UNHCR - the world's leading refugee organization - examines the major refugee crises of the last 50 years and the changing nature of international responses to the problem of forced displacement. Refugees and other displaced people are the victims of events beyond their control: persecution, armed conflict, and human rights violations. Increasingly, they are also recognized as an important factor affecting both national security and world politics. With over a million people forced to flee their homes in Kosovo, East Timor, and Chechnya in 1999 alone, it is clear that the problem of forced human displacement will remain a major concern of the international community in the 21st century. This book describes the development of international refugee law and the establishment of institutions devoted to the protection of refugees and other displaced people. It traces the major crises in which UNHCR has been involved since its establishment 50 years ago. Beginning with the mass displacement in Europe after the Second World War, the book addresses the flight of refugees from Hungary in 1956, crises associated with process of decolonization in Africa, the Bangladesh refugee emergency in 1971, the sustained exodus from Indochina which began in the 1970s, and the large outflows resulting from the protracted wars of the 1980s in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Central America. Looking at the challenges of the 1990s, the book examines the popular shifts in the former Soviet region, the Kurdish exodus from northern Iraq following the Gulf war, the increasingly restrictive asylum policies in Europe and North America, and the recent crises in the Balkans, the Great Lakes region of Africa, East Timor, and the Caucasus. In this timely and important publication, UNHCR emphasizes the need to find lasting solutions to problems of forced displacement. Without human security, it argues, there can be no peace and stability.