• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 63,878,000 Total population [?]
  • 91,000 People affected [?]
  • 91,000 People displaced [?]
  • 91,000 People in Need [?]



A long-running insurgency, a large refugee population, and a high risk of natural disasters all contribute to humanitarian needs across Thailand.

Since the 1940s a Malay-Muslim insurgency has existed in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and parts of Songkhla, with escalations occurring in 2004 and again in 2019. Conflict was ongoing in 2020. Attacks on civilian areas, including markets and schools, and military offensives in the region resulted in over 7,000 fatalities between 2004–2020.?

91,800 refugees are hosted along the Thailand-Myanmar border, the majority of whom are of Karen ethnicity. Many of them fled to Thailand in the 1980s to avoid conflict between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar military, as well as persecution. They face extreme restrictions on movement and legal protection, and are dependent on humanitarian assistance.?

Insurgent activities in the south, the anti-insurgency campaign, and restrictions on refugee movements all pose protection risks. Suspected insurgents are faced with arbitrary detention and use of force by authorities.?

Thailand also has a high vulnerability to natural hazards including floods, monsoons, and extreme heat. In 2020, the country experienced its worst drought in decades, which had a direct impact on food security and livelihoods for Thailand’s agricultural workers.?

Latest Developments


An escalation of conflict in Myanmar between the ethnic armed organisation Karen National Liberation Army and its allies, on one side, and the Myanmar military, on the other, has led around 9,200 people to flee from Shwe Kokko, a town in Myawaddy township in Kayin state, to Thailand since 5 April. Conflict has been escalating between these groups since late March 2023. Mae Sot and Mae Ramat in Tak province have provided shelter for these refugees in 13 Temporary Safety Areas (TSAs). As at 10 April, around 960 refugees remained in three TSAs, with the rest returning to Myanmar. They have been provided with food, water, medical care, shelter, and core relief items.?

Humanitarian Access



The humanitarian access situation in Thailand has remained stable with high constraints over the last six months.

Thailand is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention and implements a strict encampment policy for Myanmar refugees, asylum seekers, and their children born in Thailand. These people are classified as migrants without legal status, undermining their access to humanitarian aid and protection. The refugees, including some living in Thailand since 1980, lack legal documentation, hindering their access to employment, livelihoods, and many public services. The lack of documentation also restricts them to the camps. The Government has yet to allow access for UN agencies to conduct a refugee status determination of the Rohingya from Myanmar. Many refugee camps are in mountainous areas only accessible via unpaved roads.

The Thai Cabinet approved a new version of the Act on the Operation of Not-for-Profit Organizations in January 2022. The bill contains extensive prohibitions on NGO activities that are not compatible with international law and has provisions requiring onerous reporting and disclosures. 

Southern Thailand faces some access constraints relating to insurgencies. Conflict level remains low, but bomb attacks by insurgents have affected civilians. In response to the longstanding insurgency, authorities have heavily militarised the southern provinces, with checkpoints and security posts being implemented in the region limiting the movement of affected people. Heavy rains and floods have affected southern Thailand and at least one province, Tak, where refugees have been living for the past six months, potentially affecting the affected populations in the regions. 

For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – December 2022

Information Gaps and Needs


Data gaps in the southern provinces, which are most affected by conflict, pose a challenge for determining the severity of the conflict or the humanitarian impact felt by the affected population.