World Refugee Day

My first story since I started this project has been published – which, frankly, is sooner than expected! 

Al Jazeera published my story on how Karen Women's Organization is calling for more consultation on the repatriation process, which KWO says has not directly involved refugees and local community-based organizations.

Since the coup in May, both the Thai and Burmese governments have spoken repeatedly about sending refugees back to Burma, but many residents are balking at this plan. The Karen ethnic group makes up about 80 percent of the population living in Mae La, so it's no surprise that the KWO released this statement on World Refugee Day. 

 About 2,000 students in Mae La gathered to commemorate World Refugee Day. (Credit: Dene-Hern Chen)

About 2,000 students in Mae La gathered to commemorate World Refugee Day. (Credit: Dene-Hern Chen)

I was lucky to gain access to Mae La right around that time, and thus able to include some of the refugees' actual opinions into an otherwise straight-forward news piece. (I'm also pleased that they decided to publish some of my photographs, like the one above.)

Al Jazeera has also highlighted other great refugee stories from around the world, such as one Syrian refugee's journey to a camp in Iraq. Another one I found interesting, thanks to a recommendation by a friend, is this short film about a political refugee who has been given citizenship in Ireland, but will probably never truly feel accepted.