Survey finds more Shan refugees seeking asylum in Thailand
A humanitarian assistance group figured out that last year even more Shan refugees have fled to the Thailand-Burma border, to escape several abuses and forced labor by the Burma Army, according to a 2008 survey made by a relief group based in Chiangmai’s Fang district, northern Thailand.
22 January 2009
Since January 2008, at least 2,160 men and 2,288 women have fled to Fang, Mae Aai and Chaiprakan provinces. These people have been working at plantations and construction jobs with very low pay, said the survey.
Most of them fled across the border through the jungle, while others crossed by motorbike and some by car, said a source from the group. Those who cross the Thai-Burma border through the jungle contact guides to lead them to Thailand. According to some estimates, a passage for a single person can be up to 5,000 Baht (US $ 142.85).
Out of the many Shan migrants arriving this year, this group was able to provide support for 4,448 people, said a source from the group. “There are still many people we can’t provide. We can only provide for the new arrivals.”
Two people are given 15 liters of rice by the group. The group can only provide when the migrants have first arrived, said a source.