Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Larry Jagan

Burmese Migrants Face HIV Test

Burma and Thailand have agreed on a plan to repatriate more than 500,000 Burmese illegal immigrants currently residing in Thailand.

As part of the deal, Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said, the Burmese workers will be screened for HIV. Those testing positive will be separated from the other workers being repatriated.

The agreement was reached in a bilateral meeting between the two countries in Rangoon, when both were attending a tripartite summit with India. Surakirat said those workers who were diagnosed with HIV would be treated as part of a special repatriation scheme.

Thailand has been anxious to get Rangoon to agree to take back more than 500,000 illegal Burmese believed to be living in Thailand. The Burmese government asked Thailand to screen all returning refugees for HIV/AIDS and Thailand agreed.

This is likely to anger human rights groups, who have already accused the Thai government of violating the workers' rights by insisting on a medical examination before they are registered or re-registered.

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Created: April 29, 2002
Last modified: July 9, 2002
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