CDSSEA 10: Identification Regimes

Negotiating Regimes of Identification in Mae La Refugee Camp and Mae Sot Township

The refugee situation in Thailand is a 30-year running protracted issue. The Thai state has employed an encampment policy to deal with refugees and put in place special security regulations for displaced persons from Myanmar in the camps.
This research aims to see how displaced persons engage with the regime of identification in the refugee camps and border towns of Thailand to gain access to assistance, rights, and protection. Displaced persons in Mae La refugee camp have learned how to live and use documents of identification to access not only humanitarian assistance and protection but also rights to work, education and citizenship. Identification documents are thus not a technology of control over displaced persons—rather, they are turned by displaced persons to seek opportunities. In doing so, displaced persons are not passive, but instead strategic actors who have learnt how to negotiate with systems of control and power for survival and betterment.

Publication date : February 2018
Price : 250 Baht / 8 US$