements with my Office for projects under the programme, to give assurances that they will assume full financial responsibility should any of the refugees within the scope of the programme still require assistance at the end of the stipulated period. I accordingly addressed a letter on 12 January 1955 to the Governments of Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece and Italy to point out that it would be of considerable assistance to the Executive Committee if I were in a position to inform it of the Governments' undertaking to assume such financial responsibility for refugees within the scope of the programme who might still require assistance after the conclusion of my current mandate.
210. In giving me authority to make appeals for funds the General Assembly clearly envisaged that appeals to non-governmental sources could be made for the Fund. In this connexion, I am pleased to inform the General Assembly that the Netherlands Committee for Aid to Refugees agreed that out of the proceeds of a public appeal, which it made in the Netherlands in the course of 1954, and which yielded approximately $1,120,000, $950,000 should be made available to the Fund on certain conditions.
211. The appeal, which was strongly supported by the authorities and by wage-earners and employers' organizations, includes contributions from private individuals as well as many enterprises and public bodies.
212. The Committee for Aid to Refugees asked me to prepare and supervise the execution of projects to be financed out of this money with priority being given to permanent solutions projects, approximately 20 per cent of the yield of the appeal being allotted to projects for the placement of difficult cases, and 80 per cent for permanent solutions projects in Austria and Greece, in a ratio of 7 to 3 respectively. The Committee specified that the permanent solutions project be directed towards:
(a) Vocational training;
(c) Settlement on the land;
(d) Aid to students;
(e) Self-employment in crafts and trades;
(f) Social assistance.
213. The Committee for Aid to Refugees realized that the programme for aid to refugees in Austria and Greece to be financed in these countries out of its contribution should be co-ordinated with the programme financed in these countries out of government contributions to UNREF. In accordance with the conditions laid down by the Committee for Aid to Refugees, the projects to be financed out of its contribution should receive its prior approval. Certain projects were submitted to the committee for Aid to Refugees accordingly.
ACTION BY THE NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE FOR EXTRA-BUDGETARY FUNDS
214. Pursuant to the terms of paragraph 2 of resolution 832 (IX), the Negotiating Committee for Extra-Budgetary Funds, at its fourteenth meeting held on 6 April 1955, considered the requirements of the United Nations Refugee Fund for 1955. At that meeting the following Governments of Member States were represented: Australia, Canada, France, Pakistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and the following Member and non-member States of the United Nations were consulted: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey.
During that meeting pledges were announced in the total amount of $457,271 as indicated below:
|Countries||Amount pledged||Dollar equivalent||Payments received|
|Germany, Federal Republic of||DM||100,000||23,810|
The representative of the Netherlands also announced that $200,000 would be made available for emergency assistance to difficult cases for the whole period of the programme (1955-1958)2
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNREF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
215. In paragraph 4 of resolution 832 (IX) adopted at its ninth session, the General Assembly requested the Economic and Social Council "not later than its nineteenth session and in the light of proposals to be submitted to it by the High Commissioner upon the advice of his Advisory Committee, either to establish an executive committee responsible for giving directives to the High Commissioner in carrying out his programme and for exercising the necessary controls in the use of funds allotted to the Office of the High Commissioner, or to revise the terms of reference and composition of the Advisory Committee in order to enable it to carry out the same duties".
216. After consideration of these alternatives, I proposed to the Advisory Committee at its fifth session (A/AC,36/36) that it would be preferable for its terms of reference and composition to be revised, since it would make it possible for the future committee to function in a dual capacity, retaining the advisory powers of the Advisory Committee and. at the same time, assuming executive powers over the new combined fund established by resolution 832 (IX). I also proposed that the Committee should be composed of Governments selected "on the basis of their demonstrated interest in and devotion to the solution of the refugee problem" and that its membership should be extended.
217. The Advisory Committee, having considered my proposals, endorsed them in the report on its fifth session (A/AC,36/38). It decided that the Advisory Committee should be reconstituted into an Executive committee to be known as the UNREF Executive Committee. It drew up detailed terms of reference for the Executive Committee which were embodied in a draft resolution submitted to the Economic and Social Council at its nineteenth session (E/2678, annexes I and II).
218. The Economic and Social Council considered this resolution, together with a draft resolution submitted by the United States of America and adopted the final terms of reference embodied in Council Resolution 565 (XIX).
219. In this resolution the Council decided to amend its resolution 393B (XIII) in order to reconstitute my Advisory Committee as an Executive Committee, to be known as the United Nations Refugee Fund (UNREF) Executive Committee, with executive and advisory functions. According to the Committee's terms of reference, its executive functions are:
(a) To give directives in carrying out the programme for permanent solutions and emergency assistance;
(b) To determine general policies;
(c) To determine an annual financial target and operational plan;
(d) To consider and act upon my proposals, including plans for contributions from within countries of residence;
(e) To exercise financial controls;
(f) To adopt administrative regulations for the Fund;
(g) To consider and review my annual financial report;
(h) To ensure that the administration of the Fund is co-ordinated with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with the problems of refugees; and
(i) To arrange for the supervision of all approved projects under the programme.
