This is Mae La, Thailand... / by Tom Oliver Payne


A few years ago I spent some time in a refugee camp for indigenous Burmese fleeing across the border into Thailand, so when I found this film below on a similar camp a few hours north, I felt compelled to share.

Established in 1984, the Mae La refugee camp in Thailand is home to over 50,000 Burmese refugees, of which over 90% are of indigenous Karen.

The continual atrocities of the Burmese military on indigenous people is horrific - displacing tens of thousands every year. Many of the children in these camps have seen their homes torched, their families killed, and are forced to rebuild their lived from scratch with the help of those around them.

With little or no help from the Thai Government, many of these camps exist with support from local communities, as well as independent and international aid programs. If you ever have the opportunity to help those fleeing the places they once called home (whether through finance, or simply, the way you vote), then do so.

Feature image by Virginie Martin-Onraët.