Threatened return of Burmese asylum-seekers from Thailand to Burma
See also Refoulement, push-backs and rejection at borders
|Description/subject:|| ||Non-refoulement is a principle of the international law, i.e. of customary and trucial Law of Nations which forbids the rendering a true victim of persecution to their persecutor; persecutor generally referring to a state-actor (country/government).
Non-refoulement is a key facet of refugee law, that concerns the protection of refugees from being returned to places where their lives or freedoms could be threatened. Unlike political asylum, which applies to those who can prove a well-grounded fear of persecution based on membership in a social group or class of persons, non-refoulement refers to the generic repatriation of people, generally refugees into war zones and other disaster areas.
Non-refoulement is a jus cogens (peremptory norm) of international law that forbids the expulsion of a refugee into an area, usually their home-country, where the person might be again subjected to persecution.|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||23 August 2012|
|Title:|| ||Karen Refugees Committee’s 10 points to repatriation
|Date of publication:|| ||26 March 2013|
|Description/subject:|| ||The KRC’s statement said that 10 key points had to be met in order for a repatriation process to be put in place that did not undermine the lives of refugees:
(1) Nationwide ceasefire should be observed,
(2) There should be sustainable peace and political conflicts should be settled,
(3) Provision of universal human rights must be respected,
(4) Relocated areas should be freed from land mines and security should be given a priority,
(5) The relocated areas should be suitable for one to support their livelihood; favourable land should be provided adequately for one family,
(6) Health certificates, education certificates received should be recognised by the government,
(7) We will not tolerate force repatriation; it should be one’s own decision or voluntary return,
(8) Adequate preparation should be given to return,
(9) Right should be given to the Committee concerned regarding repatriation and allow them to inspect location and collect necessary information,
(10) The repatriation can only take place when the concerned organisations, KRC, INGOs, NGOs, UNHCR, and CBOs agree that there is a genuine peace in Burma|
|Source/publisher:|| ||KRC via KIC via BNI|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||27 March 2013|
|Title:|| ||Thai authorities say 700 Rohingya who entered Thailand illegally will be sent back to Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||11 January 2013|
|Description/subject:|| ||"...Thai authorities said Friday that about 700 people from Myanmar’s beleaguered Rohingya minority who had entered Thailand illegally were found in two separate raids in the country’s south and that they would be sent back to Myanmar.
Police and government officials found 307 Rohingya asylum seekers during a search Friday at a warehouse in Sadao district in Songkhla province, police Maj. Col. Thanusin Duangkaewngam said. On Thursday, nearly 400 Rohingya were found in a raid in the same district..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||AP via "Washington Post"|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||13 January 2013|
|Title:|| ||Position on the Repatriation of Refugees from Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||12 December 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"After the Karenni Refugee Committee (KnRC) organized three workshops on September 20-21st, November 9th and October 8-10th, attended by representatives of KnRC, Karenni community based organizations and religious leaders, the groups agreed on a common position paper on refugees’ repatriation as follow.
Although the situation in Burma has improved and democratic reforms have taken place in the last year and a half, the changes seem to be reversible. There is no political stability due to ongoing conflict in some ethnic areas, no rule of law, no security for refugee returnees, and more importantly, a genuine peace hasn’t been established in the country. Thus, it is obvious that this is not the time for the refugees to return yet.
The repatriation of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) must be in line with international principle; the return must be voluntary in “conditions of safety and dignity.” Before the refugees return to Burma, the following pre-conditions must be in place:..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Karenni Refugee Committee and Karenni Community Based Organizations|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (438K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||17 December 2012|
|Title:|| ||The Situation of Refugees on the Thai-Burma Border
|Date of publication:|| ||11 December 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Since the initiation of President Thein Sein’s limited reforms in Burma and the signature of
preliminary ceasefires agreements with some of the ethnic armed groups, the issue of refugee
return is becoming increasingly prominent. According to The Border Consortium (formerly the
Thailand Burma Border Consortium) there are approximately 160,000 refugees on the Thai-Burma
border. The governments of Thailand and Burma have made no illusions as to their aims: to
repatriate the refugees as soon as possible. Donors and the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) have already started preparing refugees’ return while community-based
organizations (CBOs) that constitute and represent refugees are trying to bring the refugees’ voices
to the decision makers. The refugees themselves are suffering from a lack of information and clarity
as to their own future and as such, tension and anxiety have been building in the refugee camps..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Burma Partnership|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (138K-OBL version; 700K-original)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmapartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Refugee-Background-Paper.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||17 December 2012|
|Title:|| ||Nothing About Us Without Us - Refugees' Voices About Their Return to Burma (video)
|Date of publication:|| ||10 December 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||A powerful video made up of interview clips, mainly with refugees, as well as UNHCR, TBC and other Thailand-based refugee and human rights organisations about the proposed repatriation of Burmese refugees in Thailand back to Burma. The film is especially critical of the lack of consultation by the UNHCR, Burmese and Thai Government with the refugees and community-based organisaations......"Burma Partnership is pleased to announce the launch of a short documentary entitled "Nothing About Us Without Us". The film highlights refugees' voices about repatriation from camps along the Thailand border back into Burma.
