Upon landing in Hong Kong, all Vietnamese asylum seekers are immediately placed in detention pending an evaluation of their applications for refugee status. If their applications are successful, they are transferred to one of the territory's open camps.10 If they are rejected, however, they are held in closed camps-facilities that are heavily guarded, allow minimal access to outsiders, and from which inmates cannot leave-until they are returned to Vietnam. The vast majority of Hong Kong's Vietnamese population has been denied refugee status. They are held in detention camps where many have lived for over eight years. Some Vietnamese have been held in such detention due to Vietnamese or Hong Kong government administrative inefficiencies. Some have waited in the camps as they appeal the decision concerning their refugee status through legal channels. Still others have simply refused to return to Vietnam in spite of the fact they face no chance of being resettled abroad.

The detention of Vietnamese asylum seekers in Hong Kong is an issue of concern not only because the detention of asylum seekers is inherently undesirable11 but also because of the extensive length of time people havebeen detained and the highly restrictive conditions in which these people have been held. Since the adoption of the closed camp policy in July 1982, the Hong Kong government has housed the Vietnamese boat people, 70 percent of whom are women and children, in what has generally been described by many human rights advocates as squalid and inhumane conditions.12 It is important to note, however, that the Hong Kong government has made significant improvements in the provisions for the Vietnamese since the height of the influx in the late eighties. At this time, many asylum seekers were housed in ferry boats, factories and storage buildings which often lacked adequate plumbing, sufficient bed space and basic provisions such as blankets and clothing. In spite of improvements, camp accomodations still include overcrowding, primitive toilet and bathing facilities, low levels of sanitation, and general fire hazards.

In Hong Kong's camps today, for instance, it is typical to find a family of four sharing one bed on a triple-tiered bunk six feet wide and eight feet long. Reminiscent of Hong Kong's "cage houses"-bed spaces enclosed by sheet-metal walls or bars that represent the poorest form of housing in the territory-this small area is shared by the entire family and serves as an eating, sleeping and storage space. Separated from neighbors by nothing more than a curtain sheet or hanging blanket, the Vietnamese have little privacy and cannot secure any protection from the crime and violence that pervade the facilities. The general level of health among the camp populations also reflects unsatisfactory living conditions and particularly, inferior levels of hygiene. According to both the Hong Kong government Department of Health and Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the most common illnesses in the detention facilities have been upper respiratory tract infections, gastro-intestinal ailments, and dermatological problems.13 Conditions like diarrhoea, scabies, tuberculosis, and asthma, which are often associated with contaminated or poorly cooked food, lack of space, and unclean, dusty bedding, are also commonly found among the camp population.

Prison-like Detention for Asylum Seekers

Human Rights Watch/Asia supports the right of all people to leave their native country due to a well-founded fear of persecution and to seek asylum on such grounds. While it does not in principle oppose the closed camp policy practiced in Hong Kong, Human Rights Watch/Asia does question the indefinite incarceration of asylum seekers in prison-like environments. Whitehead and High Island Detention Centers, two of the largest camps to accommodate boat people in Hong Kong, exemplified the prison-like regime employed by the Hong Kong government in its management of the Vietnamese. The problems found in these camps raise serious questions about this type of management and the Hong Kong government's administration of the closed camp policy.

Access to the detention centers is highly restrictive, and Vietnamese inmates are denied the right to communicate with the world beyond the camps. This runs directly counter to the UNHCR's Guideline No.6(ii), which emphasizes "the possibility to regularly contact and receive visits from friends, relatives, and legal counsel." In spite of the government's assurances that monitoring groups are welcomed in these facilities, it is, in fact, difficultto obtain permission to enter the camps.14 Even lawyers are restricted to legal-visit rooms, sandwiched between a succession of high wire fences and the area where inmates are housed. Arguing that the presence of the press might incite unrest among the camp populations, the government has banned journalists entirely from all detention facilities. The right to communication is accorded to people who are detained or imprisoned in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMRTP). While this right is extended to Hong Kong's convicted criminals, it is denied the Vietnamese asylum seekers.

