Document / Publication
This case study examines the immediate and longer-term consequences of the 2011 floods in Thailand on migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. It was conducted as part of the EU-funded project Migrants in Countries in Crisis: Supporting an Evidence-Based Approach for Effective and Cooperative State Action. Under this project, six case studies were prepared. The current report represents one of these. Due to the nature of the 2011 flood disaster in Thailand and the relatively fast rebound of the Thai economy, most of the migrants affected by the crisis were still in Thailand at the time this research was done. For many of them, the longer-term effects of the disaster stemmed mainly from their experiences during the crisis, the choices they made to cope and other events in the aftermath of the floods, particularly changes in Thailand’s migrant registration system.
Recommendations for reducing disaster risk include the need to incorporate migrants in disaster risk planning and response. This requires host governments to clearly delegate responsibility for migrants in times of crisis (which agency is responsible for which tasks). Most importantly, migrants should be actively included in disaster prevention and in the emergency response, and not seen only as victims. Given that countries of origin retain responsibility for their nationals even when they are on the territory of another state, embassies and consular offices should work intensely with host governments to support migrants during a crisis and facilitate the re-entry of their citizens.