Realistic yet humanitarian? The comprehensive plan of action and refugee policy in Southeast Asia
The 1989 Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) has recently been described as a successful example of how to manage large protracted refugee flows. However, this article revisits the circumstances surrounding the CPA used to resolve the prolonged Indo-Chinese refugee crisis to highlight that part of its development was linked to the fact that Southeast Asian states refused to engage with proposed solutions, which did not include repatriation for the majority of the Indo-Chinese asylum seekers who were deemed to be 'nongenuine' 1 (UNGA, 1989a) refugees. This resulted in the CPA often forcibly repatriating 'non-genuine' refugees, particularly near the end of its program. This article reviews the CPA in order to assess whether its practices and results should be repeated.
International Relations of the Asia-Pacific