Refugees


Thai and Myanmar authorities are registering Myanmar refugees who fled to Mae Hong Son province for repatriation, it was disclosed at the Thai-Myanmar Township Border Committee (TBC)’s meeting Thursday.

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The Karen National Union (KNU)’s vice-chair Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein visited Mae La, the largest Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border and explained the ongoing peace process to about 1,000 refugees.

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh said on Tuesday that she hopes her country can finally resolve the decades-old issue of Rohingya refugees residing in her country now that Burma is under a new government.

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The resettlement of refugees from Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, has been the center of a heated political debate after President Barack Obama last year pledged to resettle at least 10,000 refugees from the war-torn country in the United States.

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Service centers for Burmese refugees who wish to return home will soon be opened in the camps along the Thai-Burma border—a sudden development that has alarmed refugees and camp leaders.

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Morning arrives slowly at Pan Kha Kho refugee camp. It takes a moment for the lemon sun to creep over the horizon, pausing before rising to reveal rows of corrugated-iron roofs lining the valley ahead.

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Service centers providing support for Burmese refugees returning home voluntarily are to be established in all nine Burmese refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border later this month.

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Stakeholders including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and community-based organizations (CBOs) discussed preparations for refugee repatriation in the Mae La camp on the Thai-Burma border.

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A collective of humanitarian agencies, The Border Consortium (TBC), will introduce a new system of food provision, using electronic cards, at the end of this month for Burmese refugees living on Thai-Burma border.

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The United Nation’s (UN) refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is conducting a “last call” resettlement initiative for Burmese refugees living in Thailand who wish to resettle in the United States.

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Health workers in two refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border stopped work over non-payment of compensation and claims that they are treated unfairly by a non-government organization running hospitals in the camp.

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The Ministry of Border Affairs and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) jointly hosted a consultation workshop on a strategic operation plan for the voluntary repatriation of Myanmar refugees in Thailand in Nay Pyi Taw on 6 July, state media reported.

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Thai and Burmese authorities will begin checking documents of Burmese nationals displaced by war who are residing in Thailand to pave the way for their repatriation.

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On the first day of her trip to Thailand last week, State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met with Myanmar migrant workers at the seafood centre Mahachai, near Bangkok.

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Myanmar’s government will send a delegation to Thailand to carry out a citizenship verification process so that 196 people living in the refugee camps along the border can be retaken as they have expressed their willingness to return home, according to a news statement released by the Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Thailand and Burma have agreed to set up a committee to examine related documents in preparation for the repatriation of war refugees residing on the Thai side of their common border.

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Refugees at Mae La, the largest Burmese refugee camp in Thailand, have urged the Thai and Burmese governments not to forcibly send refugees on the Thai side of the Thai-Burma border to Burma.

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Burma should be given more time to prepare to take back refugees, said Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a former commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army.

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On the occasion of your visit to Thailand during June 23-25, we, the Coalition for the Rights of Refugees and Stateless Persons – composed of academic institutions and civil society organisations in Thailand dedicated to providing support to refugees and stateless people, and researching the issue of migration into Thailand, particularly the Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh – would like to make the following recommendations to Her Excellency as the state counsellor and foreign minister of Myanmar:

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Local Thai authorities have reportedly cancelled the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s official visit to the Tham Hin refugee camp in Ratchaburi province on Saturday, according to sources close to the camp administration.

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