220. The terms of reference further provide that the Executive Committee shall also advise me at my request in the exercise of my functions under the statute of UNHCR.
221. At its 837th meeting, the Council decided that membership of the Executive Committee should include the members of the former Advisory Committee, as listed below:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, France, Holy See, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela.
At its 843rd meeting the five following additional members were elected to the Executive Committee: Colombia, Greece, Iran, Netherlands and Norway.
ACTION BY THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
222. The Executive Committee was convened for its first session on 9 May 1955. It had before it a plan of operations, drawn up in accordance with paragraph 1 A(c) of its terms of reference (A/AC.79/3), as well as draft financial rules for voluntary funds (A/AC.79/L.2), a plan of administrative expenditure for the United Nations Refugee Fund (A/AC.79/L.3), and draft rules of procedure (A/AC.79/L.1). The report of the Executive Committee on its first session is attached as an annex to the present report.
(Signed) G. J. VAN HEUVEN GOEDHART
6 May 1955
ANNEX REPORT OF THE UNREF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE3 (First session - Geneva, 9 to 14 May 1955)
1. The UNREF Executive Committee, established in accordance with resolution 565(XIX) adopted by the Economic and Social Council on 31 March 1955, held its first inaugural session from 9 to 14 May 1955, at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
2. The Governments of the following States, members of the Committee, were represented:
|Federal Republic of Germany||Turkey|
|France||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|Greece||United States of America|
The Government of Venezuela was not represented at this session. The Governments of Canada, China, the Dominican Republic and Sweden were invited by the Committee, at their request, to be represented by observers. The following specialized agencies of the United Nations and other inter-governmental organizations were represented by observers: the International Labour Organisation, the council of Europe and the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration. The Sovereign Order of Malta was also represented by an observer.
OPENING OF THE SESSION
3. The session was opened by Mr. M. Kahany (Israel), Chairman of the fifth session of the High Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Refugees. In his opening statement, Mr. Khany welcomed the Governments members of the Executive Committee, and addressed in particular the representatives of the Governments of Colombia, Greece, Iran, the Netherlands and Norway which the Economic and Social Council had appointed to sit on the Executive Committee, together with the fifteen members of the former Advisory Committee. In response, the representatives of these Governments gave expression to their concern regarding the refugee problem and their satisfaction at participating in the work of the Committee.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
4. The Committee then elected its officers as follows:
Chairman: Mr. R. L. Harry (Australia)
Vice-Chairman: Mrs. L. Tsaldaris (Greece)
Rapporteur: Mr. P. Vennemoe (Norway)
5. In his opening statement the Chairmen expressed his support for the principle of rotation, advocated by the representatives for Colombia and Turkey, in respect of the election of officers. The Chairman further pointed out that apart from the advisory functions exercised by the former Advisory Committee, the Executive Committee would have an executive task and expressed the hope that its meeting would aim at the expeditious consideration of the new programme for permanent solutions and emergency assistance so that it could be rapidly put into effect.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
6. The Committee adopted the provisional agenda (A/AC.79/1) as set out below, with the understanding that the order of items would be established as the session proceeded, and that the adoption of the rules of procedure would be taken up after the draft rules of procedure had been considered by a sub-committee.
1. Election of officers;
2. Adoption of agenda (A/AC.79/1);
3. Establishment of sub-committees;
4. Adoption of financial rules for voluntary contributions (A/AC.79/L.2);
5. Approval of plan of operations (A/AC.79/3, addenda and corrigenda);
6. Approval of projects for implementation (A/AC.79/3, addenda and corrigenda);
7. Approval of plan of administrative expenditure (A/AC.79/L.3);
8. The problem of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong (A/AC.79/2);
9. Any other business (A/AC.79/4).
II RULES OF PROCEDURE
7. At its first meeting, the Committee appointed an ad hoc sub-committee consisting of representatives of Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Turkey and the United States of America, to consider the draft rules of procedure (A/AC.79/L.1). Under the chairmanship of Mr. Friis (Denmark) the Sub-Committee held three meetings. It submitted its report including revised draft rules of procedure (A/AC.79/5) to the Executive Committee, which discussed it at its fifth and sixth meetings.
8. The representative of Colombia proposed, as an amendment to rule 25, that Spanish should be included as a working language. The Committee decided, by 11 votes to one, with 5 abstentions, to defer consideration of this proposal until the second session of the Committee. The High Commissioner was asked in the meantime to consult the Secretary-General on the administrative and financial implications involved and to report on the question to the next session.
