Click here to see the numbers and origins of refugees hosted by Thailand.
Thailand is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and has no legal framework for the granting of asylum.
The UNHCR is responsible for legally recognising refugees (this process is called Refugee Status Determination - RSD). To claim asylum a person needs to register with the UNHCR in Thailand. Contact details can be found here.
Visit the UNHCR Country page for Thailand: in English and Thai.
‘How to apply’ for asylum in Thailand videos are available in English, French, Arabic, Farsi, Somali and Urdu.
Below is a list of pro bono organisations that support refugees in Thailand and provide them legal aid.
Asylum Access Thailand (AAT)
1111/151 Ban Klang Muang, Ladphrao Rd, Chankasem, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Email: thailandasylumaccess [dot] org
Asylum Access Thailand (AAT), established in 2007, provides legal counsel and representation to refugees seeking asylum in refugee status determination proceedings conducted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Bangkok. Member of APRRN.
Center for Asylum Protection (CAP)
40/32 Intamara Soi 8, Suthisarn Road, Samsennai, Phayathai, Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 02-116-0405; (+66) 02-116-0406
Email: infocapthailand [dot] org (infocapthailand [dot] org)Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm (appointment only)
Contact Person: Alex Sonsev, Legal Director
The Center for Asylum Protection (CAP) is a legal aid provider for urban refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand. They provide independent advice and representation for people making asylum applications to UNHCR Thailand. Their services are free of charge and open to asylum seekers and refugees in Thailand of all nationalities. Their work focuses on providing advice and representation, as well as protection services.
CAP provides the following services:
- Advice and representation for refugees and asylum seekers at every stage of the Refugee Status Determination process, dependent on capacity and individual circumstances;
- Protection support to asylum seekers and refugees, including support for those experiencing arrest, domestic violence, sexual and gender-based violence, and other protection concerns;
- Information for newly arrived asylum seekers in Bangkok, including advice on living in Thailand and the Refugee Status Determination process.
CAP only meets with clients by appointment and does not operate a walk-in service. Please contact the office by phone or email to register as a client.
Jesuit Refugee Service
43 Rachwithi Soi 12, Victory Monument, Phayathai, Bangkok, 10400
Tel: +66 26 40 95 912
Mobile: +66 84 42 74 136
Email: louie [dot] bacomojrs [dot] net and communicationsjrsap [dot] org
The JRS in Thailand runs the Urban Refugee Program (URP), providing services such as casework, psychosocial social, financial and material support, legal assistance, and community support to asylum seekers in the urban areas. The majority of the asylum seekers after registering with UNHCR are referred to JRS-URP for financial, legal, and other assistance. The legal service is one of the components of the over-all Urban Refugee Program which offer legal advice and counselling throughout the asylum process to asylum seekers in Bangkok, Immigration Detention Center, and elsewhere when the need arises.
Refugee Rights Litigation Project (RRLP)
Email: refugeerightslitigationgmail [dot] com
The RRLP is a group of pioneering Thai lawyers who seek to provide refugees in Thailand with practical legal advice and representation. They do this by advising and defending refugees facing prosecution or deportation, and by documenting best practices in refugee litigation strategies. The organization is developing the first-ever Thai-language litigation manual for Thai lawyers on the issue of refugees and asylum seekers.
Stichting EqualA Foundation (Equal Asia Foundation), Equal AF
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Room 309, 3rd Floor 219/2, Asoke Towers Soi Asoke, Sukhumvit 21 Road North, Klongtoey, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 918644672
email: adminequalaf [dot] org
Equal AF has a registered office in the Netherlands: Van der Palmkade 8 1051 RE Amsterdam The Netherlands
Equal AF is an LGBTIQ+ think tank and innovation incubator that advocates for greater inclusion of LGBTIQ+ persons in humanitarian action. Our work includes, thought leadership, strategic communication and capacity building. Equal AF also advances research studies on the plight of LGBTI+ refugees. One such study is "Compas, C (2020). Great Expectations, Harsh Realities: The Plight of LGBTI+ Refugees in Thailand, An Exploratory study. Equal Asia Foundation. Bangkok: Equal AF"
Other organisation for other relevant services:
Bangkok Urban Community Club - refugee community
Karenni Social Development Centre - training for youth living in the Karenni refugee camp