Burmese Camps in Phang Nga, 2006

The issue of Burmese immigrants in Thailand is a thorny one and I have not been able to learn all the necessary information to
understand the complex issue.

There are those who speak generally of the Burmese as illegals, in Thailand without proper documentation, living secretly in
mountainous areas without benefit of a support system. There certainly are many of those living along the border.

Additionally, there are Burmese who do have permits to work in the booming construction industry in southern Thailand. How and where they get those permits is unclear.

But whatever the situation is, it would appear that both illegal and legal Burmese immigrants are relegated to a shadow existence. They frequently live in sub-standard immigrant camps, such as the one in Khao Lak featured in the photos below. Additionally, in most areas in the South, Burmese children are denied access to Thai schools, though the central government has determined all children, regardless of their heritage, are entitled to a public education.

Hence, the need for the Grassroots Human Rights (HRE) and Development Committee's Children's Learning Centers featured in the other photo albums linked to this page.