9. The Chairman proposed a new wording of rule 9 concerning government observers. It was understood that representatives of any State Member of the United Nations could be present at open meetings of the Committee as they could at those of any other United Nations body.
10. With regard to rule 37, giving to the non-governmental organizations members of the Standing Conference of Voluntary Agencies working for Refugees the same right to submit statements as to non-governmental organizations in the Secretary-General's register, the representative of Turkey proposed an amendment to widen this rule to include members of other committees and groups of international organizations. The amendment was rejected by 5 votes to 3, with 9 abstentions, but it was pointed out that the Committee was free to extend a special invitation to any non-governmental organization to participate in its discussion if occasion required.
11. A draft rule proposing the establishment of a specific standing sub-committee was, on the proposal of the United States representative, deleted, on the understanding that it would be dealt with separately.
12. The rules of procedure as amended were adopted by the Committee (A/AC.79/11).
III. ESTABLISHMENT OF STANDING PROGRAMME SUB-COMMITTEE
13. At its eighth and ninth meetings, the Committee discussed the establishment and membership of a Standing Programme Sub-Committee and decided (see resolution No. 2 annexed to the present report), that it should be composed of the following twelve members: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The terms of reference of the Programme Sub-Committee are as follows:
(a) To examine programmes and projects before sessions of the Executive Committee in the light of general policies determined by the Committee, in order to expedite the latter's proceedings through appropriate preparatory work;
(b) Taking into account the priorities as determined by the Executive Committee, to authorize the implementation of projects which have been approved, subject to funds becoming available, by the Committee;
(c) To authorize variations in approved projects in cases in which changes in circumstances make it impracticable for the projects to be carried out as originally approved;
(d) To take such further action with respect to projects or priorities as the Executive Committee may authorize;
(e) To submit a report to each session of the Executive Committee.
14. Furthermore, the Committee requested the Programme Sub-Committee to meet immediately before each session of the Executive Committee and at such other times as it may be convened by its Chairman, after consultation with the Chairman of the Executive Committee and the High Commissioner.
15. In accordance with the revised rules of procedure applicable to sub-committees established by the Committee, the Programme Sub-Committee is to appoint a chairman at its first meeting. This meeting will be convened by the chairman of the first session of the Executive Committee in consultation with the High Commissioner. The principle of rotation of membership will be followed.
IV. RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
RELATIONS WITH SPECIALIZED AGENCIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS, INTER-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND THE UNITED STATES ESCAPEE PROGRAMME
16. Mention was made by the High Commissioner of the close co-operation which his Office had developed with the International Labour Organization, with the World Health Organization, which had undertaken to carry out a survey of the effects of camp life of the mental health of children in Austria, and with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, with whom an agreement had been signed in January 1955 for co-operation in the placement of refugees coming within the professional categories and for the evaluation of certificates and diplomas held by refugees.
17. The High Commissioner also referred to the fact that the existing close co-ordination of the activities of his Office with those of the United States Escapee Programme and the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration had been further developed in the elaboration of the new programme.
18. The newly appointed Director of ICEM expressed his satisfaction with the arrangements made between the United States Escapee Programme, the High Commissioner's Office and his own organization, with regard to co-ordination and planning. In summing up the activities of ICEM on behalf of refugees, he explained that, since its inception, 112,000 refugees had been moved by his organization, including 65,000 within the mandate of the UNHCR. The movement of some 25,000 refugees has been financed from the voluntary agencies revolving fund established by ICEM. Refugees had also benefited by reception and placement grants made available by ICEM. Furthermore, as a trustee of the residual funds of the International Refugee Organization, his organization had helped considerably in the movement of refugees of European origin from China, while it had been able to resettle some 2,000 difficult cases and other refugees from Trieste in conjunction with the United States Escapee Programme and the Voluntary agencies, with the help of the $1 million fund which had been entrusted to ICEM for this purpose. The Director of ICEM was also confident that his organization would be able to move a larger number of refugees under the United States Refugee Relief Act now that the initial difficulties had been overcome.
RELATIONS WITH VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
19. During the session, tribute was paid to the voluntary agencies, whose co-operation was necessary for the effective carrying out of the projects included in the new programme of permanent solutions and emergency assistance. While the voluntary agencies had been closely associated with the elaboration of projects in the different countries, their collaboration would give its fullest effect at the time when projects were actually implemented in the field. As was pointed out by one representative, the agencies should encourage refugees to use facilities of countries of residence so that they would be able to take care of themselves after the expiry of the programme. Several representatives urged that every effort should be made to co-ordinate the activities of voluntary agencies in order to avoid any duplication or overlapping.
