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An intergovernmental organization established in 1951, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

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Thailand

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
18th Floor Rajanakarn Building
183 South Sathorn Road
Satorn District, Bangkok 10120
Thailand
View Map

Tel: +66.2 343 93 00
Fax: +66.2 343 93 99
  +66.2 286 18 18
Email: ROBangkok@iom.int
Country Website: http://th.iom.int/

For information on IOM activities in Thailand:
IOM Country Office, Bangkok

Email: IOMBangkok@iom.int

For information on IOM activities in South Asia:
IOM Country Office with Coordinating Function for South Asia

Email: IOMSouthAsiaCF@iom.int

 

Overview

Thailand actively participates in the two-way exchange of international investment, trade and tourism. This openness to other countries has also resulted in large flows of international migration, including that of refugees, displaced persons, professional migrants and labour migrants. The key migration challenge for the government is irregular migration, including smuggling and trafficking in persons, and its impact on the labour market and public health. Access by migrants to social services has also become an increasing concern in Thailand.

In recent years the Thai authorities have taken a very proactive approach in their response to these challenges, hosting the Bangkok Declaration on Irregular Migration, among other initiatives. It draws attention to the areas of concern highlighted above and provides a platform to develop cooperation among key stakeholders, both from within the sub-region and beyond. In this context, bilateral memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with neighbouring countries have been signed in labour migration and counter-trafficking. IOM continues to strengthen its partnership with the government and the international community to meet the growing challenges of implementing the MoUs and advancing migration management in Thailand.

Movement, Emergency and Post-crisis Migration Management

Donors

Donors

Resettlement Assistance: Resettlement of Refugees from Thailand to Third Countries. IOM Thailand has assisted the departure of more than 96,000 refugees in Thailand since 2004 – the majority of whom are from Myanmar – to 13 resettlement countries. IOM’s roles in the resettlement process included: information campaigns; assistance to the interview missions; medical screening and treatment, follow-ups and pre-departure medical tests, and laboratory services; ground and air transportation; coordination with Thai and resettlement governments, resettlement partners and stakeholders; arranging exit and immigration formalities; providing medical escorts and airport assistance at the ports of departure, transit and arrival.

Emergency: Emergency Relief and Disaster Reduction. During the historic floods of 2011, which affected 26 provinces across Thailand, IOM assisted the Department of Disaster Prevention and Management (DDPM) of the Royal Thai Government and the affected populations through the provision of relief kits, equipment, non-food items and medical supplies. IOM also acted as the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and Shelter lead agency, and coordinated the relief efforts of the government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). In addition, IOM advocated ensuring that migrant-specific vulnerabilities were properly addressed, and that migrants were not left out of the emergency response. In the area of disaster risk reduction, IOM is supporting DDPM in developing and organizing CCCM trainings for government and non-government partners.

Main Projects

  • Health assistance to vulnerable flood-affected and displaced persons including migrants
  • Assistance to the Royal Thai Government Department of Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation in flood relief operations
  • Provision of non-food items and relief kits to migrants affected by flood.

Migration Health

Donors

Health Promotion and Assistance for Migrants. IOM's Migrant Health Programme (MHP), in close collaboration with the Thai Ministry of Public Health, responds to the challenges of public health and migration to create a positive environment and effective health services for migrants and host communities. The programme’s main objectives include providing comprehensive, sustainable and cost-effective health services and access to information to migrants, as well as promoting awareness and support for migrant health. To ensure long-term viability and local ownership of projects, MHP utilizes networks of community health workers and volunteers already in the Thai public health system.

Main Projects

  • Partnership for Containment of Artemisinin Resistance and Moving Towards the Elimination of Plasmodium in Thailand
  • Increase TB case detection in vulnerable populations in North and Northeastern Thailand through community mobilization and GeneXpert technology
  • UN Joint Programme on Integrated Highland Livelihood Development in Mae Hong Son

Donors

Migration Health Assessments and Travel Health Assistance. In the context of resettlement, IOM Thailand conducts the health assessment of refugees accepted for resettlement prior to their travel, including complete medical assessment (physical examination, chest x-ray, phlebotomy, etc.), pre-departure/embarkation check-ups and ensures fitness to travel. IOM Thailand operates its own laboratories in which specimens are examined to detect various infectious diseases. IOM also provides immunization and medical treatment to the refugees, so that they can travel safely and do not pose a public health risk to other travelers or receiving communities. IOM provides TB detection, including counseling support, for both refugees and migrants.

