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All Kido wanted to do was protect his crops from wild pigs. He had heard from neighbours that the pigs were running wild on his farm, destroying the food that would feed his family and provide their only income for clothes and other essentials. But with resistance soldiers in the area, the Burmese army had ordered all villagers to stay in their homes so that they couldn't provide food or information to the rebels. Kido begged for permission to go to his farm and scare the wild pigs away. Surprisingly, the government soldiers in his village let him go, but he was later apprehended on the farm by a different section of the Burmese army. Suspecting him of collaboration, they ordered him to lie down and beat him on the head with their guns before arresting him. His wife used their family savings to buy his release and they fled to Thailand, losing their crops anyway.<br />
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There are around 1 million Burmese migrants living in Thailand. They exist in appalling poverty. Most are employed in backbreaking manual labour, on dangerous construction sites and fisheries or in karaoke bars and brothels.  They face constant harassment - wage exploitation, physical abuse, rape and even murder are commonplace and routinely go unpunished. Few have access to decent healthcare, to education or to legal protection. For the Burmese in Thailand, human rights are little more than a dream. And yet they choose to stay. Why? Because as bad as things are in Thailand, on the other side of the border, they are even worse.

All Kido wanted to do was protect his crops from wild pigs. He had heard from neighbours that the pigs were running wild on his farm, destroying the food that would feed his family and provide their only income for clothes and other essentials. But with resistance soldiers in the area, the Burmese army had ordered all villagers to stay in their homes so that they couldn't provide food or information to the rebels. Kido begged for permission to go to his farm and scare the wild pigs away....
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Copyright Rob Few