International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Thailand

An IRC-trained midwife examines a pregnant woman at Tham Hin refugee camp
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

The International Rescue Committee started working in Thailand in 1976 in response to the influx of refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Today, we serve people uprooted from Myanmar, also known as Burma, who began crossing into Thailand in 1984. The IRC is aiding nearly 140,000 refugees in nine camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border, providing drinking water and food as well health care, sanitation, protection for children and abused women, and legal assistance and resettlement processing.

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How We Help

  • The IRC responds to emergencies by providing urgent health care and supplies.
  • The IRC provides ongoing medical care, focusing on pregnant women, babies and children, and on the prevention and treatment of malaria.
  • The IRC provides legal counseling, emotional support and referral services to refugees, especially women, who are victims of crime or abuse.
  • The IRC helps landmine victims and others with special needs by providing medical care, prostheses and emotional support.
  • The IRC assists refugees seeking admission to the United States by processing their asylum claims with the federal government.
  • The IRC collaborates with local authorities and partners to protect the rights of children, migrant workers and displaced people and ensures they have access to services.

(Updated September 2013)

June 4, 2014 | Blog
When fire engulfed the Ban Mae Surin camp in northwestern Thailand last year, Sha Nay Htoo, 13, was badly burnt as he was trying to save other refugees trapped by the flames. See how Sha Nay and his neighbors are recovering from the tragedy.