IOM Deputy Director General Commends Thailand’s Global Leadership on Migration During Visit

IOM Deputy Director General for Management and Reform, Amy Pope, in a meeting with Executive Secretary at UNESCAP, Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, reaffirmed IOM’s commitment and active engagement within the framework of the UN system reform in implementing the GCM and towards the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in May 2022.

DDG in a meeting with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand, Ms Gita Sabharwal, reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to the “One-UN” approach to strengthen cooperation on migration governance and ensure no one is left behind. 

DDG visiting the Pathum Thani province where IOM, together with the World Health Organization and World Vision Foundation of Thailand, is working to support the Royal Thai Government in expanding vaccination coverage for migrants and reducing their vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

DDG at the meeting with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, commended the Royal Thai Government for its leadership as a GCM champion country and exchanged plans for the upcoming International Migration Review Forum in May 2022. 

DDG met with the Embassy representatives in Thailand to discuss IOM’s role and priorities globally, in the region and in Thailand ahead of the International Migration Review Forum. 

Bangkok – The International Organization for Migration’s Deputy Director General (DDG) for Management and Reform, Amy Pope, concluded her three-day visit to Thailand last week (26/03) during which she affirmed the excellent cooperation between IOM and the Royal Thai Government (RTG).  

“Thailand is an important Member State for IOM, having both its regional and country office in the country employing more than 300 staff – the largest UN agency presently in Thailand,” said DDG Pope. She commended Thailand for its global leadership on migration issues. Thailand was named a ‘Champion Country’ in October 2020 by the UN Migration Network for its implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). 

A major regional migration hub within South-East Asia, Thailand hosts 3.9 million migrant workers who constitute over ten per cent of the country’s labour force. It recognizes the many contributions of migrant workers to its economy and is proactive in ensuring rights-based migration. 

Building on this commitment, Thailand will play the role of co-Chair together with Portugal, to facilitate a multi-stakeholder consultation in the upcoming International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in May 2022. The IMRF will serve as the primary intergovernmental global platform to share progress on the implementation of all aspects of the GCM since its adoption four years ago. 

“IOM is a strong partner to the Royal Thai Government in supporting safe, orderly and regular migration and it is worth noting that the IMRF provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Thailand’s best practices but also areas for improvement when it comes to the implementation of the GCM,” DDG Pope added. 

During her visit, DDG Pope met with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr Vijavat Isarabhakdi. Both sides shared their priorities and plans regarding the IMRF and beyond, to ensure GCM commitments can be met. 

She also met with the Executive Secretary for UN Economic and Social Commission in Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana and UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Thailand Gita Sabharwal to reaffirm IOM’s commitment to the “One-UN approach” at country, regional and global levels.  

DDG Pope visited Pathum Thani province where IOM, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT), is working to increase migrants’ access to information about vaccine safety and facilitate migrant inclusion in the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.  

The project has contributed to an increase in the vaccination rate among migrant populations, from less than 20 per cent in September to nearly 50 per cent early 2022. Funded by the Australian Government, the project is provided with vaccines by the Royal Thai Government, the Thai Red Cross Society and the Chulabhorn Royal Academy. 

DDG Pope was accompanied by Dr Nenette Motus, IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Geraldine Ansart, IOM Chief of Mission in Thailand, and Dr Jos Vandelaer, WHO Thailand Representative. 

Dr Vandelaer said, “COVID-19 does not make a difference between people. Everyone is at risk. Thailand's approach to COVID-19 has been one of inclusiveness: it has ensured that migrants are not left behind in this pandemic. Many stakeholders are working with the Government to ensure that migrant workers can benefit from all the measures Thailand has put in place to combat and contain this pandemic.” He added that the visit showcased several innovative approaches used in the field to reach the hardest to reach among the migrant communities. 

Dr Sarawut Rachasrimuang, National Director at the World Vision Foundation in Thailand, also shared his perspective as an implementing partner for the project. “Migrant workers often face greater challenges in accessing health services due to language and financial barriers. With the help of Migrant Health Volunteers our efforts to achieve inclusiveness and equitable access include carrying out vaccination campaigns and services in migrants’ native languages.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for strengthened commitment and collaboration from everyone,” said DDG Pope. “My visit to Thailand has shown me the potential of coordinated efforts in building resilience for migrant communities and for the benefit of all.” 


For more information, please contact IOM Thailand Media and Communication Unit at or Itayi Viriri at the IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific at