Tag Archives : Refugees

HKFP History: When 2,700 refugees were trapped off Lamma Island for four months

In the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese refugees were trickling into Hong Kong on all kinds of ships and boats to escape the war-torn country. At one point, it was estimated that 150 Vietnamese refugees arrived in Hong Kong every day from 1978 to 1981.

The response from the British government was not a welcoming one; a number of ships were purchased during that time and the number of sea and air patrols was increased. Refugees who arrived in Hong Kong were typically sent to refugee camps run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

HKFP History: Mainland refugees fleeing famine are rejected by British Hong Kong

As war and famine ravaged the mainland, hundreds of thousands fled to British Hong Kong during the 40s, 50s and 60s.

refugees hong kong

LIFE Magazine captured the experiences of some of these migrants in an issue from May, 1962.

refugees hong kong

Some had travelled thousands of miles to begin a new life in the British colony. Meanwhile, the US welcomed only skilled workers.

refugees hong kong

A quick cigarette before being returned to the mainland…

Many refugees, however, were sent straight back to the mainland.

Sympathetic Hong Kongers lined the streets throwing food parcels into departing trucks destined for the border.