20. In the course of the session, statements were made by the representatives of several agencies.
21. The representative of the Commission of Churches on International Affairs welcomed the inclusion in the plan of operations of projects to be carried out in the Federal Republic of Germany, a country which had already done a great deal to assist refugees. He wished to lay emphasis on the deep concern which was felt by the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation, which were represented on his Commission, regarding the situation of European refugees in China, over 15,000 of whom had been registered by these two agencies. He pointed out that the World Council of Churches had spent $125,000 in 1954 on welfare assistance to this group of refugees, a rate of assistance which the agencies were not in a position to continue. He also expressed his concern regarding the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, on behalf of whom he hoped an appeal would be launched.
22. The representative of the league of Red Cross Societies assured the Committee that the League would continue to contribute to the programme for emergency assistance, as it had done in recent years, by making large quantities of food and clothing available to refugees within the mandate of the High Commissioner's Office.
23. The representative of the World University Services expressed his satisfaction at the inclusion of projects for help to refugee students in Austria, Germany and Greece, and urged that these projects, the cost of which formed a very small proportion of the cost of the total programme, should be approved by the Committee since they would enable a number of refugee students to complete their studies and follow a career which would enable them to become integrated.
24. The representative of the World Federation of United Nations Associations referred to the resolution adopted by the Association at its ninth session, in which it had recommended approval by the General Assembly of the plans submitted by the High Commissioner. He assured the Committee that the Association and its affiliated organizations would continue to contribute to the solution of refugee problems, as has already been done by the United Nations Association for Belgium which had been instrumental in obtaining legislative measures for the equivalence of diplomas held by refugees.
V. THE PROBLEM OF CHINESE REFUGEES IN HONG KONG
25. The Committee, at its sixth plenary meeting, discussed the problem of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, which the High Commissioner's Advisory Committee at its fifth session had decided to defer for later consideration.
26. The observer of the Government of the Republic of China expressed his thanks to the Ford Foundation for having made available the necessary funds for the survey, which had been admirably carried out by Dr. Edvard Hambro. It was the opinion of his Government that the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong came within the High Commissioner's competence and, indeed, Dr. Hambro's report concluded that the refugees were more, rather than less, eligible. He paid tribute to the great efforts made by the British authorities in Hong Kong to deal with the burden placed upon them by this group of refugees, and expressed the hope that the High Commissioner would encourage everything possible being done to solve the problem by helping the refugees to become integrated in Hong Kong, or resettled overseas. He described the efforts made by his Government to receive 150,000 Chinese refugees since 1949, and its plans to receive an additional 30,000 in the future in as short a period of time as possible.
27. Various delegations praised Dr. Hambro for the quality of his report, and the United Kingdom Government for its humanitarian handling of the problem. Certain delegations, while approving the report in general, made reservations as to Dr. Hambro's legal conclusions. The humanitarian aspect of the problem was emphasized, and the High Commissioner was called upon to encourage Governments and organizations to assist in alleviating the problems of these refugees.
28. The representative of the United Kingdom, while assuring the Committee that the United Kingdom Government would do everything in its power to help this group of refugees in Hong Kong, expressed the hope that it would be possible to settle a large number of them overseas and that, in affording assistance to the needy Chinese population in Hong Kong, no arbitrary criteria as to the definition of beneficiaries would be applied.
29. The High Commissioner informed the Committee that Dr. Hambro's report would shortly be published, in English, and would be on sale to the general public. It was being published under Dr. Hambro's responsibility, and would in no way appear as a United Nations publication.
30. A resolution on the problem of the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, submitted by the representatives of Colombia, Iran, Turkey and the United States of America, was adopted unanimously by the Committee (see resolution No.1 annexed to the present report).
VI. FINANCIAL RULES FOR VOLUNTARY FUNDS
31. The Committee had before it draft financial rules for voluntary funds submitted to it by the High Commissioner (A/AC.79/L.2).
32. There was a discussion as to whether the rules should cover all funds entrusted to the High Commissioner's Office, other than those provided from the regular budget of the United Nations, or whether they should cover only the United Nations Refugee Fund. While the United State's representative maintained that, under Economic and Social Council resolution 565 (XIX), the Executive Committee had jurisdiction only over UNREF funds, it was the general opinion of the Committee that there were distinct advantages for the rules to be drafted in such a way as to cover all funds that might be entrusted to the High Commissioner, under article 10 of his Statute. The United States representative did not press his view. While there was general agreement that it was desirable that all voluntary funds should if possible be put into UNREF, there was a discussion concerning the implications on the target approved for UNREF in putting funds other than government funds into the Fund. The Committee noted that, in view of General Assembly resolution 832(IX) and the decisions of the Advisory Committee as recorded in paragraph 18 of the report on its fifth session (A/AC.36/38), the target fixed for UNREF was in fact a target fixed for government contributions to be sought by the Negotiating Committee for Extra-budgetary Funds. From this it followed that non-governmental contributions, although to be considered within the Fund, should not be considered as coming within the approved target.
