Thailand flag

Thailand Thailand RSS Feed

2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Thailand

| Overview |

Working environment

  • The context of reforms and the improved situation in the south-eastern part of Myanmar, the area of origin for most refugees in Thailand, are generating discussions on the prospects for eventual voluntary return, which is currently regarded with "cautious optimism".

  • There is concern among the Myanmar refugees in Thailand that assistance levels in the border camps may not be sustained in the medium term, as donor and agency support may increasingly focus on assistance to south-east Myanmar.

  • The provision of temporary shelter in nine border camps by the Thai Government has remained unchanged over the years, with limited access to higher education, livelihoods and other opportunities for refugees. With the possible reduction in humanitarian assistance, the protection risks of economically vulnerable refugees who might resort to negative coping mechanisms for survival, will represent an additional challenge for the Office in 2014.

  • In urban areas, the surge in the number of new asylum-seekers who originate from various countries will affect the capacity of UNHCR to undertake registration and refugee status determination (RSD) in the absence of a national asylum framework or legislation.

People of concern

The main groups of people of concern planned for in 2014 are: Myanmar refugees of mostly ethnic Kayin and Kayah origin (others are of Bamar, Shan and Mon descent) who are enduring one of the most protracted refugee situations in the world (some arrived in temporary shelters on the Thai-Myanmar border in 1984); urban refugees and asylum-seekers of more than 30 different nationalities, mainly residing in Bangkok, who have reportedly lost their connection with their former countries of origin and are deemed to be stateless in Thailand. A smaller group of stateless people is that of Rohingya individuals fleeing civil unrest and violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, who have been under the temporary protection of Thailand since January 2013.

Planning figures

UNHCR 2014 planning figures for Thailand
TYPE OF POPULATION ORIGIN Dec 2013 Dec 2014 Dec 2015
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 646,770 138,240 591,610 82,770 538,840 28,700
Note: The figures provided above are solely for the purposes of planning. At present, conditions in Myanmar are not considered conducive to return. UNHCR, while supporting a refugee profiling exercise in the nine camps and developing a comprehensive solutions strategy, is neither promoting nor deciding on any plan specifically related to voluntary repatriation to Myanmar.
Refugees Myanmar 77,240 77,240 44,540 44,540 12,500 12,500
Various 1,480 1,480 1,740 1,740 1,950 1,950
Asylum-seekers Myanmar 14,400 14,400 9,900 9,900 7,400 7,400
Various 2,430 1,100 3,740 1,100 5,040 1,100
Stateless people Stateless 506,200 - 506,200 - 506,200 -
Others of concern Myanmar 45,020 44,020 25,490 25,490 5,750 5,750

| Response |

Needs and strategies

In 2104, core protection concerns will continue to be at the forefront of UNHCR's objectives on the Thai-Myanmar border in the face of challenges in terms of preventing and responding to vulnerabilities, child protection concerns and domestic and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). UNHCR will support strategies that promote the skills development and empowerment of refugees and work towards achieving trust and reconciliation between communities. Meanwhile, the Office will continue to prepare for voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity when conditions are conducive. It will be imperative to ensure that humanitarian actors are adequately prepared and to set standards to preempt involuntary or premature returns or returns to places other than those selected by individual refugees. It is not anticipated that return, either spontaneous or in an organized manner, will be on a large scale in 2014. However, the situation may change depending on developments in the country of origin and requires close monitoring.

In urban areas, considering the institutional and legal vacuum in relation to asylum for non-Myanmar asylum-seekers, UNHCR will need to continue to promote policy change, process registration, conduct RSD, provide subsistence allowance to vulnerable individuals and facilitate access to essential services, such as health care and education. Robust advocacy to ensure that urban refugees/asylum-seekers can benefit from existing social protection mechanisms will continue.

