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Boat people

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Boat people is a term that usually refers to refugees, illegal immigrants or asylum seekers who emigrate in numbers in boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

s that are sometimes old and crudely made. The term came into common use during the late 1970s with the mass departure of Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

ese refugees from Communist-controlled Vietnam, following the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.

Overview


Boats have historically been a widely used form of migration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 or escape for people of limited resources. Most boat people travel without formal right of entry to their destination, but on arrival may seek asylum for various reasons depending on the destination country's laws. They often risk their lives on dangerously crude and overcrowded boats to escape oppression or poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 in their home nations. Some choose to emigrate to better their lives—others, especially political refugees, may be fleeing for their lives.

There is a myriad of places of the world where boat people have undertaken voyages. A particularly frequent destination has been the USA, which has been the objective of boat people from Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 (since 1995 Cubans who reach dry land in the U.S. are generally allowed to stay while those intercepted at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard are returned to Cuba), Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, and the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

. Elsewhere boat people have originated journeys in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 and Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

. Many boat people have been attacked by pirates on the high seas , or have been turned away by governments and forced to return, sometimes even to countries where they were also present illegally.

Boat people are frequently a source of controversy in the nation they seek to immigrate to, such as the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Boat people are often forcibly prevented from landing at their destination or they are subjected to mandatory detention after their arrival. Unlike the wave of Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s and early 1980s, most boat people arriving more recently in Western countries, Australia, or the United States have purchased their passage on large but overcrowded and frequently unseaworthy boats from illegal immigration operators, who may demand considerable sums from their desperate clients.

Vietnamese boat people



After the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, many people in Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, and especially Vietnam became refugees in the late 1970s and 1980s, after the fall of Saigon
Fall of Saigon
The Fall of Saigon was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front on April 30, 1975...

. In Vietnam, the new communist government sent many people who supported the old government in the South to "re-education camps", and others to "new economic zones." An estimated 1 million people were imprisoned with no formal charges or trials. According to published academic studies in the United States and Europe, 165,000 people died in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam's re-education camps. Thousands were abused, tortured, and brutally killed. These factors, coupled with poverty and the total destruction of Vietnam, which happened during the Vietnam war, caused hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese to flee. In 1979, Vietnam was again at war (Sino-Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
The Sino–Vietnamese War , also known as the Third Indochina War, known in the PRC as and in Vietnam as Chiến tranh chống bành trướng Trung Hoa , was a brief but bloody border war fought in 1979 between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam...

) with the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC). Many ethnic Chinese living in Vietnam, who felt that the government's policies directly targeted them, also became "boat people." On the open seas, the boat people had to face deadly storms,diseases, starvation, and elude pirates
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

.

Escape route


There were many methods employed by Vietnamese citizens to leave the country. Most were secret and done at night; some involved the bribing of top government officials. Some people bought places in large boats that held 400 passengers. Others organized smaller groups or went on makeshift rafts crudley made of wood. Others boarded fishing boats (fishing being a common occupation in Vietnam) and left that way. Many families were split up during this period because they could only afford to send one or a few members of the family. One method used involved middle-class refugees from Saigon, armed with forged identity documents, traveling approximately to 1,100 km to Danang by road. On arrival, they would take refuge for up to two days in safe houses while waiting for fishing junks and trawlers to take small groups into international waters. Planning for such a trip took many months and even years. Although these attempts often caused a depletion of resources, people usually had several false starts before they managed to escape.

The boats,were not intended for navigating open waters, and would typically head for busy international shipping lanes some 240 km to the east. The lucky ones would succeed in being rescued by freighters and taken to Hong Kong,China, close to 2,200 km away. Others landed on the shores of surronding Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The unlucky ones would continue their perilous journey at sea, sometimes lasting over 6 months long, suffering from hunger, thirst, disease, and pirates before finding safety. Rudolph Rummel estimates that nearly 500,000 of the 2 million Vietnamese boat people died during their escape with "50% not blamed on Vietnamese Government". Many other estimates are considerably lower ranging from 30,000 to 250,000.

Refugee camps


The plight of the boat people became an international humanitarian crisis. There were untold miseries, rapes and murders on the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 committed by Thai
Thai people
The Thai people, or Siamese, are the main ethnic group of Thailand and are part of the larger Tai ethnolinguistic peoples found in Thailand and adjacent countries in Southeast Asia as well as southern China. Their language is the Thai language, which is classified as part of the Kradai family of...

 pirates who preyed on the refugees who had sold all their possessions and carried gold with them on the trips. The UNHCR, under the auspices of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, set up refugee camps in neighbouring countries to process the "boat people". They received the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 for this.

