The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly, and migrants are some of the most affected. IOM Thailand is monitoring border movements and providing assistance to migrants and the Royal Thai Government. On this page you can find updates and information from IOM Thailand regarding its response to COVID-19 in the area of migration.

What IOM is Doing

IOM Thailand has been adapting existing capacities and resources to respond to the needs of our beneficiaries during this outbreak of COVID-19. 

Supporting the Royal Thai Government

IOM provided 85,000 masks as well as hand sanitizers and infrared thermometers to Thai Immigration Bureau border officials and its immigration detention centres. IOM is also working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supporting migrant workers to access to up to date and reliable information on COVID-19 in their languages. 

Distribution of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials

Detention Centers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Ranong and Mae Sot provinces, IOM staff conducted risk communication and outreach activities to educate and inform migrant communities about practicing good hygiene with limited water and how to access health care services. IOM has distributed over 25,000 IECs to migrants.

Distribution of Food, Water and Hygiene Supplies

Over 2,600 migrants were provided with food and water at border crossing points, and 525 vulnerable migrant families in Thailand are receiving food and hygiene supplies for a month. Personal protective equipment including masks, hand sanitizers, rubber gloves, and cleaning materials were distributed for 208 migrants in 24 Immigration Detention Centers, Shelters for Children and Families, and Welfare Protection Centers for Victims of Trafficking. IOM also supported our local partner to deliver 690 kits of food supplies to the migrant community affected by the new virus outbreak in Samut Sakorn.

covidcovid assessmentinfo session

Conducting Surveys and assessments

IOM is conducting surveys and assessments in coordination with other UN agencies and local stakeholders to gauge the needs, conditions and challenges faced by migrant workers and communities to better inform the Royal Thai Government on how to assist these populations. (See below links.)

Producing New and Relevant Information

IOM has been producing new information to keep migrants, their employers and our partners informed about policy decisions impacting migrants. Meanwhile, IOM’s migration flow monitoring points at the border provide valuable information on displacements and migration trends around the border. (See below links.) 

Facilitating UN Communication and Assistance

As the Chair of the Thailand UN Migration Network Working Group, IOM is facilitating communication and assistance among UN agencies to support migrants during the COVID-19 crisis.

Media Coverage

8 January 2021 | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Migrant workers suffer as coronavirus cases surge in Thailand

29 December 2020 | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thailand offers work permits to undocumented migrants to curb COVID-19

18 December 2020 | Bangkok Post
Inclusion essential to containing the pandemic

28 May 2020 | Bangkok Post
Abuse of migrants, refugees counterproductive

7 May 2020 | Bangkok Post
Hotline clears Covid-19 barriers

7 May 2020 | The Thaiger
Covid-19 hotline for forgotten migrant workers

22 April 2020 | Bangkok Post
Watching over migrant workers

10 April 2020 | The Straits Times
Forced out of jobs, migrants face suspicion on return home

7 April 2020 | Eco-Business
Covid-19 measures leave Southeast Asia’s migrant workers exposed, lay bare their living conditions

2 April 2020 | Radio Free Asia
Myanmar migrant workers risk fines and jail to get home amid COVID-19 exodus

30 March 2020 | Al Jazeera
Coronavirus lockdown leaves migrant workers stranded in Thailand

26 March 2020 | CGTN
Coronavirus Pandemic: Several hundred thousand migrant workers flees Bangkok

23 March 2020 | Reuters
Thai coronavirus lockdown leaves migrant workers exposed