33. At its fifth meeting, the Committee proceeded to appoint an ad hoc sub-committee, consisting of the representatives of Colombia, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States of America, to consider the financial rules. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Friis (Denmark), the Sub-Committee held two meetings at which it considered a number of proposed amendments.
34. The Sub-Committee submitted its report and revised draft financial rules for voluntary funds (A/AC.79/6) to the Executive Committee, which discussed this document at its eighth meeting. Certain minor amendments (A/AC.79/9) were made by the Executive Committee to the draft financial rules as submitted by the ad hoc Sub-Committee.
35. The question was raised as to what would happen, on the expiration of the High Commissioner's mandate, to the residual assets of the Fund and to the income which might continue to accrue to the Fund from the reimbursements made under projects administered on the basis of a revolving fund. It was recognized that this was a matter on which the High Commissioner would have to seek guidance from the Secretary-General when the time arose.
36. The problem of deciding how the reimbursements from revolving loans under different projects should be accounted was considered too complex to be dealt with by the Executive Committee at this session and it was, therefore, decided to ask the High Commissioner to prepare a study on this question for the Standing Sub-Committee in order that it might make appropriate recommendations to the next meeting of the Executive Committee. In the meantime, the Standing Programme Sub-Committee was asked to give special consideration to this question when considering projects involving revolving loans.
37. The financial rules as submitted by the Sub-Committee, as amended in plenary, were adopted unanimously (A/AC.79/10).
VII. PLAN OF OPERATIONS FOR 1955
38. In the course of the general discussion on the UNREF plan of operations for 1955 (A/AC.79/3), the Committee heard statements from the representatives of Austria, Germany and Greece on the impact of the new programme on the problem of refugees in their countries.
39. Tribute was paid by all speakers to the efforts made by the people of the Netherlands during the Netherlands National Campaign, where the gifts of many thousands of ordinary men and women, together with a remarkable effort by the trade unions, had contributed to the total yield of nearly $1 million.
40. The Committee learnt with satisfaction from the representative of Denmark that a contribution to UNREF of $72,390 had been made available, from the representative of Switzerland that his Government would contribute Sw. frs. 500,000 ($116,500), and from the representative of the United States that, as had been previously stated, the President of the United States would ask for a contribution of $1,400,000 from Congress, the availability to UNREF of these funds, if appropriated, would probably be related to the amount of contributions received from other governments. The Representative of Norway had already announced that his Government's contribution to UNREF for 1955 would be approximately $85,000.
41. At its fifth meeting, the Committee established an ad hoc sub-committee for the consideration of the plan of operations, consisting of the representatives of Australia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. R. L. Harry (Australia), was elected Chairman of the Sub-Committee.
42. The Committee gave general approval to the recommendations contained in the report of the Sub-Committee (A/AC.79/8), submitted to it at its ninth meeting and, in particular, decided that the main emphasis of the whole UNREF programme should be on the reeducation of the number of refugees in camps. It further decided that, in the elaboration of projects, the following governing principles should be followed:
(a) For each project there should be a reasonable supporting contribution from sources within the country there the project was to be carried out;
(b) Every project should, as far as possible, be so conceived that it could be completed with funds allocated in the plan of operations for the current year, without involving commitments for the following year;
(c) Projects should be submitted as far as possible in their final form;
(d) Projects should not involve the establishment of administrative machinery that might tend to perpetuate itself:
(e) Priorities for the implementation of projects should as far as possible be agreed with the Governments of the countries of residence;
(f) The progress reports on projects, to be submitted to the Committee in accordance with its terms of reference, should indicate the number of refugees who have benefited from the projects and the reduction of camp population brought about accordingly.
43. The Committee then laid down certain general principles concerning priorities, the first of which was that the programmes for permanent solutions and emergency assistance should begin simultaneously. It then decided that the projects should be grouped in three categories in order of priority:
(A) Projects approved for implementation, funds being immediately available. This category includes all the projects to be financed from the Netherlands Campaign money, the Netherlands Government contribution for difficult cases and the IRO residual grant for difficult cases in Austria.
(B) Projects approved and authorized for implementation as funds become available. This category includes the emergency assistance projects, one permanent solutions project for Italy and two for Germany.
(C) Projects approved for implementation, subject to authorization by the Standing programme Sub-Committee, as funds become available, this last category being further broken down into two groups, the first including a certain number of projects for permanent solutions and the second including the remaining projects for permanent solutions and the remaining projects for difficult cases. The details of the projects included in these different categories are to be found in paragraph 66 below.
