Tanma is a Burmese refugee women’s cooperative in Malaysia comprising three artisan groups: Mang Tha respresenting the Alliance of Chin Refugees, Kaoprise for Mon Women and Chin Womens Organisation (CWO)
Their objective is to create a safe place for the women to earn income, to protect their rights and to empower themselves through skills, training and mutual aids.
'When Burma became independent in 1948, many of the minority tribes did not want to join Burma. Over the years as the Military Junta took control of Burma. The state started to attack minority tribespeople regardless of wether they were rebels or not. This drove many of them to flee to neighbouring countries like Malaysia, where they either become refugees or illegal immigrants. Malaysia is not a state party of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. There no legal or administrative framework in place in the country. After registration to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) only they are officially recognized as a person in transit waiting to be relocated, process which takes years. There are almost 200 000 refugees in Malaysia who fled from Myanmar, 30% of them are women.'
Filmed & Edited by Pierre-Emmanuel TESTARD