High Island Detention Center is situated on the banks of a scenic waterfront within Sai Kung country park. Camp inmates, however, are prevented from enjoying the beauty of their surroundings by the high sheet-metal walls and the 5.6 meter barbed wire fences which enclose the compound. Due largely to the fact that most inmates are selected for forced repatriation from this camp, the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department decided in early 1996 to further tighten the facility's physical security system. In addition to affixing metal sheets to all parts of the camp's inner perimeter fence, the CSD also planned to install searchlights in the observation towers.15 A similar prison atmosphere could be found at Whitehead Detention Center, located in the resort area of Tolo Harbor. The camp itself was surrounded by two perimeters of steel mesh wire fences 5.6 meters in height and topped by four rolls of barbed wire. Movement within the camp was restricted, as each section was isolated by its own 5.6 meter fence composed of wire and metal plates. Sentry boxes, which were positioned at regular intervals around the camp, contributed to a heavy sense of surveillance throughout the center. This atmosphere was furthered by periodic surprise raids carried out by CSD and police forces, who stormed the camps dressed in riot gear and armed with tear gas in search of homemade weapons.

Responding to the large number of arrivals in the eighties, the Hong Kong government cited the concern for public order and safety as a key factor in its decision to initiate the closed camp policy. This rationale is clearly reflected in the large sums of money the government has invested to install sentry boxes, search lights, and barbed wire fences in the camps. It is important to note, however, that during the previous decade, a much larger population of Vietnamese asylum seekers lived in open camps throughout the territory, with little effect to Hong Kong's economy or public safety. If the closed camp policy had little impact on Hong Kong society, it had a major impact inside the camps in creating environments of crime and violence. Theft, murder and sexual assault have been common occurrences within the camps. Although victims of such crimes can file complaints with the CSD or with justices of the peace who frequent the camps, evidence suggests that such criminality has been, in part, exacerbated by the management techniques employed by the CSD.16

According to the Correctional Services Department, in the early days of the closed camp policy, government authorities implemented a camp management system that placed certain aspects of the welfare of inmates in thehands of elected representatives.17 Although supposedly supervised by the UNHCR, inside sources reveal that this form of management was, in fact, based on the influence of camp gangs and the power of certain individual inmates. A former Whitehead inmate told Human Rights Watch/Asia that a team consisting of about twenty-five Vietnamese "strong guys" was set up by the CSD to maintain common order in Section 5. Known by inmates as the "Peace and Order Team," this group received money from CSD staff for their services. This system of control , according to the inmate, extended down to the hut level with leaders who were selected by the "strong guys." These men formed what was called the "Hut Leaders Committee" which was headed by a General Hut Leader. Hut leaders were also paid by CSD personnel and oversaw the management, including the distribution of food and supplies such as toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, plastic buckets and blankets, in each hut.18

In a report published in the Hong Kong Standard and corroborated in an interview with Human Rights Watch/Asia, one Correctional Services Department officer revealed that authorities have, in the past, relied on Vietnamese gang members, otherwise known as big brothers or dai goh, to control the camps. According to this officer, dai goh were employed primarily between 1989 and 1992 when the CSD lacked both sufficient manpower and adequate knowledge of the situation and dynamics within the camps. Dai goh were used to intimidate fellow inmates, to force them to follow camp rules, and to provide the CSD with information on camp activities such as protests or demonstrations. As a reward for their services, camp authorities provided these informants with fringe benefits including extra food, toothpaste, and new clothes.19 Often taken from goods donated by the community, this reward system resulted in many of the other inmates not receiving their share of donations. After a controversial incident on April 4, 1994 at Whitehead Detention Center, authorities decided to exercise more direct control of the situation within the camps. By transferring many of the dai goh to different sections and to other facilities, camp authorities managed to dissolve the power bases of the big brothers, break up the system of gang influence, and exert more influence in the camps.

However, remnants of this system persist in the camps today. Most recently, complaints of hunger among the Vietnamese at Whitehead and High Island have raised concerns regarding the abiding power of individual inmates. Many camp inmates have complained that food rations have been dramatically reduced over the last twelve months. Former inmates of Whitehead Detention Center have told Human Rights Watch/Asia that rice rations previously allotted to one adult were being shared among three adults at the beginning of 1996.20 High Island Camp inmates have also complained of a reduction in food rations. Inmates at this facility report that a typical day's menu includes one piece of bread and half a mug of milk for breakfast; one bowl of rice, a two-inch slice of meat or fish with vegetables for lunch; and approximately the same for dinner with the addition of a piece of fruit.21 In what appears to be less than the 2,750 calories per day allowance that the government purports to provide those above eleven years old, this diet can only provide a very minimum of nutritional value for camp inmates.