A. PROJECTS APPROVED FOR IMPLEMENTATION, FUNDS BEING IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE
44. In the first category of projects approved for implementation, funds being immediately available, were included all the projects which had been previously approved by the Netherlands Committee for Aid to Refugees, in the amount of $933,700. The Committee considered this group of projects in separate stages.
Projects for permanent solutions: Austria
45. It first considered the project for permanent solutions in Austria. During its consideration of these projects, the representative of Austria pointed out that, since only a limited number of projects within each category could be implemented with the funds now available, the Austrian authorities who had made arrangements to contribute public funds to the housing projects would be placed in a difficult position, He urged that an earlier priority should be given to the implementation of projects for housing.
46. It was pointed out, however, that since the projects has already been approved by the Netherlands Committee, which had made a specific condition that they should be devoted to the various categories listed under the permanent solutions programme for Austria (credit facilities, housing, vocational training, aid to students and counselling) a new submission would have to be made to the Netherlands Committee.
47. The Committee gave authorization that, if there were agreement between the High Commissioner, the Austrian Government and the Netherlands Committee, modifications could be undertaken in the allocations for projects or groups of projects in Austria, provided that the total amount allocated to Austria did not undergo any change.
48. In its consideration of the projects for refugee students in Austria, the Committee decided that the projects could be approved for implementation, but that the Office of the High Commissioner should verify the situation of the students as described in the projects, so as to ensure that no duplication should occur and with a view to securing the maximum possible co-ordination between the agencies asked to implement projects on behalf of refugee students.
49. The Committee also endorsed the recommendations of the Sub-Committee in relation to the counselling projects, which emphasized the importance of the role of the High Commissioner's Office in bringing about an adequate co-ordination of the activities of the voluntary agencies. While recommending the approval of these projects for implementation, the Sub-Committee had suggested that the co-ordination achieved in the counselling and pre-selection project for Greece might be a model for similar projects in other countries.
Projects for permanent solutions: Greece
50. Project No. PS/1/GR for establishment in agriculture was approved on the understanding that the moratorium for reimbursement of the loan would be two or three years, according to the time of year at which the farm had been established. Project No. PS/4/GR or the consolidation of the economic and social position of refugees, project PS/5/GR for vocational training and project PS/7/GR for the pre-selection of refugees were also approved.
Projects for difficult cases (to be financed from Netherlands Committee funds)
51. All difficult cases projects approved by the Netherlands Committee for Aid to Refugees (Austria and Greece) were endorsed by the Committee, on the understanding that, in the particular case of project DC/1/A for the extension and improvement of Thalham TB Sanatorium, the completion of which would involve an expenditure of $30,000 during the financial year 1956, this sum would be immediately allocated from the Netherlands Government grant for difficult cases in Europe.
52. The Committee took note of a statement by the representative of France that there were in his country a considerable number of refugees who came within the category of difficult cases and that they should be given consideration. The suggestion of the Sub-Committee was endorsed that the difficult cases in France should be borne in mind by the High Commissioner in considering possible projects for submission to the Committee.
Projects for difficult cases to be financed from the Netherlands Government's special contribution for difficult cases in Europe
53. The Committee also included in the category of projects approved for implementation, funds being immediately available, the group of projects to be financed from the Netherlands Government special contribution of $200,000 for difficult cases in Europe and a partial project to be financed from the IRO residual grant of $10,000 earmarked for difficult cases in Austria.
54. The Committee approved the recommendation of the Sub-Committee that projects DC/2/A (part), DC/6/A, DC/7/A, DC/11/A, DC/13/A, DC/1/GR, DC/6/GR, DC/9/GR, DC/1/IT (part) and DC/1/TUR should be approved for implementation and that $30,000 should be allocated for 1956 expenditure on project DC/1/A. These approvals would leave an unexpended balance of $1,422 from the Netherlands contribution. It noted a remark by the representative of the United States of America that his support for approval of those projects which entailed participation by the United States Escapee Programme was qualified. Where this participation has not yet been definitely promised, his support should not be construed as firm commitments on the part of USEP. The Committee endorsed the recommendation of the Sub-Committee that the High Commissioner should be authorized to replace any projects which he might be prevented from implementing by projects listed under the next priority for difficult cases (see section E below).
55. The Committee approved the recommendation for the approval of a partial project to the value of $9,039 for difficult cases to be financed out of the IRO residual grant (project No. DC/2/A for placement in Hellbrunn Home).
56. The Committee also approved the recommendation for immediate implementation of projects DC/1/IT (part), DC/6/IT, DC/3/TUR and DC/1/IRA. It noted that commitments had already been taken in respect of these projects and that funds were available in the general UNREF account for their financing.
