“Know your rights” Training Migrants and Refugees in Thailand

by Maeve Halpin
Tuesday, 3 July 2018 11:31 GMT

 “We got in touch with TrustLaw, Thomson Reuters Foundation to see how we can work together on training refuges and migrants and really connecting them to lawyers. Just training is not enough, we need to expand their networks and let them know there are people out there that are willing to help them besides NGOs like the IRC.”  Oranutt Narapruet, International Rescue Committee


Across Thailand and in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border, 3 million refugees, displaced people and migrants from Myanmar are living in limbo, with limited access to basic education and health care. They are unsure of their right to work and stay in Thailand and reluctant to return home to uncertainty.

For over 30 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been providing relief to these vulnerable populations in Thailand, supporting those most vulnerable to be safe, healthy and empowered to make decisions about their lives.

 In 2017, through TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal programme, the IRC received legal assistance from the international law firm DLA Piper to research the rights of these refugees and migrant workers and prepare resources and training materials. In a pioneer project, DLA Piper lawyers then led workshops for refugees, migrant workers and IRC staff—empowering them with information on their legal rights and status.

“I grew up seeing so much disparity amongst people, so many people that need help. I think TrustLaw and the IRC did an excellent job. We are very fortunate to be part of this project.” Mohammed Rakinul Hakim, Lawyer, DLA Piper

Bringing the International Rescue Committee and DLA Piper together to support refugees and migrant workers in Thailand, is just 1 of 4000 innovative and high impact legal pro bono projects that TrustLaw has facilitated for NGOs and social enterprises in 175 countries.

 If you are a lawyer interested in driving social change with your skills or an NGO or social enterprise that needs pro bono legal assistance, please click on the link to find out more.