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Refugee Population in Thailand

Thailand hosts more than 90,000 people of Myanmar nationality in nine refugee camps (“temporary shelters”) along the Thai-Myanmar border.

Thailand is not party to the 1951 Convention or the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. No national legislation governs the admission of asylum seekers. Refugees are subject to immigration law like other foreigners and in this context, could face arrest, detention and deportation.

The Royal Thai Government administers the camps. Its Provincial Admissions Boards in the refugee-hosting provinces have undertaken screening of asylum-seekers from Myanmar prior to official Government registration in the camps. The Ministry of Interior and refugee led camp committees manage the camps on a day to day basis. Non-governmental and community based organizations provide food, shelter, medical care, and education to the refugee population, including new arrivals who have not yet been officially registered. UNHCR established its presence along the border in 1999. Today, UNHCR offices operate in each of the four provinces hosting refugees. UNHCR staff are in close contact with refugees, national authorities concerned, implementing and operational partners as well as other stakeholders as the refugee agency fulfills its international protection mandate.