B. PROJECTS APPROVED AND AUTHORIZED FOR IMPLEMENTATION AS FUNDS BECOME AVAILABLE
57. The Committee agreed with the recommendation of the Sub-Committee that first priority in the programme for emergency assistance from funds not contributed for specific countries or for difficult cases should be the continuation of the Shanghai operation until 31 December 1955 in the amount of $226,000 (project No. EA/1).
58. It also approved, subject to funds becoming available, the projects in the amount of $74,000 for emergency aid in the Middle East, Greece and Turkey (projects Nos. EA/3, EA/4, EA/5, EA/6, EA/7 and EA/8), the projects for emergency assistance in Italy in the amount of $21,000 (project No. EA/2) and for imprest accounts in the amount of $10,000.
Projects for permanent solutions
59. The Committee approved within this category three projects for permanent solutions, namely, the project for the promotion of emigration from Italy (project No. PS/1/IT) to the value of $60,000, and two projects in Germany, one for employment counselling and placement to the value of $18,666 (project No. PS/7/G), and one for assistance to refugee students to the value of $15,357 (project No. PS/5/G).
60. The Committee took not of a proposal by the representative of Belgium that a project should be submitted in the amount of $4,000 for counselling and placement in employment of refugees in Belgium. The UNREF participation of $4,000 in this project would be designed to contribute to the activities of a social service newly set up for the purpose. It requested the High Commissioner's Office to elaborate a project for this purpose.
61. The Committee decided that project PS/53/A for counselling in Austria. In the amount of $7,308, should be held in abeyance pending further examination by the High Commissioner's Office.
C. PROJECTS APPROVED FOR IMPLEMENTATION SUBJECT TO AUTHORIZATION BY THE STANDING PROGRAMME SUB-COMMITTEE AS FUNDS BECOME AVAILABLE
62. The Committee agreed with the recommendation of the Sub-Committee that it was undesirable to establish a rigid order of priority between projects in this category and decided, while giving its approval to the projects, that the order of implementation should be determined by the Standing Programme Sub-Committee. It expressed its gratitude for and sympathy with the proposal made by the representative of Germany that, in view of the calamities which the Greek population had recently suffered, two projects for Greece should take precedence over projects for Germany.
D. EFFECT OF THE NATURALIZATION OF REFUGEES IN AUSTRIA UNDER THE LAW OF 2 JUNE 1954 ON THEIR ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE UNREF PROGRAMME FOR 1955
63. The Committee considered the proposal made in paragraph 134 of the UNREF plan of operations for 1955 that refugees eligible under the Austrian Naturalization Option Law of 2 June 1954 would be required to make an application for naturalization in order to qualify for the projects designed to promote integration under the programme unless they could produce valid proposals for not so doing.
64. Some members of the Committee had certain misgivings as to the consequences of the suggestion made by the Austrian Government that any refugee who was within the mandate of the High Commissioner on 21 October 1954 (the date when the General Assembly adopted resolution 832 (IX)) should be eligible to benefit from the projects included in the plan of operations. Various delegations were afraid that the proposal of the Austrian Government might be in conflict with the terms of the mandate of the High Commissioner. Nevertheless, it was recognized that unless some such provision were accepted it was possible that the over-all effect of the programme in Austria might be to discourage refugees from opting for naturalization under this Law.
65. In view of the fact that the option under this Law is open until 31 December 1955 only, the Committee agreed that any refugee who was within the mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner on 21 October 1954 and subsequently opted for naturalization under this Law should be eligible to benefit from the projects included in the plan of operations for 1955. It made the express proviso that this decision should not constitute a precedent for subsequent years and subsequent plans of operations. At the same time, it requested the High Commissioner to make a special study of this question which would be considered when the next plan of operations was submitted.
(Note: Statistical and financial tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
VIII. PLAN OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE
67. The Committee considered a plan of administrative expenditure submitted to it by the High Commissioner (A/AC.79. L.3) in which it was proposed that an amount of $109,650 should be made available during the financial year 1955 to cover administrative costs involved in the new programme. The representative of the United States suggested that, since in practice the programme would not come into operation until the second half of 1955, it might be possible to reduce the proposed over-all expenditure by approximately 40 per cent. During the ensuing discussion, the Committee learned from the High Commissioner that four posts for which provision was made had already been established and filled during the operation of the United Nations Refugee Emergency Fund, having been financed from the Ford Foundation Grant and the Emergency Fund itself, that another five posts had been filled, and that commitments had been made for filling one additional post.
68. In answer to a question whether some of the activities of the Office in connexion with the new programme could be carried out by the Office's regular staff, the High Commissioner emphasized that the workload of his Office under its statute was continuously increasing and that its budgetary position had constantly been adversely affected, since the calculation for a stabilized budget was based on its budget for its first year.
