Orientation
Ban Mae Surin was previously called Karenni Camp 5 prior to consolidations in 1996.

Location: Khun Yuam Sub-district, Khun Yuam District, Mae Hong Son Province
Distance from Border: 3 kms in a straight line, 8½ kms down Mae Surin river
Distance from Mae Hong Son: 90 kms. Approx. 3 hours driving time in normal conditions
Distance from Mae Sariang:   99 kms. Approx. 3½ hours driving in normal conditions
Accessibility: Car: Generally all year round access, 4WD required in the rainy season. Local rivers can swell making access impossible.
Phone: No mobile phone coverage
Note: Due to severe restrictions of access to this camp, explicit permission papers are required.
Camp Geography: Area 190 rai (30 ha)
TBC Feeding Population: 3,300 (March 2012)

Breakdown by Age
<5 Yrs
5-17 Yrs
Adult
12.2%
38.1%
49.7%
Breakdown by Gender
Female
Male
50%
50%
Breakdown by Ethnicity
Karen
Karenni
Other
85.22%
13.76%
1.02%
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History
Refugees were first located here along the Mae Surin River in November 1991 and it has been the site of many of the refugee camp consolidations since.

In January 1993, most of the residents of Karenni Camp 4 moved to this site. Karenni Camp 6, located further downstream about 2 kms from the border and with a population of about 300, was moved here in July 1994. Again, in March 1998, when many of the smaller Salween camps were consolidated into what is now Mae La Oon camp, 291 Karennis relocated to Site 2 from Klo Pa camp. And in June 1998, 195 residual refugees from the original Karenni Camp 4 arrived and settled in Section 4, the first section you reach as you arrive into camp.

Unlike Site 1, this camp is so remote that it still manages to maintain strong elements of the typical villages that many of the residents originally came from, and since 2005, when the Royal Thai Government (RTG) approved registered refugees to be eligible to apply for resettlement to 3rd countries, residents of this camp have had to relocate to Ban Nai Soi (Site 1) for processing(see “Demographics” below for more details).

Due to its isolation, the camp is off the mains electricity grid, although the camp office, and health and education centres in the camp do now have access to power from electric generators. Hydro electricity is widely generated in the camp, mainly to recharge vehicle batteries to power household lighting.

This camp has never been attacked.

                                                                                         Courtesy of The Border Consortium

Resettlement

 (Source: IOM)

In 2005, RTG gave approval for resettlement opportunities to be offered to camp residents. Statistics for resettlement by camp are available since 2006. As of December 2011, 1,690 people have departed from Ban Mae Surin, with the majority resettling in the USA.

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  Map : Courtesy of The Border Consortium