In-depth: Myanmar’s refugees still on the run
MYANMAR: New IRIN photo gallery now live
Umpiem and Nu Po refugee camps near the city of Mae Sot in Western Thailand
BANGKOK, 4 June 2009 (IRIN) -
A new IRIN photo gallery is now live.
The photo gallery accompanies IRIN's coverage of Burmese (Myanmar) refugees in western Thailand. Over 100,000 refugees who fled conflict and alleged persecution in Myanmar live in nine camps in often remote parts of western Thailand. Unable to return to Myanmar, their lives are tightly curtailed. A new generation has grown up in the camps.
Recent IRIN articles have looked at the legal issues of the refugees and a major resettlement programme which takes refugees to a new life in a third country - for many, the USA. The major resettlement programme may affect the quality of social services in the camps however, as skilled long-term refugees leave.
Thailand hosts not only the "official" refugees but a much larger number of economic migrants from Myanmar.
Thailand's strict refugee policies have been the subject of criticism but UNHCR and locally-based NGOs acknowledge that the country should be recognized for hosting over 1.2 million refugees over the past 30 years.