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Media Advisory: Time for A Change: Hear the voices from refugees – towards a more humane Thai refugee policy!

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Time for A Change

Hear the voices from refugees – towards a more humane Thai refugee policy!

16 June 2023

On the World Refugee Day, 20 June 2023, six organizations are screening one short film and organizing a seminar talk on the topic of “Time for A Change: World Refugee Day 2023,” which highlights current challenges faced by refugees. Exacerbated by the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, it is a significant reminder that refugees and asylum-seekers worldwide must be respected and supported. Humanity and do-no-harm principles must serve as governments’ operating principles to guarantee refugees fundamental rights to safety and an adequate standard of living, including access to healthcare and education.

The Government of Thailand has housed around 90,000 refugees from Myanmar in nine camps along the Thailand border for almost 40 years. Due to the decrease in humanitarian funding and restrictions on movement outside the camps, refugees have increasingly faced immense challenges to sustain their livelihoods, including food shortages and inadequate access to health and education. 

As the Myanmar military junta has continued to target civilians along Thailand borders with airstrikes and artillery attacks, thousands of villagers have been fleeing from Myanmar to seek refuge in Thailand. Despite acute needs of subsistence relief items and safe shelter, these asylum seekers have been denied access to emergency assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and non-governmental organizations, and have been forced to return to active conflict zones.

The event will screen one short film produced by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Myanmar. During the event, community-based representatives will present the ground situation of refugees in camps and the waves of new refugee arrivals. The newly elected members of the Thai Parliament from Move Forward Party and Fair Party will also deliver their response and engage in further discussions.

Participants will be able to hear the voices from inside the refugee community and exclusive interviews with speakers from the refugees community and MPs can be arranged for media. 

The event will be conducted in English language and simultaneous interpretation in Thai will be provided.

The event is co-organized by Karen Peace Support Network, SEA Junction, ALTSEAN-Burma, Amnesty International Thailand, Progressive Voice and Friends Without Borders Foundation.

Date: 20 June 2023 (Tuesday)

Time: 5:30-7:30 pm (Bangkok Time)

Location: SEA Junction, 4th floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

Panelists:

  • Dr. Eakpant Pindavanija, Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University  
  • Naw K’nyaw Paw, Karen Women’s Organization
  • T. Naing, former urban refugee in the 90s
  • Tisana Choonhavan, Move Forward Party
  • Kannavee Suebsang, Fair Party

Moderator: Pippa Curwen