An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Thailand.


An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Thailand.

Karen refugee Nga-meh ,38, (left) works on her loom weaving a shawl along side senior weaver Oo-meh. Both are artisans working with WEAVE (Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment) at the Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee camp in Thailand.

Content of this page:
1. Description of the refugee situation
2. Thailand's response to the refugee situation
3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact


1. Description of the refugee situation

Where does the population of concern live?

Mostly in camps.

Population of concern

  • Myanmar refugees - Location: Camps - Total: 93,283 (end-Oct 2019)
  • Urban refugees and asylum seekers - Location: Urban - Total: 5,122 (end-Oct 2019)

Find live data, information and fact sheets on the refugee situation in Thailand on the UNHCR Operational Portal as well as Global Focus

2. Thailand's response to the refugee situation

Thailand is pursuing a whole-of-government approach in implementing the GCR and to this end has constituted a National Working Group on the implementation of the GCR (which also discusses the implementation of the Global Compact on Migration). The National Working Group has convened in the run-up to the first Global Refugee Forum, particularly to finalize Thailand’s possible pledges at the Forum.

Partnerships in the refugee response

Partnerships have been made possible and strengthened thanks to the implementation of the Global Compact of Refugees, the spirit of the GCR has started to reinvigorate cooperation around the responses to the different refugee situations in Thailand. For example, in anticipation of Thailand’s enactment of a regulation on a national screening mechanism, preparatory workshops with multiple stakeholders have been convened. The Government continues to be supported in the response it delivers for refugees through strengthened partnerships between different actors including NGOs and the private sector. 

Partners involved:

  • Government agencies (at central and/or local level): Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA); Ministry of Interior (MOI); Ministry of Public Health (MoPH); National Security Council (NSC); Royal Thai Army (RTA); Royal Thai Police (RTP); National Intelligence Agency (NIA); Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS); Office of the Council of State.
  • UN Agencies: UNHCR.
  • International NGOs: International Organisation for Migration (IOM); Humanity and Inclusion (HI); Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED); International Rescue Committee (IRC); Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS); Right to Play (RTP); Save the Children (SCI); Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA); The Border Consortium (TBC).
  • National NGOs: Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR); DARE Network; Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment (WEAVE).
  • Private Sector (supporting through fundraising and donations):  Baker McKenzie; DMHOME; Export Shop; IKEA; LIFEiS Group Co., Ltd.; Muang Thai Insurance; Sheikhul Islam Office; Siam Piwat Co., Ltd.; Vimuttayalaya Institute.


3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact

Summary of the Refugee Compact in action in Thailand.


  • Objective 2 - To enhance refugee self-reliance (education): Thailand’s progressive “Education for All” policy gives urban refugee children the right to 15 years of free basic education, although challenges persist with the attending of examinations and obtaining of diplomas. Inclusion in Thai formal schools is supported through access to intense Thai language classes, facilitated through continued coordination by key actors working with refugees in urban areas.
  • Objective 4 – To support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity: There continues to be an ongoing dialogue between UNHCR, the Thai Government, private sector and NGOs to explore opportunities to improve conditions in areas of return in South East Myanmar through the implementation of appropriate development interventions, for those refugees who wish to return home and to explore the possibilities of other solutions under certain conditions. Moreover, on a bilateral basis the Thai Government, through its development cooperation arm, is engaged with the Myanmar Government to support programmes to enhance skills capacity and livelihoods in the regions bordering Thailand.

Pledges and contributions made by Thailand

Pledges and contributions dashboard  (interactive by Area of Focus)

This dashboard includes all pledges and contributions made towards the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in Thailand including national pledges made by the Government of Thailand itself.

> See more good practice projects and initiatives in Thailand