They are the refugees Australia has forgotten. Displaced by years of bloody conflict, more than 100,000 Burmese are still living in Thai-Burmese border camps, as they have for decades, relying on help from outside. But that help is now drying up, with an AusAID decision to withdraw funding from a medical clinic that serves refugees.
Around 75% of the Burmese population worked in agriculture. When they fled the conflict, their land was confiscated, which meant losing their household registration inside Burma, a status that determines citizenship and access to basic services such as health and education. Even those who were displaced but remained within Burma lost their registration, and many now rely on services provided by NGOs across the border in Thailand.