69. The Committee decided to approve expenditure for the posts already filled and to give authorization for the remaining expenditure with a reduction of 30 per cent, so that the resulting total expenditure for administrative costs authorized for the year 1955 would be approximately $80,000
IX. TENTATIVE TARGET FOR COUNTRY ALLOCATIONS IN THE PLAN OF OPERATIONS FOR 1956
70. In document A/AC/79/4 the High Commissioner had pointed out the necessity of the Committee taking certain decisions concerning the tentative target and country allocations of funds for the permanent solutions programme in 1956 in sufficient time to give a basis for the planning and negotiations with the Governments of the countries of residence of the refugees. In this document a tentative target of $4,400,000 for planning purposes was proposed for 1956, including $3,260,000 for permanent solutions and $1 million for emergency assistance, including the settlement of difficult cases, and the following country allocation was proposed for permanent solutions:
|Promotion of resettlement||230,000|
71. The Committee considered the country allocations proposed by the High Commissioner and gave general approval to the breakdown suggested by him in paragraph 11 of document A/AC.79/4, with the reservation that the allocations should be re-examined by the Standing programme Sub-Committee in the light of experience gained.
72. In considering whether the programme should be extended in 1956 to countries other than those included in the plan of operations for 1955, several delegations reiterated that the main emphasis of the programme should be directed towards a reduction in the number of refugees living in camps. They pointed out that the work " camps" in this context should be interpreted to read "unofficial" as well as "official" camps.
73. The representatives of Belgium, France and Iran pointed out that there were in their countries large refugee populations for whose economic or social integration international assistance would be required to supplement the assistance already given them by the countries of residence. They urged that some projects should be included for those refugees in the plan of operations for 1956.
74. A plea was also made by the representative of Iran that, in the plan of operations for 1957 and 1958, projects should be included for refugees at present receiving emergency assistance in the Near and Middle east who would not be able to emigrate.
75. The Committee felt that the proposed target for emergency assistance for the plan of operations for 1956 could not be firmly fixed until the effects of the programme for 1955 had become more clear.
X. NEXT SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
76. The Committee decided that the next session of the Committee should take place at Geneva in January 1956 to consider the UNREF plan of operations for that year.
Resolution No. 1 The problem of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong
The UNREF Executive Committee,
Having considered the report made to the High Commissioner by Dr. E. Hambro on the problem of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, which was submitted to the High Commissioner's Advisory Committee at its fifth session,
Noting that the report is shortly to be published and will be available to Governments and voluntary organizations,
Recognizing the continuing need to alleviate the suffering of the refugees to which reference is made in the report,
Moved by its concern for the humanitarian problem involved,
1. Notes with appreciation the thoroughness with which the report has been drawn up;
2. Requests the High Commissioner:
(a) To give sympathetic encouragement to Governments and organizations with a view to their assisting in alleviating the problems of the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong;
(b) To report to the Committee, when he deems it necessary, any progress made in the implementation of this resolution.
Resolution No. 2 The establishment of a Standing Programme Sub-Committee
The UNREF Executive Committee
A. Decides to establish a Standing Programme Sub-Committee composed of the following twelve members, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America, and with the following terms of reference:
(1) To examine programmes and projects before sessions of the Executive Committee in the light of general policies determined by the Committee in order to expedite the latter's proceedings through appropriate preparatory work'
(2) Taking into account the priorities as determined by the Executive Committee, to authorize the implementation of projects which have been approved, subject to funds becoming available, by the Committee;
(3) To authorize variations in approved projects in cases in which changes in circumstances make it impracticable for the projects to be carried out as originally approved;
(4) To take such further action with respect to projects or priorities as the Executive Committee may authorize;
(5) To submit a report to each session of the Executive Committee;
B. Requests the Sub-Committee to meet immediately before each session of the Executive Committee and at such other times as it may be convened by the Chairman, after consultation with the Chairman of the Executive Committee and the High Commissioner.
1 Official Records of the General Assembly, Ninth Session, Supplements Nos. 13 and 13B, documents A/2648 and A/2648/Add.2.
2 At the first session of the UNREF Executive Committee the representative for Switzerland announced that his Government would contribute Sw. frs. 500,000 (i.e., approximately $116,500) to UNREF. Furthermore, the Government of Sweden has informed my Office that it was prepared to receive a number of refugees including sixty difficult cases for whom no grants for placement in institutions would be required. In addition, the Government of Korea has contributed $2,000 to CNREF
3 Originally issued in mimeographed form as document A/2902/Add.1. Transmitted to the General Assembly in accordance with paragraph 6 of Economic and Social Council resolution 565 (IX) of 31 March 1955.
4 Where a project is referred to more than once, the project number is followed by the indication (a) for the first time it is mentioned; (b) for the second; (c) for the third; and (d) for the fourth.