A Survival Story from the Thai-Burmese Border: The Struggle for Education in the Burmese Community in Thailand

Mary Purkey


The Burmese refugee/migrant community on the Thai-Burmese border figures prominently among “refugee diasporas” in the world today. This article describes efforts of Burmese people within this community to provide basic education to their youth in extra-legal migrant schools in the midst of the unwelcoming environment created by the Thai government’s refugee policy. It argues that this community needs greater support than it is currently receiving in order to achieve recognition and security given the impossibility of safe and voluntary repatriation to Myanmar in the foreseeable future. The article closes with a number of specific proposals for facilitating the delivery of education to Burmese “migrant” youth in the Burmese community in Thailand through intervention by both state and nonstate actors.

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