Stories: Thailand

  • Gay and Undocumented, Burmese Refugees Struggle in Thailand

    “Queer migrants” or LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) refugees from Myanmar – called as such because they had to leave their countries and go somewhere else to be able to live safely as themselves – have looked at Thailand as the ideal destination, with its louche, gay-friendly lifestyle. But in too many cases, in the...

  • Who Bears the Brunt of Thailand’s Crackdown on Migrant Workers?

    It has been more than 10 years since Aye Min fled Myanmar amid the fighting between the military and the Karen nationalist forces. With nothing but the clothes on her back, Aye Min boarded a boat in 2006 and crossed the Moie river to Mae Sot, a district located at the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Now 43, Aye Min lives in a...

  • The intricacies of transitioning: How to safely make the change

    When Charice Pempengco– the girl whose singing prowess brought her to popular American programs such as “Ellen” and “Oprah”–decided to transition to embrace his identity as transman Jake Zyrus, one of the biggest questions from the public who grew up watching him was, “What will happen to his voice?” It was...

  • ‘America Has Forgotten About Us’: Former US Allies in Vietnam Flee Persecution

    During the Vietnam War, Kanh Kpa’s indigenous Montagnard relatives fought alongside US Army Special Forces in Vietnam’s remote Central Highlands, where the mostly Christian tribesmen gained a reputation as fierce and loyal allies. But after the war, the ethnic and religious minority Montagnards, or “mountain people,” long at odds with the Vietnamese government, paid...

  • The Woman Determined to End Drug-Resistant Malaria

    Malaria is bad enough. It kills nearly 600,000 people each year and brings potentially booming economies to a grinding halt. But drug-resistant malaria, with its likelihood of spreading and thereby perhaps multiplying its current death toll, has the tropical medicine world in crisis mode. Then there's Dr. Sara Canavati, in Cambodia, where the resistance...

  • The Knowledge Gap of Research Ethics

    It seems an obvious thing to do, right? I mean why shouldn't research be used to help alleviate the struggles of some of the world's most vulnerable people? Well, as it turns out, researchers do not exactly have the greatest ethics track record when it relates to working with those most vulnerable. Much of our collective spirit in...

  • Resisting Resistance: What’s Next in the Fight Against Malaria?

    It's been described as a crisis in the anti-malaria community. Resistance to ACTs (artemisinin-based combination therapies), the oft-described super drug in efforts to combat malaria, have reached a tipping point. The most deadly malaria parasite, Plasmodium Falciparum, has for years been altering its genetics in response to the drug. The resistance, first reported at the border of Thailand and...

  • An Eyes-Only Rotation in Thailand

    A previous accident had already cost the Thai fisherman his sight in one eye when a fish jumped from a bucket and slapped him in the face. The blow ruptured the fisherman’s remaining “good” eyeball. It was a late evening in March when the injured man arrived at Mettapracharak Hospital and Eye Institute west of...

  • Displaced in Thailand

    In most of Thailand, the majority of people are Buddhists. But in the Southern-most provinces, the majority are Malay-speaking Muslims. Malay militants want to separate from the Thai state, saying it doesn’t respect Malay identity. Since the conflict escalated in 2004, around 5 thousand people have been killed, and more than 200,000 have had to leave their homes. The Malay militants...

  • A Stick in the Heart

    Tin Tun rides his motorbike through the Thai border town of Mae Sot. He cruises past rice fields on the outskirts until he reaches the warehouse of a corn-processing plant. A wiry man with a broad forehead and receding black hair, he ducks into a passageway that leads to an encampment for Burmese migrant workers. Tin Tun must travel here...