Black Coal Kids


I met these Burmese workers in a port, along the Thai-Burmese border. I asked them for a light, then a picture. They agreed to both, put the small one on the front-line, posed and smiled, all except the small one who was afraid. Then they all climbed on the back of the old blue truck stacked to the sky with bags of coal and they were gone. Except for the small one, who stood, left behind, in a puddle.
Millions of Burmese work in Thailand, many of them illegally and without legal protection from anyone. The Burmese primarily work in the mining, fishing and agricultural industries. Abuse by employers and authorities is rife, but they keep on coming because their own country does not provide them with even the most basic opportunities.