Number of people served in 2020: 13,930

Thailand is host to thousands of refugees and asylum seekers from neighboring countries like Myanmar. At present, more than 90,000 refugees from Myanmar reside in 9 camps along the Thai-Myanmar border.

Because the country has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, the government considers asylum seekers and refugees as undocumented migrants. Consequently, refugees are not protected by law in Thailand and are prone to arrests. In Bangkok, most of the urban refugees come from Pakistan, Somalia, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Our Work in Thailand

JRS Thailand provides educational, emergency, health, and pastoral support to refugees and asylum seekers living in both camps and urban areas.

In Bangkok, JRS Thailand works with urban refugees and asylum seekers, providing financial support and educational trainings. Urban Refugee Project (URP) provides casework and psychosocial services. The casework service focuses on meeting basic needs, such as housing, food, medical care, and transport by providing financial assistance. In addition to casework and psychosocial support, URP also offers skill building activities to refugees and asylum seekers such as crochet, handicraft, and Thai massage classes. This work is supported by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

Urban Education Project aims to provide informal education to refugee youth aged between 16 to 24 years old. UEP provides a 6-month course of Thai and English lessons, including 3 vocational skills trainings, which are sewing, hairdressing, and computer classes.

On the border with Myanmar, JRS educational programs provide opportunities and pastoral accompaniment to migrant children from Myanmar as well.

See Our Work

Danh, a 21-year-old Vietnamese refugee, during his computer class in Bangkok. (Stephane Larue/Jesuit Refugee Service)
JRS supports the transportation of preschool children to and from the Krung Jor Shan refugee camp, home to people of the Shan tribe who fled conflict in Myanmar. (Magis Production)
Sr. Prapatsorn Srivorakun, a Ursuline nun, mentors Zin Min Thu in a JRS training center for Burmese children. After years of missing school while fleeing conflict in Myanmar, the children learn Burmese, Thai and English to catch up with the Thai school system. (Magis Production)


JRS Thailand Country Director

Louie Bacomo

Project locations:

Bangkok, Mae Hong Son

Visit the JRS Asia Pacific Website