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Tin Maung lives in hiding in Thailand. He fled forced conscription into the Burmese army, whose well-documented abuses against civilians include rape, torture and summary execution. It took him a week to get here, climbing through the mountains with his wife, his mother and his 2-year-old son. Many families like Tin Maung's never make it - they are caught and shot or die of malaria while making the journey. But Tin Maung felt he had no choice. "I couldn't join the army," he says. "I was afraid to die. I was afraid to kill."<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.

Tin Maung lives in hiding in Thailand. He fled forced conscription into the Burmese army, whose well-documented abuses against civilians include rape, torture and summary execution. It took him a week to get here, climbing through the mountains with his wife, his mother and his 2-year-old son. Many families like Tin Maung's never make it - they are caught and shot or die of malaria while making the journey. But Tin Maung felt he had no choice. "I couldn't join the army," he says....
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Copyright Rob Few