Featuring interviews with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, leading academics, representatives from civil society organizations and the refugees themselves, the film shows the lack of information currently available to most refugees and outlines the necessity of including refugees in the decision-making and planning processes related to their return to Burma."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Timothy Syrota|
|Language:|| ||Adobe Flash (18 minutes, 40 seconds)|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Burma Partnership|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||10 December 2012|
|Title:|| ||KRC ATTITUDE AND PERSPECTIVE TOWARDS REPATRIATION (English and Karen)
|Date of publication:|| ||03 October 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"After the transition from military government to civilian government in
Burma, most of the people hope that a positive change could take place. If a
genuine and realistic change indeed does take place, then another step in the
repatriation process for the people to resettle to their own land would
definitely follow. However, the arrangements of any refugee's return should
comply according to the standard of international law.
KRC, as the main supervisory body, represents 7 camps,
approximately 150,000 refugees, and administers all the affairs of the camps’
management and programmes. Thus, KRC has the responsibility to take the
lead on developing any plan for repatriation and for co-ordinating with
organizations such as NGOs/INGOs and CBOs in this process. In this way,
regarding the repatriation, KRC will stand for firstly, the choice of the
individual refugee to make their own decision and secondly, the changes in
Burma need to be legitimately recognized and recommended by the
international communities. Therefore, under the management of KRC - EC,
some conditions required as below have been laid down..."|
|Language:|| ||Englsh and Karen|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Karen Refugee Committee (KRC)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (99K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 October 2012|
|Title:|| ||Karen Community-Based Organizations’ Position on Refugees’ Return to Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||11 September 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||Today a grouping of Karen Community Based Organizations (KCBOs) released their collective position in response to recent news about the repatriation of refugees. The position paper outlines the pre‐conditions and processes necessary for a successful and voluntary return of refugees from several camps along the Thai‐Burma border, back to Karen areas. Repatriation without these pre‐conditions and processes will be against the will of the refugees and will not respect their right to return voluntarily in safety and with dignity.
“We are encouraged by the changes in Burma but there are many improvements that would need to happen before refugees would be safe to return,” said Dah Eh Kler from the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO).“We fled the fighting and the abuse by the Burma Army. We know the ceasefires are still fragile and do not yet include an enforceable code of conduct; the troops are still all around our former villages, along with land mines and other dangers. We hope that we can go home one day soon, but it is just not possible under the current conditions in Karen areas.
The position paper is a comprehensive view of what the Karen community needs in order to go home. It outlines several pre‐conditions that must be met before refugees return to Burma, including: achievement of a political settlement between ethnic armed groups and the Burma government, agreement on a nationwide ceasefire, guaranteed safety and security for the people, clearance of land‐mines, withdrawal of all Burma Army and militia troops, end of human rights violations, abolishment of all oppressive laws and resolution of land ownership issues.
“We have learned from the UNHCR that the Burma government has already planned the locations to which refugees will be repatriated. KCBOs were very surprised to hear this as we and the refugees themselves have not been consulted properly on where, when and how they will be repatriated. Refugees have the right to make free choices on where, when and how they will return to their homeland,” said Ko Shwe from the Karen Environment and Social Action Network (KESAN).
In order to make their own choices about their return, the KCBOs have outlined specific processes that must take place, including defining how consultations with refugees and affected communities must be conducted and how refugees and KCBOs must take part in the decision‐making process at all stages, including in preparation, implementation and post‐return phases.
For the full list of pre‐conditions and necessary processes, please see the attached position paper......Burma, Karen, myanmar, refugee, repatriation, return, thailand|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Women's League of Burma|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (142K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||12 September 2012|