About Karen refugees
More than 140,000 refugees live in
camps along the Thai-Burma border.
Most of these refugees are ethnic minority Karen.
They have fled their homeland to escape killings, torture, rape,
landmines and forced labour by the Burmese military regime.
The refugee camps are administered by the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Refugees who are registered with the UNHCR can apply to the Australian
Embassy in Bangkok be resettled in Australia. Refugees must be
interviewed by the Australian government Department of Immigration and
pass medical checks before being accepted to come to Australia. Karen
refugees do not come to Australia unless they have been approved by the
Burma is a Buddhist country, and the vast majority of refugees from
are Buddhist. However the vast majority of refugees from Burma selected for
resettlement in Australia are Christian.
from the Department of Immigration show that more than 80% of Karen
refugees arriving in Australia are Christian, while only 11% are
What we are doing about this situation
The Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation supports Karen refugees to
start new lives in Bendigo in regional Australia. This matches the
Australian government policy of resettling refugees in regional areas.
To overcome discrimination against Karen Buddhist refugees we sponsor
equal numbers of Buddhist and Christian refugees. We also try to help
some refugees of other ethnic groups and religions. This way we are
giving equal chance to refugees of different religions and ethnic
groups, rather than discriminating against any group.
There are many ways you can help Karen Buddhist and Karen Christian
- You can join our campaign to lobby
the Australian government to bring more Karen refugees to Australia,
and make the refugee program more fair and equitable
- You can sponsor a Karen refugee family to come as refugees
- You can assist with fundraising for airfares for refugees
- You can volunteer with newly arrived refugees
- You can lobby the Australian government to make the refugee
program more fair and equitable
If you are interested please contact us.
Photo: UNHCR (top) and TBBC (above).