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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 action.”
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 strategy.”
The Washington Post

“The UNHCR has ambitious ideas.”
The Economist

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 World’s 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 outflows.

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 02.3487x
Price: $14.00/£8.99

A French language edition, titled Les réfugiés dans le monde: l’enjeu 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 planned.

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