The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Poul Hartling, had more hopeful news to report on Friday (29 February) at the end of a tour of refugees camps in Southeast Asia.
SV Vietnam refugee children lined up to welcome U.N. High Commissioner, Hartling
SV Hartling touring around the Kaitak camp (4 shots)
SV Hartling talking with a refugee in wheel chair
SV Hartling receiving a bag of money from refugee
CU Hartling talking to refugees
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Background: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Poul Hartling, had more hopeful news to report on Friday (29 February) at the end of a tour of refugees camps in Southeast Asia. He said the number of refugees in Hong Kong to find asylum in other countries could reach forty thousand this year. And the uncontrolled exodus of "Boat People" had become the "orderly departure" programme agreed upon last May between Vietnam and the United Nations.
SYNOPSIS: The refugee population in Hong Kong, swelling last summer to seventy-three thousand, is reduced now to fifty thousand.
Commissioner Hartling arrived at Kaitak camp at the end of his tour, and reported he was much encouraged by the situation, compared with what he had seen on last year's visit.
Last summer the number of refugees seeking sanctuary in Southeast Asia reached about fifty thousand a month, but the monthly arrival has dwindled to about two to three thousand. Although Vietnamese "boat people" arriving now have valid exist visas, they must be matched with entry visas to other countries.
Mr. Hartling said twenty-five hundred Laotian refugees in Thailand had been resettled in China, and he was negotiating with Laos for the return home of about one hundred thousand others.
Some Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong are earning good money in local factories and have turned down moves guaranteeing their resettlement in the United States. They offered a purse for Cambodian refugees on Thai border. Some families have moved out and taken flats in Kowloon. For the rest, barring a new Vietnam exodus, resettlement could come within the next year.