Over the past few years, Thailand has regularized over two millions undocumented migrant workers, enabling them to get the same legal protection as Thai nationals and gain access to basic social services such as healthcare and education.
In access to Education, on 19 January 2018, the Ministry of Education issued a directive instructing all public schools to accept for enrolment all children including those that do not have Thai nationality or legal documents.
In access to healthcare, Thailand recognizes the important role that migrants can play in terms of health service delivery, especially making health service responsive to particular needs of migrants. Thailand has ‘migrant health volunteers’ who work closely with the migrants’ communities in many provinces, for instance, Samutsakhon, Tak and Ranong, particularly on raising awareness of self-care and also provision of basic healthcare.
Additionally, recognizing that language barrier is a big challenge for service providers and receivers, in many areas with large concentration of migrants, ‘language coordinators’ are hired to work with Thai health personnel in some hospitals in providing services to migrants. Furthermore, to ensure that migrant workers are better protected, ‘hotline’ has also been set up with an option of three different languages for migrants seeking assistance. In 2017, there were 131,924 calls to the hotline, 9.2% (12,156 calls) of which were made by migrant workers.