Preparing for the unknown : the livelihood strategies of the displaced Karen from Burma in times of decreasing humanitairian aid in Thailand

Authors: Vachon, Jean-Daniel
Advisor: Michaud, Jean
Abstract: Taking as anchor the current context of decreasing humanitarian aid brought to refugees settled on the Thai side of the Thai-Burma border, this research aims to document the (re)organization of the livelihood strategies of the Karen refugees living in this region in reaction to the decreasing humanitarian aid they receive. The theoretical framework underlying this research is the livelihood approach adapted to the specific context of refugees, to which is added hope as an analytical element, allowing for the consideration of refugees' imagination, projects and visions of the future into the analysis. Results show that Karen refugees' livelihoods are deeply diversified and deeply influenced by the specific state of vulnerability they find themselves in when seeking refuge in Thailand. Refugees, both inside and outside of the official refugee camps, heavily bet on mobility, education and work opportunities to acquire or improve their professional skills and knowledge, allowing them to hope of a better future. In the end, this research highlights Karen refugees' agency, resilience and thirst for self-sufficiency, and advocates for them to be considered as active actors and decision makers when it comes to issues affecting them.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 16 November 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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