Historical Event

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by medinadae
Last updated 2 years ago

Social Studies

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Historical Event

The Vietnamese Boat People

After the Vietnam War in 1975, many Vietnamese felt the need to flee the country, due to economic hardship, or out of fear of retribution from supporting the South Vietnamese government who had been defeated by the North Vietnamese. There was danger of being persecuted  and sent to "re-education" camps, where some would endure torture, forced hard labor, and having their freedom stripped from them. Nearly 2 million refugees fled the country by any means possible, many of them by boats. These people became known as boat people.

The boats were crammed full of people, often carrying two times more people than the boats were made to handle. The large number of refugees caused an international humanitarian crisis. While some countries stepped forward to help with the reception and relocation of the displaced people, others refused to accept them and turned the boat people back to the unforgiving sea where they were at the mercy of the water, in danger of starvation and dehydration, and even of being attacked by pirates.

Click here to watch a short news feature from 1979.

Click the links in the text and photos to see the articles where I got information and images.

More than 700,000 boat people were resettled to countries. The United States, Australia, and Canada took in the most refugees.

Between 200,000 and 400,000 boat people died at sea.

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