UPDATE (THAILAND): Update on Dr Cynthia’s clinic targeted by Thai Government’s crackdown on migrant workers 


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-41-2003
ISSUES: Migrant workers,

Dear friends

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Dr Cynthia Maung and her clinic staff will not be deported to Burma. Forum-Asia, said in its statement last week that there was a risk that Dr Cynthia’s clinic would be shut down and its staff would be deported to Burma by the Thai authorities soon. [Refer AHRC previous urgent appeal: UA-57-2003] However, it was revealed that the information was exaggerated.

In a recent news article, Dr Cynthia was reported to have said, “I am not worried because the Thai health department recognizes my work and its effectiveness. Since we are trying for more cooperation, I believe the Thai authorities will give the situation serious consideration.”

Here is more updated information:

Derek Tachan, chief of the Tak provincial employment office, met Dr Cynthia at Mae Tao on Monday to explain the new labor registration restrictions, which allow permits to be granted only to those employed in hard labor.

Thai-based NGOs and news outlets¡Xincluding international cable television networks¡Xconsequently published reports stating that Dr Cynthia and her staff were to be deported because their permits had expired and that they would not be eligible for permits under the new regulations.

Kanjana Thornton, one of the clinic¡¦s nurses, said reports had created a misunderstanding between Thai officials and the Mae Tao Clinic. She said Forum-Asia, the NGO which issued a statement earlier this week apologized to the clinic staff and would forward a new statement to explain their error soon.

Dr Cynthia said she understood the concern of the NGOs and news outlets. “They know me and my health workers are considered rebels by Burmese junta,” she said.

Kanjana said she and Dr Cynthia apologized to the labor officer about the incorrect reports and any misunderstanding that resulted. The clinic staff is currently waiting for the Thai government¡¦s reply to their request for assistance.


Thank you.

Kim Soo A

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

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Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-41-2003
Countries : Thailand,
Issues : Migrant workers,