majority of refugees there had been resettled inthird countries by UNHCR. The residual refu-gee group was transferred to the Tham Hincamp at the border.
NGOs have been responsible for more than adecade for providing all types of assistanceto Myanmar refugees in the border camps.UNHCR’s main role is to address protection issuesand identify and tackle any needs not covered by NGOs.As relations between Thailand and Myanmarimproved over the course of the year 2001,Thailand revived bilateral discussion on therepatriation of refugees to Myanmar. The ThaiGovernment did not review its refugee policies,and the admission criteria for all asylum-seekersremained restrictive. The Government advocatedearly repatriation of refugees to the so-called ‘safeareas’ in Myanmar and the establishment of aUNHCR presence on the other side of the border.Although in broad agreement, UNHCR held thatrepatriation must be voluntary and that specificconditions must be met before any organisedrepatriation can be envisaged.
Although UNHCR had unhindered access to allcamps, a request to establish a more permanentpresence in the camps was turned down by theGovernment for fear of creating a pull factor.UNHCR repeatedly requested that one of thecamps be relocated further away from the borderfor security reasons, but this request was also turneddown on the grounds that only camps at the bordercould be sure to retain their temporary character.The Government did not apply its policy of ‘harmonisation’ (of registration requirements in allcamps) to asylum-seekers residing outside camps;this left them vulnerable, without adequatesecurity or assistance.The Provincial Admission Boards, which ruledon the admission of new arrivals, continued toapply restrictive criteria, and admission waslimited to persons fleeing actual fighting. UNHCRfrequently endeavoured to influence the decision-making process, both directly and by meansof appeals for deserving cases rejected by theBoards.In late October, a group of 63 persons fleeingMyanmar sought temporary asylum in ThongPhapum district. Despite the efforts of UNHCR,the diplomatic community and NGOs, the groupwas deported to Htee Wah Doh. UNHCR laterreceived reports that Myanmar troops arrested agroup of five persons in Htee Wah Doh, includingone of the 63 deportees.
Although not fully funded, planned activities wereimplemented without disruption through realloca-tion of resources mainly due to the scaling downand closure of MBSC which had been the mostcostly component of the operation.
Protection and Solutions
As voluntary repatriation is theonly viable durable solution forthe majority of refugees fromMyanmar, UNHCR has startedsensitizing the camp population by providing the refugees withopportunities to discuss a variety
Th ai l an d
–UNHCR Global Report 2001
Persons of Concern
Total Of whomPer centPer centMain Origin/ in CountryUNHCR Femaleunder 18Type of Populationassisted
Income and Expenditure(USD) Annual Programme Budget
RevisedIncome fromOther FundsTotal FundsTotalBudgetContributions
Includes income from contributions restricted at the country level.
Includes allocations by UNHCR from unearmarked or broadly earmarked contributions, opening balanceand adjustments.The above figures do not include costs at Headquarters.