No child left behind: No less than 120,000 children in institutional care in Thailand

A research on children in institutional care in Thailand and policy brief

children in silhouette
Mahidol University


This new study reveals that over 120,000 children in Thailand are living in institutional settings, mostly due to poverty and limited access to education. 90% have at least one living parent. Although institutional care may be appropriate in emergencies, it is often overly misused and can affect children’s emotional, cognitive and mental development.  More than 50% of private “orphanages” are unregistered and unregulated. The study lays out the extent of the problem, identifies risks, and provides recommendations for solutions to benefit at-risk children. Thailand has taken a step forward with the 2022 National Action Plan for Alternative Care, but more must be done to ensure that the plan is being implemented.

Mahidol University, Alternative Care Thailand
Publication date
English, Thai