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.
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
Is dreaming of a dignified life“To receive a citizenship would open the world for me. I would be able to apply for a scholarship to extend my studies, to travel and meet new people, and later to help the children living along the border with...
Everyone in the village has received citizenshipSince more than 30 years, Naseh Yapa has been fighting for the right to land and legal status for herself and her community. Today EVERYONE in her village has received both citizenship and the rights to the...
A legal status in Thailand changes life radicallyIn Thailand, Diakonia is working to improve the lives of stateless people, many of them belonging to ethnic minorities. Without a legal status, people are treated more or less as illegal immigrants. They are...
Thailand: The fight for landThis village, Huay Lu Luang, has been established on this beautiful land for generations. But the villagers never registered any ownership and are therefore at risk of being evicted at any time by the...
He wants all of his pupils to have the same rights in lifeThe 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 abuseBrialai 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 stolenThe 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 villagesIn 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...