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Burma: Refugees

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 13th June 2007.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

(1) what representations she has made to the government of (a) Burma and (b) Thailand on employment and education for refugees that live in camps on the border;

(2) what representations she has made to the government of (a) Thailand and (b) Malaysia on extending refugee status to parents and children of Burmese residents in camps within their borders.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Our Embassy in Bangkok has regular discussions, both bilaterally and together with EU counterparts, with the Government of Thailand and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) about the welfare of refugees in Thailand. These discussions include the question of the refugees' status and access to education and employment. Officials from our Embassy in Bangkok regularly visit the refugee camps to monitor conditions, most recently in May this year.

We have made no representations to the Burmese government about employment and education opportunities for refugees in Thailand.

We have made no representations to the Malaysian government on the status of Burmese refugees. However, our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur remains in close contact with UNHCR about issues concerning refugees in Malaysia.

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