Thailand, after decades of having an ad hoc and uncertain policy stance towards asylum seekers and refugees, has finally took the first step of agreeing to sign the Memorandum of Understanding to release refugee children from Immigration Detention centers in January 21, 2019. Considering the historical setting of the country and the region with refugee perception and dealings, the recent development piqued my interest to understand the process and stakeholders involved in realizing this sudden change of policy. The research attempts to comprehend Thailand’s policy convergence to the global refugee norm, the transfer and translation procedure of international human rights and migration policy between states; which can be influenced by various incentives and relevant actors, and the Thai context of these universal concepts. Moreover, the study will focus on policy instruments application which has different degree of coerciveness and effect on state by multi-level actors. Additionally, the research will examine the MoU details to identify the extent of its enforcement and the country’s supporting legal system along with practices and activities done by Thai authorities. The study on refugee children which is the sector given attention to by the Thai government will hopefully be able to shed some light on the refugee governance in Thailand.

migration, children, asylum seekers, refugees, detention, governance, childhood, policy diffusion, policy transfer, policy translation, policy instruments
Huijsmans, Roy
Governance and Development Policy (GDP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Suandee, Muendao. (2019, December 20). ‘End child detention’: Understanding policy change in Thailand's refugee governance. Governance and Development Policy (GDP). Retrieved from