In response to queries by Human Rights Watch/Asia regarding complaints of hunger among camp inmates, the government affirmed that it had not reduced food rations. While a spokesman for the CSD has openly admittedthat the distribution of food within the camps is a task which has been relegated to camp representatives, the government's Refugee Coordinator insists that there is no evidence to indicate that dai gohs have been used in such a system.22 Social workers in the camps, however, assert that hut leaders regularly exploit food distribution powers to intimidate other inmates, extort money and services, or to make rice wine for sale or for personal consumption.23 As guardians of the camps and as architects of the food distribution system, the CSD is ultimately accountable for this situation.

Degradation of Detention Conditions: Victoria Prison

In 1996 the Hong Kong government stepped up its forced repatriation operations and began to empty its detention facilities at an unprecedented rate. This focus on repatriation has been accompanied by the degradation of detention conditions. Although it guaranteed that conditions for non-refugees would be "no more restrictive than those that applied in closed centers prior to June 16, 1988,"24 the Hong Kong government imposed more repressive conditions on the non-refugee population in 1996. The most obvious example of this approach has been the increasing use of Victoria Prison as a detention facility.

Life at Victoria Prison is even more restrictive than that at the camps. Inmates are not allowed to reheat or respice their food. There are no information centers available for their use, and they are often not permitted reading materials brought to them by visitors or friends. In the 1988 Statement of Understanding, the Hong Kong government gave its assurance that "persons determined not to be refugees will not be confined to their dormitories from dusk to dawn."25 At Victoria Prison, the Vietnamese are only allowed outside their cells at specified periods for a maximum of one hour per day for exercise or recreation. In addition to contradicting the Statement of Understanding, such treatment violates human rights standards set forth in a number of international instruments. Article 31(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, for instance, recognizes the right of the child to engage in play and recreational activities. Rule 47 of the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty further requires that children have suitable amounts of time for daily free exercise and recreation. And more generally, Principle 8 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment stipulates that "persons in detention shall be subject to treatment appropriate to their unconvicted status." Finally, the UNHCR guidelines stipulate that asylum seekers (a category which includes individuals who have been rejected for refugee status on purely formal grounds with which UNHCR would not concur) should be segregated from convicted criminals, women from men, and adults from children, unless the individuals are relatives. They should also have the possibility regularly to contact and receive visits from friends, relatives and legal counsel; the possilbity to receive appropriate medical treatment and to conduct some form of physical exercise,; and the possibility to continue further education or vocational training, or in the cases of persons under the age of eighteen, the right to education which should optimally take place outside the detention premises.

Designated as a detention center for Vietnamese asylum seekers since November 1989, Victoria Prison has seen an increasing number of boat people pass through its doors within the last year as they were moved from the camps in preparation for repatriation back to Vietnam. Accommodations at this facility have proven to be glaringly inadequate. Far exceeding the official capacity of 438, as many as 1,000 people have been held at Victoria Prison following a transfer exercise or preceding a repatriation operation. In May 1996, 980 people were quartered in the prison, with two cells holding 200 inmates each.26 In August 1996, another 1,000 Vietnamese were sent to the facility. According to one inmate, one toilet was shared by sixty people.27 Another inmate told Human Rights Watch/Asia that a room used for Vietnamese inmates had no proper toilet facilities and maintained only two shower taps for as many as 120 men, women and children.28 Instead of preparing accommodations suited for the large number of people involved in repatriation and transfer operations, the government took the position that the limited period the Vietnamese were subjected to such conditions excused this treatment.29 In many cases, however, inmates must live in such conditions for up to two weeks or longer. Given the acceleration of the repatriation process and the associated rise in the number of transfers to Victoria Prison, such intolerable conditions constitute a consistent pattern of abuse by the Hong Kong government. In 1988, the government reaffirmed its commitment both to treat non-refugees in a "humane and dignified manner pending their safe repatriation to Vietnam" and to "make every effort to ensure that satisfactory conditions of accommodation are provided for all Vietnamese."30 Conditions in which Vietnamese asylum seekers were held at Victoria Prison raise serious questions regarding the government's commitment both to its agreement with the UNHCR and to international human rights standards.

