Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2016, 16:22 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2003 - Fiji

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 1 June 2003
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2003 - Fiji , 1 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3eddc4918.html [accessed 1 October 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The estimated 100 Fijians who were internally displaced at the end of 2001 returned to their lands in 2002. No refugees or asylum seekers from other countries were known to be in Fiji.

The island of Fiji is comprised of 51 percent indigenous Fijians and 44 percent Indo-Fijians – descendents of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent who were brought to Fiji as indentured laborers for the country's sugar plantations. While indigenous Fijians own 83 percent of arable land, Indo-Fijian tenant farmers grow 75 percent of the sugarcane.

Ethnically based disagreement over expiring land leases was a significant factor behind a May 2000 coup that ousted Fiji's first ethnic Indian prime minister. The political crisis lasted until July 2000, when a military-backed civilian interim government assumed control.

Immediately following the coup, however, ethnic Fijians initiated a campaign of violence against Indo-Fijians. In 2000, Fiji's first camp for displaced Indo-Fijians was established in the town of Lautoka.

During the height of the displacement crisis, from May to November 2000, as many as 375 persons sought refuge in the Lautoka camp. The camp continued to shelter displaced persons throughout 2001, although the number of persons there steadily decreased. The camp closed in April 2002, after the remaining five families there left. The government required the displaced to return to their land in order to receive assistance.

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