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North Koreans in China: UNHCR asks for access

Briefing Notes, 21 January 2003

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 21 January 2003, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR has asked the Chinese government for access to a group of 48 North Korean asylum seekers, including children, arrested last Saturday as they tried to board fishing boats in the port of Yantai, Shandong Province. In a note verbale sent to the Chinese authorities in Beijing today (Tuesday), UNHCR also urged China not to send the North Koreans back to their country.

The note says "the [UNHCR] office would furthermore be grateful to receive the government's assurances, as a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, that the protection and humanitarian needs of these asylum seekers are met and in particular that they are not refouled to their country of origin." UNHCR is ready to assess the asylum claims of the group jointly with the Chinese authorities.

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UNHCR Tents Reaching Earthquake Survivors in China

The UN refugee agency has provided 11,000 urgently needed tents to China to help with emergency shelter for some of the 5 million people left homeless after the devastating earthquake that struck Sichuan province on May 12, 2008.

The tents, which were manufactured in China for UNHCR, have been transported to the quake zone. The first 2,000 tents were airlifted to the zone and arrived in Chengdu on May 25 and the remaining 9,000 arrived not long after. These tents can provide shelter for 55,000 people. They have been distributed in the cities of Aba, Deyang and Guangyuan, close to the epicentre of the quake.

Posted on 4 June 2008

UNHCR Tents Reaching Earthquake Survivors in China

UNHCR donates tents for China's earthquake victimsPlay video

UNHCR donates tents for China's earthquake victims

The May 12 earthquake in China's Sichuan province caused widespread destruction and death. UNHCR is responding by donating thousands of tents to help give displaced families some shelter while they rebuild their homes.