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Thailand: Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter Profile (30 June 2019)

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A total of 2,088 persons of concern to UNHCR


Gender: 50% Female | 50% Male

Age: 56% 18 years and above | 33% 5-17 years | 11% below 5 years

Ethnicity: 51% Karen | 49% Karenni

Religion: 97% Christian | 2% Buddhist | 1% Other

*According to Verification Exercise conducted from Jan-Apr 2015 and subsequent changes in population

Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter is in Khun Yuam District, Mae Hong Son Province, approximately 8 km from the Thai-Myanmar border and some 90 km and 3 hours drive from Mae Hong Son town. It has a surface area of 74 acres (0.3


• Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter, so-called “Site 2”, was established in 1992 to accommodate some 150 refugee families fleeing armed conflict from Myanmar. It is the result of consolidation and relocation of former temporary shelters Site 4 and Site 6 in 1996. The majority of the population is of Karen ethnicity originating from Kayah State, with many coming from an agrarian background.


• The Ministry of Interior (MOI) is responsible for administration in the nine temporary shelters. The Ban Mae Surin Camp Commander is the District Officer of Khun Yuam District. A refugee Camp Committee is directly involved in governance of Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter, receiving support from the Karenni Refugee Committee (KnRC).

• A Thai Ranger Unit is stationed near the Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter to monitor security. Territory Defense Volunteers, known as Or Sors, are employed and trained by the MOI to provide internal security in Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter.

UNHCR Activities

• UNHCR implements protection activities including facilitating refugees’ access to the Thai justice system, addressing child protection concerns through its partner and conducting activities to prevent and respond to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

• In line with amendments to the Civil Registration Act (2008) UNHCR continues to advocate to the Royal Thai Government (RTG) to ensure every child has their right to birth registration upheld. As of 30 June 2019, 679 birth certificates have been issued in Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter.

• UNHCR continues to work closely with the Thai and Myanmar governments, the refugee community and other stakeholders to unlock a multi-solutions approach to find a dignified, sustainable and comprehensive end to the situation of protracted encampment on the Thai-Myanmar border.

• UNHCR works in collaboration with the Resettlement Support Center (RSC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and third countries’ embassies on the resettlement process for refugees with serious protection needs including lifesaving medical care. As of end-June 2019, a total of 2,773 individuals have been resettled from Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter.

• Through the Facilitated Voluntary Return (FVR) programme led by the governments of Thailand and Myanmar with UNHCR and other partners in support, UNHCR facilitates voluntary repatriation for Myanmar refugees who through their own initiative approach UNHCR and express their wish to return home. As of 30 June 2019, no individuals from from Ban Mae Surin Temporary Shelter have yet returned to Myanmar through the FVR programme.