Brother Bernard Wirth helps refugees in Thailand and is now a runner-up for the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award
With refugees being in the news all over the world, this came across my desk today. A video about a man, Brother Bernard Wirth, who is a volunteer at Bangkok Immigration Center and who has helped over 400 refugees in Thailand in the last 20 years get bail and, thus, their freedom.
Brother Bernard was recently named as a runner-up for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award for his volunteer work.
As most people know who have spent any time in Thailand, the country has a terrible record on human rights in many areas, but particularly when it comes to refugees and asylum seekers.
Refugees in Thailand have no legal rights, with tens of thousands of them spending decades, yes, literally decades in refugee camps with no way to get legal status in the country.
Many people living in refugee camps in Thailand are not allowed to leave the camp. There are no jobs, there is no way to earn money and nothing to do.
Refugees in Thailand, thus, live wasted lives. Lives that are completely dependent on other people for clothes, food and living materials.
This is just one of the many reasons why Thailand needs more people like Brother Bernard Wirth.
Maybe then the country would begin to join the 21st century when it comes to basic human rights and to refugee rights, and not stay wallowing in the 18th century behavior it is currently stuck in.