THE STATE OF THE WORLDS REFUGEES, 1993
The Challenge of Protection
A report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
The UNHCR has given a valuable lead in the rethinking of
asylum policies. If only in its own self-interest, the West must take up the
intellectual and political challenge to translate these ideas into joint
The Times of London
Almost everywhere the springs of international
solidarity and charity are choking. This grim condition is forcing UNHCR to
become the herald of an ambitious and so far unfulfilled new refugee
The Washington Post
The UNHCR has ambitious ideas.
In 1992, nearly 10,000 people became refugees every day.
Worldwide, the total number of refugees rose to 18.2 million - eight times as
many as there were two decades ago. An additional 24 million people have been
internally displaced, with the result that approximately one in every 130 people
on earth has been forced into flight.
The relentless increase in numbers - both of genuine refugees
and of economic migrants - has imposed a serious strain on the 3.500-year-old
tradition of asylum, bringing it close to collapse.
Against this disturbing backdrop, UNHCR has launched a new
series of reports under the generic title of The Slate of the Worlds
Refugees. The first of these, published by Penguin, focuses on a wide range
of issues related to refugees and argues that the traditional methods of
protecting refugees must be complemented by innovative approaches that seek,
where possible, to prevent the emergence of conditions that cause refugee
As well as being an invaluable general reference work, the
208-page report presents a frank discussion of key issues - many of which are
linked to fundamental questions of peace and international security - and traces
the historical development of international refugee protection. The main text is
interspersed with case-studies providing a wealth of detailed information on a
wide range of topics concerning refugees. The report also contains numerous maps
and graphs; comprehensive statistical tables; extracts of important
international laws and conventions; chronologies of events in Somalia, Cambodia
and former Yugoslavia; and a bibliography.
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 0 14
A French language edition, titled Les rgidans le monde:
lenjeu de la protection will be published by LA DECOUVERTE in early
January. Spanish, German and Italian editions are due to be published during
1994. Japanese and Russian editions are also