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UNICEF Thailand

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How we work

© UNICEF Thailand/2013/Metee Thuentap

UNICEF works as part of the United Nations system in Thailand to promote and protect the rights of children. Our work is guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and core human rights treaties, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Partners in support of national development

The Royal Thai Government is UNICEF’s principal partner. UNICEF works with and through all levels of government and with a huge variety of other partners, including NGOs, faith-based groups, other UN agencies and children themselves. Working hand-in-hand with others is essential, because to address challenges facing children in Thailand requires all of us working together.

The Country Programme 2012-2016

UNICEF country programme is part of a five-year agreement of cooperation between UN agencies and the Royal Thai Government. The current five-year country programme is increasingly moving from a service delivery approach to a more upstream approach aimed at improving national programmes, legislation and policies for children.

The UNICEF Country Programme has been developed to support Thailand’s efforts to achieve the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan and the Millennium Development Goals. The programme focuses on promoting and protecting children’s rights, reducing inequities and strengthening national capacity for monitoring the situation of children and women and advocating for promoting and protecting their rights.

Strengthening national systems and capacities for children

The country programme seeks to strengthen service delivery primarily through influencing policy and partnerships, demonstrating how systems work for children and nurturing national ownership and mutual accountability.

Capacity development is central to our work and focuses on three levels: people’s capacity to articulate and claim their rights; national and sub-national government capacity to respect, protect and fulfil rights; and civil society’s capacity to facilitate enhanced participation and accountability.

Promoting equity

Inequities and disparities between rural and urban areas remain a major issue in Thailand. The latest national survey (2012) on the situation of children and women in Thailand showed disparities in several issues. For example, household consumption of iodized salt, which contains an essential micronutrient needed for optimum brain development, was highest among the richest households (87 per cent) and lowest among the poorest (54 per cent). The survey also found that 13.5 per cent of children from the poorest families were underweight compared with 3.7 per cent from the richest families. Moreover, the rate of families with young children having more than three books at home was 70.8 per cent for the richest families compared with only 24.1 per cent for the poorest families.


UNICEF recognizes the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination as central to the consideration of gender equality. UNICEF is addressing the cross cutting nature of gender through all of our work. Most significantly we use programming, research, analysis and reporting to learn about the different experiences that boys and girls have. This helps us understand the aspects of resilience and vulnerability that gender expectations can create, and also allows us to weave this learning back into more gender-sensitive programmes and policy dialogue.

Youth and adolescents

While youth and adolescents are predominately a healthy age group, they do have specific requirements that UNICEF is attempting to address across all areas of our work. The programmes we carry out for and with this age group are varied and include the promotion of juvenile justice, HIV prevention among young people, the promotion of comprehensive care for and the elimination of stigma and discrimination against children and youth living with HIV, and life skills training for young people.

Communication for development (C4D)

UNICEF Thailand employs a systematic, planned and evidence-based strategic process to promote positive behaviour and social change that is integral to improving health, nutrition, protection and education and outcomes for children.


Guided by the humanitarian imperative of UNICEF’s Core Corporate Commitments to Children in Emergencies, UNICEF is committed to supporting the government and our partners in providing life-saving assistance to affected children and early recovery after emergencies. UNICEF was at the forefront in providing relief assistance during large-scale emergencies in Thailand, including major flooding in 2011 and tsunami in 2004. For more information about emergency assistance, please visit https://www.unicef.org/thailand/tsunami_response.html


UNICEF is entirely funded through voluntary contributions, and the assistance we are able to provide to programmes for children in Thailand very much depends on the funds we are able to raise locally, mainly from individual donors. The funds we receive are used to help make a real difference in the lives of needy children. For more information about fundraising in Thailand, please visit http://www.unicef.or.th/supportus/en/




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