Reportage by Getty Images
"Half a Century Without Freedom - Life under the Military Regime of Burma"
The one-a-half-year old son of an illegal Burmese migrant worker couple lies in a coffin as cremation starts in the Thai-Burma border town of Mae Sot, Thailand. The boy had died of tuberculosis the day before but only the mother, a few friends and volunteers from a funeral service for the poor attended the service. The father was absent since the family had just spent 370 USD to get him smuggled from the border town to Bangkok where jobs are easier to be found and better paid. Now, they could not afford to bring him back for the funeral.
There are up to two million Burmese migrants in Thailand – most of them are illegal and often fall prey to corrupt police officers or gangs extorting money from them in return for not handing them over to immigration authorities. Also, even though Thailand is obligated to offer health services to its migrant population the in reality migrants are left to either the mercy of local NGOs or left to their own devices when they fall ill.