The ILO in Thailand

Thailand is one of the founding members of the ILO. An ILO liaison office in Thailand was opened in 1961 and in 1966 the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific was transferred from Colombo to Bangkok.

ILO’s work in Thailand, a middle-income country, has for many years been oriented more towards rights issues (in particular, freedom of association and collective bargaining, discrimination, child labour and trafficking, the rights of migrant workers) than to broader employment and development issues.

The current priority areas of ILO work include:
  • Expansion of access to social services and social protection. This includes extending and improving the coverage, provisions and governance of social security; assisting the government with measures related to emerging workplace health and safety issues, extending adequate protection to all workers, including migrant workers and those in the informal economy;
  • Better enforcement of labour inspection. This covers working conditions and legal protection for workers without clearly defined employment relationships;
  • Strengthening the social partners’ institutional capacity relating to core labour standards. This includes support for ratification of the core conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining (C.87 and C.98), and assistance with the revision of the Labour Relations Act (1975).
Thailand has ratified 15 ILO Conventions, three of which are core conventions (C.100 on Equal Remuneration, C.138 on Minimum Age and C.182 on Worst Form of Child Labour). The latest ratification was on 11 October 2007, of C.159 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons). The ILO work programme to promote Decent Work in Thailand was designed within the 10th National Development Plan (2007-2011) and the UN Partnership Framework with the Kingdom of Thailand (UNPAF).

In 2009, the ILO and its members celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Organization’s formation in 1919. The ILO celebrates its 90th anniversary in Thailand with a national high-level seminar on Decent Work Country Programme on 23 April 2009.