Camps were set up in Malaysia, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. According to stories told by the Vietnamese refugees, the conditions at the camps were poor. The women and children were raped and beaten. Very little of the aid
Aid
In international relations, aid is a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another, given at least partly with the objective of benefiting the recipient country....

 money donated primarily by the United States actually got to the refugees. Refugees at Thai camps were maltreated and many were brutally bullied by the Thai guards. Some 77% of refugee boats leaving in 1981 were attacked by Thais. 863 Vietnamese were known to be raped, 763 people physically attacked and killed, and 489 people abducted.

Most of the refugees came from the former South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

. However, soon after the first wave between 1975–1978, North Vietnam
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

ese from seaside cities such as Haiphong
Haiphong
, also Haiphong, is the third most populous city in Vietnam. The name means, "coastal defence".-History:Hai Phong was originally founded by Lê Chân, the female general of a Vietnamese revolution against the Chinese led by the Trưng Sisters in the year 43 C.E.The area which is now known as Duong...

 started to escape and land in Hong Kong.

Vietnamese refugees resettling in western countries



The Orderly Departure Program
Orderly Departure Program
The Orderly Departure Program ' was a program to permit immigration of Vietnamese refugees to the United States of America, instituted in 1979 under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees...

 from 1979 until 1994 helped to resettle refugees in the United States as well as other Western countries. In this program, refugees were asked to go back to Vietnam and waited for assessment. If they were deemed to be eligible to be re-settled in the US (according to criteria that the US government had established), they would be allowed to immigrate.

Humanitarian Operation (HO) was set up to benefit former South Vietnamese who were involved in the former regime or worked for the US. They were to be allowed to immigrate to the US if they had suffered persecution by the communist regime after 1975. Half-American children in Vietnam, descendants of servicemen, were also allowed to immigrate along with their mothers or foster parents. This program sparked a wave of rich Vietnamese parents buying the immigration rights from the real mothers or foster parents. They paid money (in the black market) to transfer the half-American children into their custody, then applied for visas to emigrate to the USA. Most of these half-American children were born of American soldiers and prostitutes. They were subject to discrimination, poverty, neglect and abuse. On November 15, 2005, the United States and Vietnam signed an agreement allowing additional Vietnamese to immigrate who were not able to do so before the humanitarian operation program ended in 1994. Effectively this new agreement was the extension and also final chapter of the HO program.

The Roman Catholic Church, given its long history with the Vietnamese people, facilitated the relocation of a massive number of Vietnamese boat people through its many Orders and charities. Of note was the work of the Vietnamese Refugee Office of Caritas Italiana, a major Catholic Italian charity, under the leadership of Monsignor Tran Van Hoai.

Hong Kong adopted the "port of first asylum policy" in July, 1979 and received over 100,000 Vietnamese at the peak of emigration in the late 1980s. Many refugee camps were set up in its territories
Vietnamese people in Hong Kong
Many of the Vietnamese people in Hong Kong immigrated as a result of the war and persecution in Vietnam since the mid-1970s. There is however also small but growing community of diaspora vietnamese being sent to Hong Kong forming an expatriate community, from countries far afield like Australia,...

. Frequent violent clashes between the boat people and security forces caused public outcry and mounting concerns in the early 1990s since many camps were very close to high-density residential areas.

On June 10, 1977, an Israeli cargo ship en route to Japan crossed paths with a boat full of 66 Vietnamese. They were out of food and water, were extremely lost and scared, and their boat was leaking. The Israeli captain and crew immediately offered food and water and decided to bring the passengers on board and transported them to Israel. There, Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 authorized their Israeli citizenship, comparing their situation to the plight of Jewish refugees seeking a haven during the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

. Following this rescue, between 1977 and 1979, Israel welcomed over three hundred Vietnamese refugees. In Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Vietnamese immigration represented a transformation in the Israeli conception, one that saw the Jewish state as the state of the Jews with a Jewish majority. Even though the absorption of hundreds of Vietnamese did not change the political map in Israel, it still constituted a change of civil identity in the state of Israel who for the first time took in non-Jewish refugees.

The countries that accepted most of the Indochinese refugees were:
  • The United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     - 823,000
  • Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

     and Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     - 137,000 each
  • France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

     - 96,000
  • Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     - 40,000
  • The United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     - 19,000
  • Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

     - 11,000


By the late 1980s, Western Europe, the United States and Australia received fewer Vietnamese refugees . It became much harder for refugees to get visa
Visa (document)
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...

s to settle in those countries.

As hundreds of thousands of people were escaping out of Viet Nam , Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

 and Cambodia by land and boat, countries of first asylum in South-East Asia were faced with the continuing exodus and the increasing reluctance by third countries to maintain resettlement opportunities for every exile, they threatened push-backs of the asylum seekers. In this crisis, the Comprehensive Plan of Action
Comprehensive Plan of Action
The Comprehensive Plan of Action is a program, adopted in June, 1989 at a conference in Geneva held by The Steering Committee of the International Conference on Indo-Chinese Refugees, which was designed to deter and to stop the continuing influx of Indochinese boat people and to cope with an...

