Diakonia - People change the world

Thailand

In Thailand, Diakonia supports a variety of local partner organizations with a focus on the rights of minority groups, mainly in the northern parts of the country. Our partners work with ethnic minority groups on issues relating to human rights, democracy, social and economic justice, and gender.

5/10/2017

Thailand has a population of around 65 million people, of whom more than 1 million in northern Thailand belong to the country’s 56 ethnic minority groups. Ethnic minorities lack political influence, are under-represented in civil society and are vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. They have limited access to higher education, employment opportunities and healthcare. Without legal status, they are not allowed to travel freely within Thailand.

The rights of minorities

In Thailand, Diakonia supports local organizations that strive to protect the rights of ethnic minority groups, mainly in the northern parts of Thailand. Our partner organizations work on issues related to human rights, local democracy, social and economic justice, and gender equality. One particular focus of our work is the right of stateless people to obtain legal status and citizenship, as this enables access to other rights and protections. Wealso work with children’s rights, anti-trafficking, rehabilitation of victims of trafficking, and support for migrants and for refugees in the camps along the border with Myanmar.

Diakonia is an accompanying partner with a local presence and we engage with our implementing partners through dialogue, funding and capacity building. Together with our partner organizations, we work to increase their ability to demand and defend human rights and boost their participation in democratic processes. We also support partner advocacy work on regional and national level. 

Diakonia’s work makes a difference

Through cooperation with local partner organizations, Diakonia has driven forward the agenda of ethnic minorities and sustainable development. Significant progress has been made in increasing community participation and in demanding and defending people’s rights and many people have received Thai citizenship or other legal statuses.

With the support of Diakonia, partners have empowered volunteers and established networks at community level, raising awareness about human rights. The networks also provide legal support to people subject to human rights violations.

The legal status network was established in 2013. Within it, civil society organizations work to protect people and provide legal support, as well as working on advocacy and raising awareness of human rights, especially those relating to legal status and citizenship rights. 

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