Refugees


Authorities in Thailand’s Ratchaburi Province have helped 17 migrant factory workers from Burma who are victims of human trafficking.
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The Karen National Union (KNU) in Dupalayar District is preparing three different areas in Burma for returning refugees from Thai camps. A 22-member group of officials from the Thai Noh Hpo refugee camp, Karen Refugee Committee (KRC), Thai authorities, NGOs workers, and The Border Consortium (TBC) recently met with KNU officials to discuss upcoming resettlement operations.
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Soe was barely 18 years old. He sat innocently beside me, dressed in a blue Burmese longyi, on the floor in a temple in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon Province. He possessed just a few bags of basic items consisting of clothing and property. (more…)

Burma’s long-established ethnic Karen armed organization, the Karen National Union (KNU), has been preparing land and shelter for the possible return of civilians displaced internally and on the Thai-Burma border after more than six decades of civil war with government forces.
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Members of the European Burma Network (EBN) have called upon the new NLD government to act swiftly to start to address the Rohingya crisis in the country in a statement released on 6 April.
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Burma, once isolated regionally and globally, is rapidly opening up with ongoing political reforms. Foreign affairs representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in particular are now anticipating a relationship with a new Burmese counterpart. Yet she is no stranger to them: the foreign minister is also the country’s charismatic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
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Muslim organizations both overseas and within Burma have condemned a statement made by Religious Affairs Minister Aung Ko that those who practice Islam are not full citizens of the country.
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The State Department’s minimization of the plight of the Rohingya is sending dangerous, mixed messages to Myanmar and its neighbors.
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The Burmese government’s lifting of the state of emergency in Arakan State should promptly be followed by the end of abusive restrictions on ethnic Rohingya and other Muslims.
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A group of refugees has left the Mae Ra Ma Luang camp on the Thai-Burmese border to return to Karen State, saying conditions in the camp had become intolerable.
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It’s been a busy, challenging couple of weeks for the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party that will assume power in Burma on Friday — nearly five months after an electoral landslide last November, and more than 25 years after it first delivered a humiliating defeat to an army-backed party to win an election victory that was never recognised.
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South Korean-owned garment manufacturers in Myanmar are widely flouting labor law, with almost 30 percent of factories failing to observe overtime rules, a new report says.
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The first witness in the largest human-trafficking trial in Thai history was called to testify last week in a court in Bangkok. The witness, a Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, told of being beaten and starved by gun-toting captors on the boat that ferried him and more than 200 others to a trafficking camp in Thailand.
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A final group of 24 fishing boat slaves is preparing to return home to Myanmar this week from Indonesia, aid workers said at a trafficking meeting in Bali, one of them calling the 1,200 slaves repatriated since last year the “tip of the iceberg”.
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The UN refugee agency has urged the new Burmese leadership to resume dialogue with Thailand and the UNHCR to end the decades-long saga of refugees along the border and give priority to the ethnic Rohingya issue as part of their nation-building process.
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The U.S. State Department said on Monday it had determined that Myanmar is persecuting its Rohingya Muslims, but the government’s treatment of the religious minority group does not constitute genocide.
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Around 25,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority group have left camps for displaced people in western Myanmar and returned to the communities they fled during sectarian violence in 2012, the United Nations said on Monday.
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On March 15, 2016, the Burmese parliament elected Htin Kyaw as Myanmar’s first civilian president in 53 years. It was a historic day for the Burmese people and for democracy in the strife-ridden state, which has been controlled by the military since 1962.
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Myanmar’s extremely disappointing response to its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN confirmed the outgoing government’s unwillingness to address the country’s key human rights challenges, FIDH and its member organization ALTSEAN-Burma said March 17.
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Seven international human rights groups on Wednesday urged the Thai government to better protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking in the Southeast Asian country, which has for years been dogged by criticism for its handling of these populations, including many Burmese.
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