Naw Mi (30) and Paw Tid (7 months)

Photograph by Saw Mort (Karen News)

Photograph by Saw Mort (Karen News)

7 years ago Naw Mi, a Karen woman from Burma, came to Thailand for work. When she was young there was violence from war near her village. Because of poverty she decided to try and find work in Thailand. Her daughter Paw Tid was born prematurely at 7 months at Mae Tao Clinic and was registered at the Thai district office in Mae Sot.

“I am Naw Mi from Pi Ta Khar village and I have only completed grade 3 of elementary school. Due to fighting near my village, we had to move our homes and the school many times and later there was no school at all…. When I was 18 I moved and worked in a factory in Mae Sot where I met my husband. I couldn’t speak Burmese very well and I earned only 700 baht per month. I started work from 8 am and finished work at midnight. I needed the money just to survive. … My friend told me to deliver my child at Mae Tao Clinic because if my child has a birth certificate she will be able to attend Thai School and will be able to travel freely. Our facilitator [at Mae Tao Clinic] arranged transportation and assisted us to go to the District Office. I want my child to learn Thai and English and grow up like other children.”


Ma Hnin Watt Yee (15)


15 years ago Ma Hnin Watt Yee was born at Mae Tao Clinic and her parents received her delivery certificate. Later when she was a teenager the family applied for and were issued with a CPPCR Birth Record. Ma Hnin Watt Yee also holds a 10 year student ID card issued through her Thai school. Currently we are helping the family apply for more permanent legal status with the Thai authorities.

“My name is Ma Hnin Watt Yee, my father’s from Shan State [Burma] and mum is from Mate Ta Mo[Burma]. I’m studying in … grade two of high school. I was born in Thailand. … At school my Thai Teachers are good to me and I have many Thai friends and the teachers treat us [Burmese kids] the same. When I visited Burma I didn’t feel anything special… I didn’t feel at home there I felt like a stranger. If I have Thai ID, it will be easy for me to find work … it will give me better opportunities and freedom. In the future I want to be a Teacher.”


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