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Landmine Refugees Project

About the project

Burma (Myanmar) has an enormous, and growing, landmine problem.

Every day people tread on landmines laid by the Burmese Army, militia groups or guerrillas. Many people injured by landmines die of their injuries before they reach medical care. The Burmese government is now the only government in the world that manufactures landmines and uses them against its own people.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines estimates that ten per cent of  townships in Burma are effected by landmines. Vast areas in Karen State and along the Thai-Burma border are now heavily contaminated with landmines.

The Landmine Refugees Project (LRP) will bring refugees to Australia from refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border to start new lives in Bendigo, in regional Australia. We will help refugees who have lost legs (and sometimes arms) to landmine explosions.

Why help refugees who have been injured by landmines?

  • Helping refugees most in need – With more than 150,000 refugees on the Thai-Burma border, it can be hard to know who to help. But refugees who have been injured by landmines are among those who have suffered the most.
  • You can’t lie about a landmine injury – Knowing if people claiming to be refugees are telling the truth can sometimes be hard. But you can’t lie about being losing a leg to a landmine.

The Landmine Refugees Project has two parts:

  • Bringing the refugees to Australia – We will sponsor refugees (with their families) to come to Bendigo through the Australian government refugee program. The refugees must be living in refugee camps in Thailand, must be registered with the United Nations, and must apply through the Australian Embassy in Bangkok for refugee visas.
  • Giving the refugees the best start in Australia – Refugees themselves tell us they want to learn English quickly, get paid work, and make friends in the wider community. We plan to make this happen.

A fair go

The Landmine Refugees Project will help refugees who have been injured by landmines, whatever their religion or ethnic group. It is not only Karen refugees who have been injured by landmines: many Mon, Karenni, Shan and Burmese Muslim refugees have lost legs and arms to landmines. We will help refugees from all refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border.

Bringing genuine refugees to live in Bendigo matches Australian government policy of resettling refugees from refugee camps outside Australia, to live in regional areas.

The Landmine Refugees Project is a partnership of the following organizations:

  • Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation
  • Karen Baptist Community Victoria

 

Documents

Landmine Refugees Project flyer (A4 document - English and Burmese)

Landmine Refugees Project - A Christian Reflection (A4 document - English and Burmese)

Landmine Refugees Project - A Christian Reflection (A3 document - English and Burmese)

Images: A landmine warning sign (top), a Karen refugee child stands next to his father's prosthetic leg (above).

 
 
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