Used to punish Vietnamese viewed by camp authorities as troublemakers-a use of detention which is in direct contravention of UNHCR's Guideline No.3, "under no circumstances should detention be used as a punitive or disciplinary measure...", Victoria Prison has also been used for the arbitrary detention of certain inmates. In some cases, the CSD has separated individuals from their families and placed them in Victoria Prison without formally arresting or charging them with any crime or offense. After a riot at Whitehead on May 10, 1996, about thirty people were transferred to Victoria Prison without any official charge. Among this group were eight men known in the camp community as leaders of the New Democracy Movement, an anti-communist political organization.31 One of these men, who was ill during the time of his "arrest," remained in Victoria Prison separated from his wife and family for over four months. Clearly a violation of the fundamental freedom of liberty, such detention is technically lawful in Hong Kong due to Victoria Prison's designation as a Vietnamese detention facility. By international standards, however, such treatment breaches Article 9 of the ICCPR, and Principles 10, 11, and 12 of the Body of Principles which prohibits arbitrary detention and ensures individuals the right to be informed of the reason for arrest.

Voluntary Repatriation and the Use of "Push" Factors

The UNHCR has undertaken a variety of roles and shouldered a number of responsibilities in its work with the Vietnamese asylum seekers in Hong Kong, as it has elsewhere in the world. In addition to participating in the screening process and providing for the welfare of those people judged to be refugees, the U.N. agency has also continued to oversee, in conjunction with the Hong Kong government (and in accordance with a 1988 Statement ofUnderstanding with that government), the care of a large population of people determined to be non-refugees. In addition to such protection and assistance, the UNHCR's mandate also includes the organization of voluntary repatriation operations.32

Particularly within the last year, both the Hong Kong government and the UNHCR have devoted increasing energy to repatriation. The completion of the screening process and China's repeated insistence that Hong Kong be cleared of all boat people before its resumes sovereignty in July 1997 have together contributed to this shift in focus. For the UNHCR, repatriation has raised some important questions regarding the agency's various roles in refugee protection. This is an issue which the UNHCR has itself explored in a recently released publication, Handbook on Voluntary Repatriation: International Protection. Emphasizing the importance of voluntariness in repatriation, the UNHCR has recognized that "push" factors, or forces which compel refugees to return to their country of origin through the degradation of conditions in the country of refuge, seriously compromise the voluntariness of repatriation. In the case of the Vietnamese in Hong Kong, however, the UNHCR appears to have resorted to certain measures to "encourage" more returns to Vietnam which challenge the nature of this voluntariness.

In its 1988 Statement of Understanding with the Hong Kong government, the UNHCR reaffirmed its commitment to provide for the care, maintenance and social services required by all asylum seekers, refugees and persons determined not to be refugees. This included the provision of general welfare such as food, education, training and recreational activities. Within the last few years, however, the UNHCR has progressively scaled back its budget for the boat people. Expenditures have dropped consistently since 1992 when they peaked at HK $373 million.33 Between 1995 and 1996 alone, the UNHCR's outlay for agency-operated support (i.e. funding for nongovernmental organizations that implemented social welfare programs in the camps) dropped 45.49 percent from HK $11,387,420 [US $1,473,146] to HK $5,180,060 [US $ 670,124].34 UNHCR representatives justify such cutbacks by pointing to the limited resources of the organization and its responsibilities in other troubled areas of the world. Human Rights Watch/Asia recognizes that balancing resources against competing priorities is a legitimate and difficult consideration for many organizations. Furthermore, it is also important to note that the UNHCR has already incurred a sizable debt of over HK $1 billion to the Hong Kong government. While acknowledging such considerations, Human Rights Watch/Asia also questions certain changes within the Vietnamese camps that appear to have been largely inspired not by budgetary constraints but by the desire to promote more returns to Vietnam.

According to a UNHCR representative, welfare programs for the Vietnamese detention centers in Hong Kong were evaluated in terms of the objective of actively promoting repatriation to Vietnam from as early as 1993. Citing the changing circumstances in the camps during the early nineties, the UNHCR decided to cut "inessential" services and to exercise more control over continuing programs. It argued that community-based programs, which were previously allowed in the camps, created a "sense of permanence" to camp life, and thus discouraged people from returning to Vietnam.35 As a result of this decision, humanitarian groups and nongovernmental organizations whichsought to mitigate the strains of camp life were forced to leave the camps, in spite of the fact that many of these groups were either independently funded or operated at a minimum or negligible cost. In 1991, there were over two dozen organizations working with or on behalf of the boat people in Hong Kong's detention camps. Today, only four agencies, Médecins sans Frontières, Caritas, Christian Action, and International Social Services, continue to run programs in the camps, and each of these has downgraded the services they provide.