In the context of Thailand's national strategy for addressing the situation of people whose legal status is unclear, UNHCR will step up its support to the Government as it continues to register, verify and regularize the status of people who have lost their connection with former countries of origin and are regarded as stateless.

| Implementation |

Coordination

The operation for Myanmar refugees on the border is coordinated with the Ministry of the Interior, the authorities at provincial and district level, and with the international and local NGOs operating under the umbrella of the Committee for Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand. Refugee representatives, donors and NGOs will take part in the newly created Voluntary Repatriation Coordination Group. UNHCR will ensure the interface with the Governments of Thailand and Myanmar, organize cross-border coordination and provide information management common services to facilitate the preparedness of refugees regarding voluntary return and other durable solutions. Coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Bureau as well as the support of UN Agencies and local associations are essential to meet protection needs in urban areas and to address the specific situation of Rohingyas.

2014 UNHCR partners in Thailand
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Ministry of the Interior
NGOs: American Refugee Committee, Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees, Handicap International
Others: UNDP, UNOPS, UNV
Operational partners
Government agencies: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, National Security Council
NGOs: Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Committee for Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand, International Rescue Committee, Jesuit Refugee Service, Malteser International, Right to Play, Shanti Volunteer Association, Solidarités International, Taipei Overseas Peace Service, Thailand Burma Border Consortium, Women's Education for Advancement and Empowerment, World Education
Others: FAO, ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO

| Financial information |

The 2013 budget for Thailand has slightly increased from the 2012 budget to support a larger group of urban refugees and provide for provisional preparations for voluntary repatriation to Myanmar. In 2014, the comprehensive needs are estimated at USD 32.8 million. The increase of USD 5.3 million compared to 2013, is to facilitate voluntary repatriation should a number of refugees decide to return (cash grant and specific transport arrangements for vulnerable groups). Within the 2014 budget, USD 26.3 million are foreseen for protection activities and voluntary returns of Myanmar refugees; USD 5.8 million for refugees and asylum-seekers in urban areas and USD 700,000 for stateless people in Thailand. The "face-to-face" private sector fund raising initiative in Thailand is expanding and is a major contributor to local fundraising efforts. Early and flexible funding will allow the operation to meet additional protection needs and facilitate voluntary return.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105


