Prevailing Constraints in the Search for Durable Solutions for Refugees in Displacement along the Thai-Myanmar Border

Aungkana Kmonpetch





The prolonged exile of multi-ethnic groups of displaced persons living along the Thai-Myanmar border caused by internal conflict within Myanmar started in 1984. The protracted refugee situation has festered for three decades under the encampment policy of the Royal Thai Government as asylum host state. There are prevailing constraints to a sustainable policy solution. Only two alternatives have been offered to the displaced persons: repatriation or resettlement. However these two possible solutions are determined by the policies and responses of international organizations, the UNHCR, conditions in both countries of origin and resettlement, as well as Thailand’s asylum policy. This article examines how the structural political and institutional factors are shaping the policy implications and coordination structure for durable solutions in resettlement and repatriation. This article also examines how the existing mechanisms in the national, regional and international refugee regime should be applied in response to refugee rights protection and sustainable resolutions.


(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 9/2016, Page 1-27)


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