- The situation for all Burmese refugees in Thailand remains precarious, but for Karen and other ethnic minorities it is particularly tenuous.
- Exit visas to Canada are only granted by the Royal Thai Government to those refugees who have obtained an offer of a sponsorship, have been approved by the Government of Canada, have UNHCR "person of concern" status and are in the "safe camp" for the required three month period.
- UNHCR "Person of Concern" status is rarely granted to Karen and other ethnic minority refugees in Thailand, and they are denied access to the "safe camp".
- Earlier CCR resolutions called on the Royal Thai Government not to require refugees to go to the "safe camp" to await resettlement, but this requirement is still in effect and is causing hardships and delays for refugees with approved sponsorships who are NOT in the "safe camp".
Therefore be it resolved
That the CCR:
- Request that the Government of Canada urge that the Royal Thai Government grant exit visas to all refugees approved and accepted for resettlement in Canada, whether or not they are in the "safe camp".
- In the interim, urge the UNHCR to use its influence with the Royal Thai Government to admit all refugees, including Karen and other ethnic minorities with approved sponsorships, to the "safe camp" whence they can be approved for exit visas.
Overseas Protection and Resettlement