UNHCR contact information

UNHCR Regional Office in Thailand
Style of Address The UNHCR Regional Representative in Thailand
Street Address 3rd Floor, United Nations Building
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200
Thailand
Mailing Address P.O. Box 2-121
Bangkok 10200
Thailand
Telephone +66 2 288 1234
Facsimile +66 2 280 0555, +66 2 281 6100
Website http://unhcr.or.th
Email thaba@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 7:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM: 08:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Tuesday:AM: 08:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Wednesday:AM: 08:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Thursday:AM: 08:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Friday:AM: 08:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 03 January 2011, observed for 01 January New Year's Day
18 February 2011, Makha Bucha Day
06 April 2011, Chakri Memorial Day
13 April 2011, Songkran Day
17 May 2011, Visakha Bucha Day
12 August 2011, H.M. the Queen’s Birthday
30 August 2011, Eid Al-Fitr
7 November 2011, Eid Al-Adha
5 December 2011, H.M. the King’s Birthday
26 December 2011, Christmas Day observed for 25 December
Comments Countries covered: Cambodia, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam
And the following countries where UNHCR has no presence: Brunei Darusslam, Laos and Singapore
UNHCR Field Office at Kanchanaburi
Style of Address UNHCR Field Office at Kanchanaburi
Street Address 265 Saengchuto-Tai Road
Pak Preak,
Muang District
Kanchanaburi
Thailand
Mailing Address 265 Saengchuto-Tai Road
Pak Preak,
Muang District
Kanchanaburi
Thailand
Telephone +663 462 2393
Facsimile +663 462 2919
Email thakc@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 7:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM:8:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Tuesday:AM:8:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Wednesday:AM:8:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Thursday:AM:8:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Friday:AM:8:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 3 January 2011, New Year’s Day (for SAT 1 Jan)
18 February 2011, Makha Bucha Day
6 April 2011, Chakri Memorial Day
13 April 2011, Songkran Day
17 May 2011, Visaka Bucha Day
12 August 2011, H.M. the Queen’s Birthday
30 August 2011, Eid Al-Fitr
7 November 2011, Eid Al-Adha
5 December 2011, H.M. the King’s Birthday
26 December 2011, Chrismas Day (for SUN 25 Dec.)
UNHCR Field Office at Mae Hong Son
Style of Address UNHCR Field Office at Mae Hong Son
Street Address 23 Nivespisan Road
Muang District
Mae Hong Son 58000
Thailand
Mailing Address 23 Nivespisan Road
Muang District
Mae Hong Son 58000
Thailand
Telephone +665 361 1197
Facsimile +665 361 3118
Email thamh@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 7:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM: 08:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Tuesday:AM: 08:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Wednesday:AM: 08:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Thursday:AM: 08:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Friday:AM: 08:00 -12:00, PM:13:00-16:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 3 January 2011, New Year’s Day (for SAT 1 Jan)
18 February 2011, Makha Bucha Day
6 April 2011, Chakri Memorial Day
13 April 2011, Songkran Day
17 May 2011, Visaka Bucha Day
12 August 2011, H.M. the Queen’s Birthday
30 August 2011, Eid Al-Fitr
7 November 2011, Eid Al-Adha
5 December 2011, H.M. the King’s Birthday
26 December 2011, Chrismas Day (for SUN 25 Dec.)
UNHCR Field Office at Mae Sariang
Style of Address UNHCR Field Office at Mae Sariang
Street Address 157/6 Moo 12 Langpanich Road
Bankard, Mae Sariang District
Mae Hong Son 58110
Thailand
Mailing Address 157/6 Moo 12 Langpanich Road
Bankard, Mae Sariang District
Mae Hong Son 58110
Thailand
Telephone +665 368 2568
Facsimile +665 362 1091
Email thams@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 7:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM: 8:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Tuesday:AM: 8:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Wednesday:AM: 8:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Thursday:AM: 8:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Friday:AM: 8:00-12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 3 January 2011, New Year’s Day (for SAT 1 Jan)
18 February 2011, Makha Bucha Day
6 April 2011, Chakri Memorial Day
13 April 2011, Songkran Day
17 May 2011, Visaka Bucha Day
12 August 2011, H.M. the Queen’s Birthday
30 August 2011, Eid Al-Fitr
7 November 2011, Eid Al-Adha
5 December 2011, H.M. the King’s Birthday
26 December 2011, Chrismas Day (for SUN 25 Dec.)
UNHCR Field Office at Mae Sot
Style of Address UNHCR Field Office at Mae Sot
Street Address 34/5 Mae Sot - Mae Tao Road
Mae Sot Drictrict
Tak
Thailand
Mailing Address 34/5 Mae Sot - Mae Tao Road
Mae Sot Drictrict
Tak
Thailand
Telephone +665 553 4636
Facsimile +665 553 4617
Email thabm@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 7:00
Working Hours
Monday:AM: 8:00 - 12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Tuesday:AM: 8:00 - 12:00, PM:13:00 - 16:30
Wednesday:AM: 8:00 - 12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Thursday:AM: 8:00 - 12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Friday:AM: 8:00 - 12:00, PM: 13:00 - 16:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 3 January 2011, New Year’s Day (for SAT 1 Jan)
18 February 2011, Makha Bucha Day
6 April 2011, Chakri Memorial Day
13 April 2011, Songkran Day
17 May 2011, Visaka Bucha Day
12 August 2011, H.M. the Queen’s Birthday
30 August 2011, Eid Al-Fitr
7 November 2011, Eid Al-Adha
5 December 2011, H.M. the King’s Birthday
26 December 2011, Chrismas Day (for SUN 25 Dec.)
• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •
Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Thailand [1]
Refugees [2]
More info 136,499
This figure includes 57,500 unregistered persons originating from Myanmar living in the refugee camps and reported as persons in a refugee-like situation.
Asylum Seekers [3] 4,712
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 506,197
Various [8] 216
Total Population of Concern 647,624
Originating from Thailand [1]
Refugees [2] 222
Asylum Seekers [3] 174
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 396
Government Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014
More info 20,000
As at 2 July 2014
2013 20,000
2012 20,000
2011 20,000
2010 20,000
2009 20,000
2008 20,000
2007 20,000
2006 20,000
2005 20,000
2004 20,000
2003 25,000
2002 15,000
2001 0
2000 15,000
Private Sector Contributions to UNHCR
Private sector fund raising 2013