Changes at Tai A Chau Detention Center over the last two years also reflect this approach which some nongovernmental organizations have described as a strategy of "tactical pauperization." Due to its remote location, Tai A Chau camp faced some logistical difficulties in the supply of food and other resources. In the effort to both cope with this situation and help its population develop skills through useful employment, the camp developed a program to breed its own fish, ducks and chickens, grow its own vegetables, and bake its own bread. All of this (except the bakery) came to an end as efforts intensified to encourage people to return to Vietnam. Although this program actually saved the Hong Kong government money, it was regarded to be an obstacle to repatriation and was therefore eliminated. Denying people the chance to work, develop skills and eat fresh vegetables at no significant cost raises serious questions regarding the methods which have been used to promote repatriation.

Perhaps the clearest example of the UNHCR's attempts to "push" the boat people back to Vietnam was the closure of secondary schooling within the camps. In August 1995, the UNHCR stopped all secondary schooling and all schooling in Chinese in Hong Kong detention centers. The UNHCR's response to queries regarding this decision was that the agency, "both historically and globally," has never provided education in any of its refugee camps.36 Not only is this statement patently false, since UNHCR, through its implementing partners, does provide education in refugee camps, but it also contravenes the agency's own guideline No.5 which states, "Children have the right to education which should optimally take place outside the detention premises" and Guideline No. 6, which states that all asylum seekers should have the possiblity to continue further education or vocational training while in detention. In 1995, the UNHCR based its decision to close Hong Kong's camp schools on the desire to "bring all of its programs through the [Southeast Asian] region in line."37 As a result of this decision, approximately 1,150 children were deprived of the right to learn.38

Ultimately, however, the responsibility for secondary education lies with the Hong Kong government, which is obligated under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to make primary education compulsory and available to all and to encourage the development of secondary education, and make that education available and accessible to every child. For over a year, the Hong Kong government responded to criticisms over the suspension of schooling by asserting that "the power to bring [the situation] to an end lies with the parents" who could make the decision to return to Vietnam.39 Revealing the disturbing intention of using detention conditions as levers in repatriation, the government was ultimately forced to reinstitute schooling in the camps under pressure by the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and local NGO advocates who lobbied the committee at its Geneva meetings in June and October 1996.

10 Hong Kong currently maintains two open refugee camps: Pillar Point Refugee Center in Tuen Mun, New Territories, and New Horizons Refugee Departure Center in Choi Hung, Kowloon.

11 UNHCR detention guidelines, paragraph 1.

12 See Asia Watch, "Indefinite Detention and Mandatory Repatriation"; Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Inhumane Deterrence: The Treatment of Vietnamese Boat People in Hong Kong (New York: Lawyers Committee, 1989); Janelle M. Diller, In Search of Asylum: Vietnamese Boat People in Hong Kong (New York: Lawyers Committee, 1988); Pam Baker, "The Torture Convention and Vietnamese Refugees in Hong Kong," Torture in Hong Kong: Implementation of the U.N. Convention Against Torture (Hong Kong: Centre for Comparative and Public Law, 1995); Paul Harris, "The ICCPR and Vietnamese Migrants in Hong Kong," Hong Kong and the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Hong Kong: Centre for Comparative and Public Law, October 1995).

13 Human Rights Watch/Asia correspondence with the Hong Kong government Department of Health, August 27, 1996. Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) operated clinics in section five and six of Whitehead Detention Center until both were closed in April 1996. Respiratory conditions counted for 23 percent of the total number of MSF consultations, gastro-intestinal conditions totalled 10 percent of all consultations, and dermatological problems accounted for 9 percent of total MSF consultations between July 1995 and March 1996.

14 Human Rights Watch/Asia was granted access to Hong Kong's Vietnamese detention centers three months after its initial request. While Amnesty International has had access to the camps for several years, it was denied the right to visit Victoria Prison at the height of repatriation operations in September 1996. The Security Branch of the Hong Kong government (the department which oversees issues concerning the Vietnamese asylum seekers) later granted the organization access to the facility after it had successfully completed a number of transfer operations. This was approximately one month after the organization's researcher had already left Hong Kong.

