The cross-border movements of Karen people in search of asylum have been taking place sporadically in the Thailand-Burma borderland since the late 1940s. Unlike the focus of most existing literature on the refugees inside a particular refugee camp, this paper examines how refugee camps are connected, the key roles played by a central camp and a nearby town in linking the refugee camps, and how linkages extend to both sides of the Thailand-Burma borderland. Findings from the study reveal that although the Karen live a precarious life in refugee camps, they devise and maintain connections with refugees in other camps, and with people beyond the boundaries of refugee camps. This study suggests that being a refugee does not necessarily connote spatial incarceration. Paying attention to the mobility of refugees gives a better understanding of their lives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development