Main Projects

  • Health assessment of Burmese, Hmong and other refugees in Thailand and India prior to their resettlement in third countries
  • Pre-departure Tuberculosis detection programme for long stay (6 months and above) UK Visa applicants

Regulating Migration

Donors

Counter-Trafficking. Since 1999, IOM has worked in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region to improve the identification and assistance of trafficked persons, to partner with government and law enforcement officials to prosecute traffickers, and to collaborate with government and civil society actors in promoting life skills among those most vulnerable, thereby reducing the likelihood of future trafficking.

Main Projects

  • Improvement of Childcare Services and Facilities at the Bangkok Immigration Detention Center
  • Return and Reintegration of Trafficked Women and Children between Selected Countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region
  • Reintegration Assistance for Thai Victims of Trafficking
  • Family Reunification (T-Visa)
  • Study on Trafficking, Exploitation and Abuse in Mekong Sub-region (STEAM)

Donor

Border Management/Human Smuggling. IOM is implementing a project to counter human smuggling at the national and regional levels. The project focuses on capacity building for relevant government officials at the provincial and central levels, and aims to increase capacity to collect and share information on human smuggling, and intercept and assist victims of smuggling at borders.

Main Project

  • Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials

Facilitating Migration

Donors

Labour Migration. Many migrants and their families, especially those who migrate irregularly, are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation due to their precarious legal status. In collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, UN agencies and civil society organizations, IOM is working to enhance the lives of labour migrants in Thailand by (a) promoting high-level national dialogue to facilitate the development of migration policies for the benefit of the country, migrants and society at large, and (b) implementing programmes that improve migrants’ access to basic social services and assistance while fostering cooperation and common understanding of migrant issues among all stakeholders involved in migration management in Thailand.

Information sharing and raising awareness of the latest government policies affecting migrants, and valuable economic contribution that labour migrants make to Thailand, is also an important dimension of IOM’s work. To this end, Migrant Information Notes, endorsed by Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, are produced bi-monthly, providing current, reliable information on the latest migration policy developments, regulations and procedures in Thailand. They are published in English, Thai and Burmese, and are available at the following link: http://203.155.51.53/iomthailand/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=58&Itemid=4r

Main Projects

  • Reducing the Vulnerabilities of Burmese Muslims through Community Outreach and Increasing Their Access to Social and Health Services
  • Greater Mekong Sub-region and Malaysia: Addressing the Risks and Needs of Vulnerable Migrants

Donors

Migrant Processing and Integration. IOM Thailand conducts interactive and student-centered cultural orientation classes for refugees bound for Australia, the Netherlands and Japan. The classes aim to prepare refugees for their initial settlement needs and, in particular, to enable them to become self-sufficient as soon as possible. Cultural orientation classes cover wide topics ranging from factual information in the resettlement countries such as education, health, law, transportation, and on-arrival assistance to learning the “attitude” which helps them survive and integrate in the country of destination. Classes are arranged to cater to the needs of different groups, such as children, families, youth, singles and parents.

Main Project

  • Cultural Orientation of Refugees in Thailand Selected for Resettlement to Third Countries

Migration Research

Donors

IOM Thailand regularly carries out and publishes research on migration issues together with its partners. Policy-oriented research and publications are sought after by governments who want to better understand migration issues in order to improve their migration management; donors who want a better understanding of migration; and development partners who want to better understand the links between migration and a broad range of issues including human security, trafficking, poverty reduction, health and education. IOM's research aims to bring the interests of each of these players together in order to improve and promote dialogue, as well as provide recommendations for continued collaborative work.

Main Projects

  • Study on Trafficking, Exploitation and Abuse in Mekong Sub-region (STEAM)
  • Thailand Migration Report 2011: Migration for Development in Thailand: Overview and Tools for Policymakers

Promoting High-level National Dialogue on Migration. IOM is currently chair of the UN Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Migration. The TWG is an inter-agency body that has been active since 2004 and consists of 14 agencies based in Thailand. The TWG meets bi-monthly and aims to create a better understanding of migration issues and to develop a common approach to strengthening coordination mechanisms and information sharing among United Nations agencies, in close cooperation with several Ministries of the Royal Thai Government.

Last updated:
Main text: April 2012
Facts and figures: September 2014

Migration Initiatives


Reports


The report provides an update of migration statistics, policies and legislation in Thailand and explores the link between migration and development.

Download Report

Trafficking of Fishermen in Thailand

Overview of IOM Flood Response in Thailand 2012

Download Report