Karen refugees return to Myanmar

02 July 2019
Karen refugees return to Myanmar
Nu Poh Camp. Photo: UNHCR

A total of 151 Karen refugees from 39 families were returned voluntarily to Myanmar from their camp in Umphang district of Tak on Monday morning.

A convoy of 25 vehicles, including 18 passenger vans, left the refugee camp in Ban Nupho village, tambon Mae Chan, for the Myanmar border. They carried 35 Karen men, 36 Karen women, and 80 Karen children.

They were accompanied by soldiers, immigration police, local administrators, and representatives of non-government organisations and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The returnees were to be handed over to Myanmar authorities at the border.

Voluntary returns began in 2016 for refugees from Myanmar, mostly Karen. To date, about 900 refugees have returned to their homeland. 

Thailand has been giving shelter to refugees from Myanmar for 35 years. About 100,000 still live in their camps near the border.