Diakonia - People change the world


In Thailand, Diakonia supports a variety of local partner organizations with focus on the rights of the minority groups, mainly in the northern parts of Thailand. Our partners are working with ethnic minority groups on issues relating to human rights, democracy, social and economic justice and gender. We make sure that all people have the right to obtain legal status and citizenship, since it’s an entry point for other rights and protection from the government.

The rights of minorities

Thailand has a population of around 65 million people, of whom more than 6 million belong to one of the country’s 56 ethnic minority groups.

The minorities lack political influence, are underrepresented in civil society and vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. They have limited access to higher education, employment opportunities, health care and they are allowed to travel freely within Thailand.

How we support our partner organizations

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


Human rights

Gender equality

Social and economic justice

Diakonia supports our partner organizations with funding and capacity building. Together we work to increase their ability to demand and defend human rights and strengthen their participation in democratic processes. We also support partner advocacy work on a regional and national level. 

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

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

We are pushing the agenda

Diakonia has through co-operation with local partner 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 or other legal statuses.

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

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

  • Loy is no longer afraid

    Loy was only twelve years old when she was forced to stop studying and start working. “I feel I lost my childhood. That’s why I started Center for Girls when I grew up. So that no more young girls would have to...
  • 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 citizenship

    Since 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 radically

    In 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 land

    This 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...
  • Thailand

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