The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says it is encouraged by the high priority the new government of Thailand is giving to the plight of Burmese refugees in Thailand.
The UN agency says Thailand's new prime minister told a meeting of UN agency heads in Bangkok last week that one of his administration's top priorities is improving conditions in the nine refugee camps run by his government.
The UNHCR Tuesday urged Thailand to issue identity cards to all 140,000 refugees now living in Thai refugee camps, and to allow them to move outside the camps to look for work. The agency said such a move could also help Thailand meet its need for a larger workforce.
Most of the refugees have fled fighting in military-ruled Burma.