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|2020 planning figures|
|10,000||stateless persons will receive counselling and assistance to prepare citizenship applications|
|5,000||refugees from Myanmar will be assisted to return home|
|2,750||vulnerable urban refugees will be assisted through cash-based interventions to help them survive|
|1,500||refugee children from Myanmar will be registered and provided with birth certificates to facilitate their access to durable solutions|
|665||urban refugee children will be supported to enroll in Thai primary and secondary schools|
|2018 year-end results|
|16,160||persons acquired nationality countrywide|
|8,360||stateless persons received assistance to prepare citizenship applications|
|3,530||refugee children from Myanmar were registered and provided with birth certificates|
|3,340||stateless persons participated in legal counselling sessions|
|1,350||urban refugees with specific needs were assisted through cash-based interventions|
|550||refugee children living in urban areas attended Thai schools|
People of Concern
Working environmentWhile improvements to stability in southeastern Myanmar and improved predictability in the voluntary return process could potentially lead to an increase in the number of refugees expressing interest to voluntarily return to south-west Myanmar, the majority of refugees may still not be ready to return. Meanwhile, protracted encampment continues to give rise to protection concerns in the temporary shelters on the border with Myanmar.
In urban areas, the Immigration Act continues to treat people of concern as illegal aliens. However, anticipated developments with respect to key pledges made by the Prime Minister – including the establishment of a national screening mechanism – could potentially result in an improved protection environment and regularize, in some form, the stay of people of concern in Thailand.
There continues to be strong political will to resolve statelessness in line with Thailand’s 2024 commitments. The easing of administrative hurdles at district level could further accelerate the rate of reductions.
Under Thailand’s progressive “Education for All” policy, school-aged children regardless of their nationality and legal status, including urban refugee and asylum seeker children, are able to access education. UNHCR and partners have been working to facilitate the enrolment of refugee children into Thai public schools, including through intensive Thai language classes to support inclusion.
On the Thai-Myanmar border, UNHCR works in close partnerships with the Ministry of Interior, IOM, the Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR) and Humanity and Inclusion. Additionally, UNHCR has put in place coordination mechanisms with the Committee for Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT) and its member NGOs, as well as the refugees themselves and their elected representatives, elders and community leaders.
For urban and Rohingya people of concern, UNHCR works with key government partners and NGOs to preserve and enhance protection space. UNHCR’s implementing partner COERR manages the urban refugee programme. Additionally, UNHCR regularly engages with refugees and asylum-seekers, and other stakeholders, such as NGOs and UN agencies. Furthermore, The Office will continue to engage with the private sector to mobilise support for refugees and stateless persons both in Thailand and globally.
Key prioritiesIn 2020, UNHCR will pursue a range of multiple solutions to resolve the protracted situation on the Thai-Myanmar border, while continuing to deliver protection interventions for the most vulnerable. The Office will continue to support the Thai government in its efforts to establish a national screening mechanism and to seek alternatives to detention for people of concern. Furthermore, it will continue to support the Thai government in accelerating efforts to reduce statelessness, in line with recent pledges.
The expected results in 2020 include:
- The number of refugees residing in the temporary shelters on the Thai-Myanmar border will be reduced over the next four years as a result of the availability of additional solutions for this group.
- The protection environment for people of concern in urban areas is improved, resulting in a lower risk of arrest/detention; significant reduction in reliance of resettlement as a protection tool; increased focus on community-based protection and enhanced access to opportunities for self-reliance.
- The nationality applications of the population registered as stateless in Thailand will continue, resulting in increased/accelerated reduction of statelessness.