7 Things You Should Know About the Re-Persecuted

1. Who they are

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The re-persecuted are refugees who flee their home countries, usually because of their religious beliefs.  They escape the persecution in their home countries, only to be persecuted again when they arrive in Thailand.

 

2. Why they come to Thailand

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For many refugees, Thailand is the quickest, easiest country to escape to. Additionally, the United Nations Refugee office is there. After a long process, there’s the possibility that United Nations could give refugees official status. After the refugees receive this status, the United Nations will try to find a new country that they can move to permanently.

 

3. What happens when they get to Thailand

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Most refugees arrive in Thailand on a 60-day tourist visa. As soon as the visa expires, Thai immigration police hunt them down, and will throw entire families into a terrible, filthy, prison. So families live in the shadows, forced into begging, or worse, to survive.

 

4. Why Thai Police Hunt Them Down

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Unlike most countries in the world (including all Western countries),  Thailand does not offer any protection for refugees. Instead, they hunt down refugees and throw entire families in prison.

 

5. For the re-persecuted, life in Bangkok can feel like a nightmare 

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They don’t speak the native language, and are forbidden from working. It is almost impossible for their kids to enter school. They may go days without eating, and always teeter on the brink of homelessness. Any time they step outside their home, they risk arrest. Police will even raid apartments, so any knock on the door could mean that an entire family will be sent to prison.

 

6. It’s especially terrible for kids

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In the few years that they have been alive, refugee children face more hate than many of us will in a lifetime. In Bangkok, they are stuck in tiny apartments all day, unable to run and play outside. Moreover, it is almost impossible for them to go to school, so they may go years without formal education.

 

7. There is hope

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Light shines brightest in the darkness. In the absence of any government help, churches in Bangkok are rising up to help the re-persecuted. Life Raft partners with these churches to provide food, shelter and education to the re-persecuted. You can read more about these efforts here: http://liferaftinternational.org/blog/how-refugees-conquer-fear-through-education