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Published on Nov 2, 2009
Burma's longstanding political and humanitarian crisis has displaced millions of people forcing many to flee to neighbouring countries. The first refugees arrived and set up camps along the Thailand-Burma border in 1984. Today, more than 140, 000 refugees mostly from Eastern Burma are living in nine camps along Thailand's western border. Most are from the Karen, Karenni, Mon, and Shan ethnic groups. Since 2005, refugees in the camps have been offered the opportunity to apply for resettlement to third countries. However, the camp populations are not decreasing because a new generation is being born and people continue to flee the ongoing conflict in Burma. The Thailand Burma Border Consortium, an alliance of 12 international NGOs including Christian Aid in the UK, has been providing food and shelter to Burmese refugees and displaced people for 25 years.