Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)2.00 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.2.20 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.1.30 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.2.80 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.3.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Humanitarian Access Overview
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.?
The INFORM Severity Index rates Thailand’s risk of humanitarian disaster is medium at 4.0/10. ?
No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
Refugees in Thailand – some of them residing in the country since 1980 – are not allowed to leave the camps and depend on humanitarian assistance. While humanitarians have access to provide aid, many camps are in isolated mountainous areas reachable by unpaved roads that are subject to seasonal limitations. Remote camps have limited access to electricity. Thailand continues to classify camp refugees and other vulnerable populations, such as Lao Hmong, Rohingya, Uyghur, and North Korean asylum seekers, as ‘illegal’ immigrants, denying permission for conducting status determination. Many asylum seekers are detained in immigration centres, while others are subject to arrest and deportation. In southern Thailand, the insurgency conflict level is low, but continuous attacks on political and military targets often result in civilian fatalities and affect access in the public space. Political prisoners, including ethnic Malay insurgents, are often denied access to medical services. The conflict-affected provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala are also prone to floods and landslides that disrupt transport and services.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
Protection: Armed conflict and attacks on civilians in the southern provinces pose a significant threat to the population. Nearly half of refugees living in Thai camps are children who were born in the camps and who lack birth certificates, effectively making them stateless. Refugees travelling outside the camps risk arrest or deportation, given their lack of legal documentation and restrictions on movement.?
Health: Psychological trauma and protracted displacement have a severe impact on the refugee population. The prospect of an uncertain future, the inability to return to Myanmar, and dependence on humanitarian assistance – which has been cut in recent years – have contributed to extremely high rates of depression and suicide in the camps.?
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.