Karen Community Based Organizations issued a position paper on the repatriation of refugees along the Thai-Burma border back to Burma saying it is critical that they are included in the process.
The KCBO in a statement paper said that all pre-conditions should be met and procedures need to be in place before refugees are returned otherwise it will be against the will of the refugees or disrespectful to their rights.
The KCBO in a statement paper have requested that before the return of refugees can happen, there needs to be a nationwide ceasefire agreed to by the government and the ethnic armed groups, a de-mining program started, the guaranteed security of all refugees and that all human right violations, including the confiscation of villagers lands must stop.
Naw Dah Eh Kler, spokesperson for KCBO and the general secretary of the Karen Women Organization, spoke to Karen News about the groups concerns of the repeated media and community talk about repatriation.
“We’ve been hearing rumors refugees would be sent back but when we make inquiries, no one seems to know for sure. We want to say that whenever this does happen we, the KCBOs, must be recognized as a stakeholder and be allowed to take part in the process.”
Naw Dah Eh Kler said that the KCBOs is composed of those groups that are working with refugee and migrant communities based along the Thai-Burma border and without their participation, refugee repatriation should not be carried out.
The KCBOs, acknowledge that despite the Burma government wanting to have all refugees in camps along Thai-Burma border returned, it is the responsibility of the Thai government and the United Nation High Commission for Refugees to carry out the process.
The Karen Community Based Organizations (KCBOs) is an alliance of Karen groups working on education, health, relief assistance, environment, community development and human rights. These groups have been working in response to humanitarian crises in Karen areas and along the Thai‐Burma border and deliver assistance to refugees and internally displaced people.