The term Boat People was transferred to the 1970er years from the American linguistic usage. It referred at the time to boat refugees in the consequence of the Viet Nam war. In the original linguistic area one speaks of indochinese more exactly boat people (boat refugees Indochinas), since the theater concerned also Kambodscha.
The English and German term are to a large extent synonymous, whereby the English term is more affektierter Boat People by the well-known historical purchase, and more strongly the despair of the refugees transports to entrust itself even unseaworthy ships. In contrast to this the German term of boat refugees is also more neutrally applicable to forms of the people smuggling of asylum-seeker by boat, who also improves organization and material includes.
When "Boat People" became in the 1970er and at the beginning of the 1980er years vietnamesische refugees admit, who fled after the Viet Nam war from fear of the new communist regime with its work and reeducating camps with boats over the southChinese sea. The refugees floated on ageweak, high-unseaworthy boats on the sea, because they would have rather accepted death than under a communist regime to live. Most of them fell the storms, Piraten, predominantly from Thailand, or hunger death to the victim, before they could be saved. Therefore 1979 of the German journalist Rupert new deck became a rescue action German committee. A ship for Viet Nam initiates. From this 1982 the committee Cap Anamur/German emergency surgeons registered association came out.
The cases of escape also high-sea-unfit boats are limited however not to Viet Nam, but arise also in the escape countries Cuba, Haiti, Morocco and Albania. 2001 drowned 353 asylum-seekers, who tried to drive from Indonesia to Australia, as their ship, who sank SIEV-X.
Also in the Mediterranean, close of the Sicilian coast, sank 1996 - unnoticed by the public to a large extent - a ship with boat refugees on the way from Africa to Europe. 283 humans, predominantly refugees from India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, drowned. It is assumed that since 1992 altogether more than 10,000 boat refugees drowned in the Mediterranean.
The committee Cap Anamur turned therefore also to these current cases. Disputed however their public-effective rescue action of shipwrecked ones was in the Mediterranean in July 2004, which was rated of European governments partially as compulsion of the Italian authorities and as indirect support of Schleusertum and slave trade. The boat refugees saved by Cap Anamur from the Italian authorities in legally doubtful shortened proceedings (less than two weeks) again were pushed away.
The phenomenon of the boat refugees in the Mediterranean developed due to the introduction of a visa obligation for the North African countries and the ever stricter bulkheading measures of the European Union.
See also: Cap Anamur
"Escape into death the sea, the village and the silence - a ship disaster before Sicilies"; TV-documentation of Marc meadow and Karl Hoffmann; sent on 10 July 2005 on arte tv.