Total contribution in USD: 4,288,293
Total contribution in currency: 131,528,327 (THB)
2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2006
YearUSD
2014
More info 1,416,323
As at 8 May 2014
2013
More info 4,288,293

Total contribution in USD: 4,288,293
Total contribution in currency: 131,528,327 (THB)
2012 3,691,828
2011
More info 3,330,039

Total contribution in USD: 3,330,039
Total contribution in currency: 101,452,040 (THB)
2010
More info 2,325,736

Total contribution in USD: 2,323,731
Total contribution in currency: 73,741,971 THB
2009 1,430,366
2008 167,684
2007 0
2006 0

Thailand UNHCR Fundraising Reports Rss FeedUNHCR Fundraising Reports

more documents

Thailand UNHCR Maps Rss FeedUNHCR Maps

more documents

Refugees from Myanmar: Ethnic Karens Seek Shelter

Over 2,000 refugees from Myanmar have crossed the border into Thailand in recent months. Most claim to be fleeing renewed conflict and human rights abuses in Kayin state, Myanmar. The mainly ethnic Karen refugees say their houses and villages have been burned and civilians killed. Many were weak upon arrival, suffering from illnesses such as malaria, after a long, dangerous journey to the camps through heavily mined areas. The refugees have been arriving at government-run camps, mainly in the Mae Hong Son area in northern Thailand.

UNHCR is working with the Thai government and non-governmental organisations to ensure the new arrivals are admitted to the camps and provided with adequate shelter and protection. Shelter has been a major issue as the capacity in many refugee camps has been overwhelmed. In a breakthrough in mid-May, Thai authorities agreed to build proper houses for the new arrivals.

There are currently 140,000 refugees from Myanmar living in nine border camps in Thailand, many of them have been there for up to 20 years.

Refugees from Myanmar: Ethnic Karens Seek Shelter

Angelina Jolie revisits Myanmar refugees on World Refugee Day

UNHCR's Special Envoy Angelina Jolie spent this year's World Refugee Day with Karenni refugees from Myanmar. Some have been in exile in Thailand for 30 years, making this one of the longest-running refugee situations in the world.

On her fourth visit to the refugee camps in Thailand, Jolie met Baw Meh's family, three generations of refugees who have lived in Ban Mai Nai Soi camp since 1996.

The family told Jolie they fled Myanmar's Kayah state thinking they would return home shortly. Eighteen years later, they are still here. Baw Meh, 75, lost her husband last year. He died before he could fulfill his dream of returning home. Some of their family members have been resettled to third countries. Others have chosen to stay. Baw Meh has refused to go, preferring to stay close to her village.

Like many refugees along the border, her family is watching the reform process in Myanmar closely and mulling the prospect of eventual return. "After 30 years in exile, the best solution we can give these refugees is the right and power to choose their own way forward," said Jolie. "This is our chance to get it right, to break the vicious cycle of conflict and displacement once and for all."

Angelina Jolie revisits Myanmar refugees on World Refugee Day

Thailand: Thang's Dilemma Play video

Thailand: Thang's Dilemma

Thang is a refugee in Thailand. He and his mother fled his village because he feared being forced to join an army that was killing his own people. No one chooses to be a refugee.
Angelina Jolie visits refugees in ThailandPlay video

Angelina Jolie visits refugees in Thailand

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits Karenni refugees in northern Thailand.
Big Business Helps RefugeesPlay video

Big Business Helps Refugees

Decision-makers of four high powered international corporations came together in a refugee camp in Thailand, looking for innovative ways to assist refugees.
Play video

Through ninemillion.org Paw Wah, a young refugee living in a refugee camp in Thailand is able to share with you a glimps of her life. To learn more about the ninemillion.org campaign visit the website.