 For Indochinese Refugees was adopted in June, 1989. The cut-off date for refugees was March 14, 1989. Effective from this day, the Indochinese Boat people would no longer automatically be considered as prima facie
Prima facie
Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter, first blush, or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face", from the feminine form of primus and facies , both in the ablative case. It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a...

 refugees, but only asylum seekers and would have to be screened to qualify for refugee status. Those who were "screened-out" would be sent back to Vietnam and Laos, under an orderly and monitored repatriation
Repatriation
Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

 program.

The refugees faced prospects of staying years in the camps and ultimate repatriation
Repatriation
Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

 back to Vietnam. They were branded, rightly or wrongly, as economic refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s. By the mid-1990s, the number of refugees fleeing from Vietnam had significantly dwindled. Many refugee camps were shut down. Most of the well educated or those with genuine refugee status had already been accepted by receiving countries.

There appeared to be some unwritten rules in Western countries. Officials gave preference to married couples, young families and women over 18 years old, leaving single men and minors to suffer at the camps for years. Among these unwanted, those who worked and studied hard and involved themselves in constructive refugee community activities were eventually accepted by the West by recommendations from UNHCR workers. Hong Kong was open about its willingness to take the remnants at its camp, but only some refugees took up the offer. Many refugees would have been accepted by Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, but hardly any wanted to settle in these countries.

The market reforms of Vietnam, the imminent return of Hong Kong to China by Britain and the financial incentives for voluntary return to Vietnam caused many boat people to return to Vietnam during the 1990s. Most remaining asylum seekers were voluntarily or forcibly repatriated to Vietnam, although a small number (about 2,500) were granted the right of abode by the Hong Kong Government in 2002. In 2008, the remaining refugees in the Philippines (around 200) were granted asylum in Canada, Norway and the United States, marking an end to the history of the boat people from Vietnam.

Literature

  • Martin Tsamenyi The Vietnamese boat people and international law, Nathan: Griffith University, 1981
  • Steve Roberts From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America (novel, a.o. on Vietnamese family), 2009.
  • Georges Claude Guilbert
    Georges Claude Guilbert
    Georges-Claude Guilbert born May 18, 1959) is a French academic and writer. He is Professor in American Studies at the Université François Rabelais, Tours, France.He was one of the editors of Arobase and Cercles from 1996 to 2006....

     Après Hanoï: Les mémoires brouillés d'une princesse vietnamienne (novel, on Vietnamese woman and her boat people family), 2011.
  • Kim Thúy Ru,2009
  • Zhou, Min
    Min Zhou
    Min Zhou , is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles and is the founding chair of the University's Department of Asian American Studies. Professor Zhou has worked with Carl L...

     and Carl L. Bankston
    Carl L. Bankston
    Carl L. Bankston III is an American sociologist and author. He is best known for his work on immigration to the United States, particularly on the adaptation of Vietnamese American immigrants, and for his work on ethnicity, social capital, sociology of religion and the sociology of...

     III Growing Up American
    Growing Up American
    Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States, by Min Zhou and Carl L. Bankston III is one of the most influential books on the Vietnamese American experience. Published in 1998 by the Russell Sage Foundation, it is widely used in college classes on international...

    : How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States
    New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1998. ISBN 978-0-871-54995-2.

See also

  • Turtle Beach
    Turtle Beach (film)
    Turtle Beach is a 1992 Australian film directed by Stephen Wallace and starring Greta Scacchi and Joan Chen. The screenplay was written by Ann Turner, based on the novel of the same name by Blanche d'Alpuget...

    , 1992 Australian film about raising awareness for the plight of the boat people
  • Boat People (film)
    Boat People (film)
    Boat People is an award-winning Hong Kong film directed by Ann Hui, first shown in theaters in 1982. The film stars George Lam, Andy Lau, Cora Miao, and Season Ma. At the second Hong Kong Film Awards, Boat People won awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best New Performer, Best Screenplay,...

    , a narrative film made by Hong Kong director Ann Hui
    Ann Hui
    Ann Hui On-Wah is a Hong Kong film director, film producer and occasional screenwriter, one of the most critically acclaimed amongst the Hong Kong New Wave.-Early life:...

    , based on research on Vietnamese refugees
  • Journey from the Fall
    Journey from the Fall
    Journey from the Fall is a 2006 independent film by writer/director/editor Ham Tran, about the Vietnamese reeducation camp and boat people experience following the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. This drama was released on March 23, 2007, by ImaginAsian to sold-out screenings...

    , an independent film on the same subject
  • Harraga
    Harraga
    Harragas, are North African migrants who attempt to illegally immigrate to Europe or to European-controlled islands in makeshift boats...

    s, a type of North African
    Maghreb
    The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

     boat people who cross the Mediterranean
    Mediterranean Sea
    The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

     in tiny boats.

External links