Standing in queues at airports, there is usually very little to do but wait. These days…the waiting can be interminable.
For some, the wait has been much longer than for others. Most people don’t have to wait years to get to the front of the line. Unfortunately, some do.
Yesterday, while passing through airports in both Thailand and the United Kingdom, I saw groups of Karen travellers, carrying plastic International Organisation for Migration bags, nervously picking their way through the crowds. Refugees from one of the world’s oldest on-going conflicts, many Karen – like those in the groups I saw yesterday – have little choice but to seek a better future in distant and alien lands.
With recent and widely reported news that the US government will be accepting many more Burmese refugees, it will probably become increasingly common to see such groups leaving from Bangkok.
Of course, third country resettlement will not solve the many problems of Burma or the Karen State. For many war weary people, it may, however, be an ideal way to continue the crucial work of creating a peaceful and prosperous future for their children to enjoy.
Migration gives many people, and many families, a second chance at happiness and security.