15 Correctional Services Department, Report to Legislative Council Panel on Security: Security in Vietnamese Migrant Detention Centres (Hong Kong: Correctional Services Department, 1996), p.4.

16 Although Whitehead Detention Center was officially closed on January 3, 1997, Vietnamese who first fled to China and from there to Hong Kong are still held at this facility. They are referred to as Ex-China Vietnamese Illegal Immigrants (ECVII).

17 Leonel M. Rodrigues (principal information officer of the Correctional Services Department), "Letter to the Editor," Hong Kong Standard, September 9, 1996.

18 Human Rights Watch/Asia correspondence with Whitehead Section 5 inmate, Hong Kong, July 28, 1996.

19 Palpal-latoc, "Viet Gang Lords `Control Camps,'" Hong Kong Standard, September 9, 1996; and Human Rights Watch/Asia interview with CSD officer, Hong Kong, October 4, 1996.

20 Human Rights Watch/Asia interview with ex-Whitehead inmates, Pillar Point Camp, Hong Kong, July 2, 1996.

21 Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers (LAVAS) correspondence with Hong Kong Security Branch, August 19, 1996.

22 Human Rights Watch/Asia fax correspondence with Refugee Coordinator, Brian Bresnihan, Hong Kong, November 8, 1996.

23 Human Rights Watch/Asia interview with camp social worker, Hong Kong, July 2, 1996.

24 Statement of an Understanding reached between the Hong Kong government and the UNHCR concerning the Treatment of Asylum Seekers arriving from Vietnam in Hong Kong (1988), p. 1.

25 Ibid., p. 6. In the 1988 Statement of Understanding, the Hong Kong government reserves the right "exceptionally to confine occupants to their dormitories when security requirements make this necessary." According to the Statement, "such measures will be adopted only on a temporary basis [and will] be discontinued when normal conditions return." Given the frequency and regularity of transfer and repatriation operations, such treatment, while "temporary" for individual inmates, amounts to a form of repeated and systematic abuse by the government. While legitimate security concerns accompany such operations, alternatives which accord with human rights standards must replace such treatment.

26 Batha, Emma, "`Migrants' Conditions in Prison Attacked," South China Morning Post, August 29, 1996.

27 Ibid.

28 Human Rights Watch/Asia interview with Vietnamese inmate at Victoria Prison, Hong Kong, May 13, 1996.

29 Batha, Emma, "`Migrants' Conditions...," South China Morning Post.

30 Statement of Understanding, p.1.

31 Human Rights Watch/Asia correspondence with Whitehead Section 5 inmate, Hong Kong, July 28, 1996. See also, Lucia Palpal-latoc, "Detention of Riot Suspects `Arbitrary,'" Hong Kong Standard, July 2, 1996.

32 While the organization of voluntary repatriation operations is not expressly stated in the UNHCR's mandate, it has been provided for in the 1988 Statement of Understanding. According to the UNHCR, the agency's role in voluntary repatriation operations is usually based on bilateral agreements with the countries involved.

33 UNHCR expenditures on Vietnamese asylum seekers in Hong Kong are as follows: HK $373,489,613 in 1992; HK $89,601,074 in 1993; HK $201,661,662 in 1994; HK $218,035,873 in 1995; and HK $175,514,504 in 1996.

34 Human Rights Watch/Asia was only able to obtain a sectoral breakdown for the UNHCR's budgetary outlay from 1995 onwards. In examining the agency's financial commitment to Hong Kong's camps, however, the most significant periods are believed to be between 1991 and 1994.

35 Services considered "non-essential or inappropriate" included community education, camp representation, working with vulnerable groups and hut leaders, general group activities and group forum, and training of para-social workers. See SocialServices Working Group, Implementation Plan for the Continued Provision of Social Services to the Vietnamese in the Detention, Voluntary Repatriation and Refugee Centres in Hong Kong, (UNHCR; Hong Kong, June 17, 1993).

36 Human Rights Watch/Asia interview with UNHCR representative, Hong Kong, July 24, 1996.

37 Ibid.

38 Inmate teachers continued schooling for the Vietnamese children through donations provided by a local nongovernmental organization.

39 Supplementary Report by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in respect of Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Hong Kong: Home Affairs Department, 1996).