Thailand Improves Working Conditions of Migrants but Challenges Remain

Thailand has adopted progressive policies that guarantee migrants’ access to many essential services regardless of legal status, including education and health care.  However, barriers continue to hamper their use of these services in practice, says a United Nations report.

The Thailand Migration Report 2019 notes that the country now hosts approximately 4.9 million non-Thai residents, up 32% from 3.7 million in 2014. The migrants come from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. An estimated 3.9 million are documented and undocumented migrant workers while 110,000 are skilled professionals.

The report says only 51% of all eligible migrants are enrolled in public health insurance schemes. Up to 200,000 migrant children are out of school. 

The report is the latest in a series produced by the UN Thailand Working Group on Migration, which is chaired by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It aims to provide up-to-date information on migration trends and patterns in Thailand, as well as analysis of migration-related issues and policy developments. Drawing on the expertise of the relevant UN agencies in Thailand, the report features thematic chapters that provide evidence-based recommendations for stakeholders on the formulation and implementation of migration policy and practice.

Download the report at the IOM website.

Read the full news release.

Last Updated: 19 March 2019