An urgent appeal to the Government of Thailand for extending humanitarian assistance to Karen Indigenous Peoples seeking protection in
the Thai-Myanmar border.
20 APRIL 2021
Manushya Foundation, Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT), Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) Foundation, and 20 civil society organizations released a joint statement to call for the Thai government to extend humanitarian assistance to Karen Indigenous Peoples seeking protection in the Thai-Myanmar border.
Since the Myanmar military staged a coup on February 1, it has been using extreme violence to suppress the anti-coup pro-democracy movement spreading across Myanmar, killing and brutally beating the peaceful protestors. Moreover, the Myanmar military also intensified its violence against ethnic groups in the country since many have shown their support and joined the pro-democracy movement.
On March 28, the military indiscriminately bombed the area occupied mainly by the Karen indigenous peoples. This resulted in displacement of thousands of Karen indigenous peoples including women, children, and youth as they were forced to flee from their home or risk losing their lives. Many of them are trying to cross the Thai-Myanmar border to survive by seeking safe shelter in Thailand and for those who have made it across the border, they have been hiding in the forest in fear of being sent back.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stated that the Thai government would not force those seeking refuge back to Myanmar. Therefore, in the statement, we call for the Thai government to step up and take real action by providing necessary aid including food, shelter, and medical aids, giving clear guideline to relevant government agencies in order to facilitate an effective aid delivery, and lastly, respecting the non-refoulement principle and international human rights standards.