Diakonia - People change the world


In Thailand, Diakonia supports a variety of local partner organizations with a special focus on human rights and the question of identity and citizenship. The beneficiaries are ethnic minority groups in the north and stateless people, including refugees from Myanmar/Burma.


Focus on democracy and human rights

The main thematic areas of Diakonia and our partner organizations in Thailand are:

Democracy and good governance

Human rights

Gender equality

Social and economic justice, with emphasis on the participation of women and youth.

The rights of minorities

Thailand has a population of 67 million people (2012), out of whom about 1 million belong to various ethnic minorities. These minorities lack political influence, are underrepresented in civil society and vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation, remaining acutely disadvantaged.

Diakonia has through co-operation with local organizations pushed forward the agenda of ethnic minorities and sustainable development. Significant progress has been made in increasing community participation in demanding and defending their rights and many people have received Thai citizenship and other legal statuses.

Provides legal support

Diakonia's partner organizations assist migrants and ethnic minority groups to obtain legal identity documents.

With the support of Diakonia, partners have established networks at community level that aims at raising awareness about human rights. The networks are also providing legal support to people subject of human rights violations.

In 2013 the Legal status rights network was established. Here, civil society organizations work to protect people and provide legal support, work with advocacy and raise awareness of human rights, especially those relating to legal status and citizenship rights. 

How we support our partner organizations

Diakonia supports our partner organizations with funding and capacity building. Together with our partner organizations, we work to  increase their ability to demand and defend human rights and strengthen their participation in democratic processes. 

Our partner organizations also work with children's rights, anti-trafficking campaigns, rehabilitation of victims of trafficking, support of migrants and climate justice.

Diakonia and our partner organizations also engage local authorities to promote, respect and protect human rights, as well as strengthen participatory democracy.

In addition, Diakonia supports humanitarian and development programmes along the Thailand-Myanmar/Burma border, where many refugees stay.

Read more about our work in Thailand

  • He wants all of his pupils to have the same rights in life

    The head master Korkiat Sonsa-ad is dedicating all his spare time and efforts to help the stateless pupils. So far he has managed to help around thirty of his students to get a Thai citizenship.
  • Thailand: “Now I live a completely new life”

    When Tipnaree was 10 years old, she earned 50 baht (USD 1,5) a day on a construction site and had almost never been to school. As a member of an ethnic minority in Thailand, without schooling and knowledge of...
  • He's been denied his rights due to power abuse

    Brialai Saewue is born and raised in Thailand. He is also a Hmong and as many other ethnic minorities he lacks Thai citizenship. Brialai Saewue has been struggling for the last six years to finally gain the...
  • Wanida´s identity was stolen

    The freedom of stateless people in Thailand is limited. Wanida is one of many children who recieved help from Diakonia’s partner to apply for legal citizenship. A process that can be both long and unfair. Now...
  • Thailand: Justice served for Karen villages

    In 2009, the Ban Huay Krathing community became part of a national park and risked losing its land. Social Development and Services Unit (SDSU), supported by Diakionia, came in to support the community and...
  • The importance of an ID card

    We got a letter from a stateless woman in Thailand. We are calling her Mae, since her identity needs to be protected. Please read her story about how she got assistance fron the Diakonia partner Social Life...
  • Aung San Suu Kyi visited Mae La camp in Thailand

    On June 2nd 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi visited the Mae La refugee camp in Thailand. The camp is the home of almost 50 000 Burmese people, who have fled the oppression in their country. More about Suu Kyii's visit
  • Thailand and Myanmar/Burma: Rebuilding the Umipem Mai camp

    On February 23rd 2012 a fire broke out in Umpiem Mai camp - home to over 17,600 refugees and displaced persons from Myanmar/Burma. Thousands of people were affected. With the support of donors and partners, The Border Consortium - TBC is now working to rebuild the parts of the camp that were destroyed or damaged by the fire. More about the fire
  • Thailand: Fire sweeps through Umpiem Mai camp

    At noon on February 23rd 2012, a fire broke out in the Umpiem Mai camp at the Thailand/Burma border. Diakonia's long term partner organization TBC provides food, shelter and non-food items to the displaced people from Burma, living in the camp. More about the fire