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Thailand Issues - 2024


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Disputes - international

Thailand-Burma: in 2016, Thailand expressed its interest in investing in Burma’s Hatgyi Dam project on the Salween River near the Thai-Burma border; the dam has the potential to supply electricity and water during the drought season; approximately 100,000 mostly Karen refugees fleeing civil strife, political upheaval, and economic stagnation in Burma live in nine remote camps in Thailand near the border

Thailand-Cambodia: Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of their border; in 2011, Thailand and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN World Heritage site; in 2013, the International Court of Justice ruled that the land with the temple was Cambodian territory but that a nearby hill belonged to Thailand

Thailand-Laos: talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River

Thailand-Malaysia: separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Malay-Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem insurgent activities; disputed areas are the Bukit Jeli area at the headwaters of the Golok River and the continental shelf boundary in the Gulf of Thailand

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 91,339 (Burma) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2023)

IDPs: 41,000 (2022)

stateless persons: 566,900 (2022) (estimate represents stateless persons registered with the Thai Government; actual number may be as high as 3.5 million); note - about half of Thailand's northern hill tribe people do not have citizenship and make up the bulk of Thailand's stateless population; most lack documentation showing they or one of their parents were born in Thailand; children born to Burmese refugees are not eligible for Burmese or Thai citizenship and are stateless; most Chao Lay, maritime nomadic peoples, who travel from island to island in the Andaman Sea west of Thailand are also stateless; stateless Rohingya refugees from Burma are considered illegal migrants by Thai authorities and are detained in inhumane conditions or expelled; stateless persons are denied access to voting, property, education, employment, healthcare, and driving

note: Thai nationality was granted to more than 23,000 stateless persons between 2012 and 2016 and more than 18,000 between 2018 and 2021; in 2016, the Government of Thailand approved changes to its citizenship laws that could make 80,000 stateless persons eligible for citizenship, as part of its effort to achieve zero statelessness by 2024 (2021)

Illicit drugs

not a cultivator or producer of significant quantities of opiates, methamphetamine, or other illicit drugs; not a significant source or transit country for drugs entering the United States; drugs smuggled through Thailand heading for Indo-Pacific region markets; large influx of methamphetamine and heroin from neighboring Burma to other markets, but also consumed domestically, most of which transits through Thailand to other markets, but is also consumed domestically; a major source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics

NOTE: The information regarding Thailand on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Thailand 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Thailand 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.