Despite good resettlement opportunities in various countries, the number of non-settled refugees wishing to emigrate is maintained at a high level by the continued influx of new refugees. In addition, it is often difficult to resettle severely handicapped or aged refugees. There are countries where no regular emigration procedure exists and where the number of refugees involved is too small to be handled by selection missions.
200,000 refugees from Viet Nam, Laos and Kampuchea remain confined to camps stretching from Indonesia to Japan. In 1982, 49,000 new Indochinese refugees obtained temporary asylum somewhere in Southeast Asia, only half as many as the preceding year and the lowest number of arrivals since 1977. But the total for whom a durable solution has been found declined even further in 1982: 76,000 were resettled overseas against 168,500 in 1981. After five years of intense activity, resettlement of refugees in the USA is slowing down. In 1983 a total of 60,600 refugees from 20 countries were admitted to the USA, well below the 90,000 ceiling set by the President in consultation with Congress and the lowest number since 1978. The Whitehead Vietnamese Detention Centre in Hong Kong is the world's largest refugee camp (with 23,000 inmates in 1992). It is reportedly run by criminal gangs, with corruption, racketeering, physical violence and human rights deprivation routinely taking place.
Refugee camps, necessary though not ideal structures for initial reception, should be located in places as far away as possible from armed conflict, secure from possible attacks. They should also be organized in such a way as to allow refugees to enjoy a minimum of privacy and medical, educational and religious services. The inhabitants should also be protected from the various forms of moral and physical violence, and have the possibility of participating in decisions that affect their daily living. Security provisions should be strengthened where single women are housed to avoid those forms of violence to which they are often subjected. Since life in camps is artificial and impose, even traumatizing, a long stay in them makes refugees still more vulnerable. Camps should remain an emergency and therefore temporary solution.