Volunteer statistics (ILO)*
Source: ILOSTATS. The data is collected by ILO from national statistical offices. As national statistics on volunteer work are produced using a variety of approaches and tools, direct and cross-country comparisons are not recommended. For more information, visit https://ilostat.ilo.org/topics/volunteer-work/
- Time Use Survey
- Social survey
Laws, Policies, Schemes on Volunteering
Does the country have a piece of legislation on volunteering?
Does the country have a national policy, scheme, plan or strategy specific to volunteering?
Does the country have a sectoral and cross-sectoral policy, scheme, plan or strategy that mentions volunteering?
Thailand's Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable DevelopmentView source
Reporting positive contribution of volunteering to the SDGs
Paragraph 1, page 10
The Government is aware of the profound impact of disasters on the poor. The 2nd National Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Plan, which aims to promote resilience and mitigate disaster impacts especially on the poor and the vulnerable, is currently being drafted. At present, up to 25,915 persons in disaster-prone villages nationwide have been trained in early warning and disaster management. They are called ‘Miss/Mister Early Warning’.Local volunteers have also been trained on crisis and disaster management in the efforts to build community resilience todisasters.
Paragraph 2, page 14
Thailand also provides health insurance for both documented and undocumented migrant workers including their dependents, along with a migrant health volunteer program. The migrant health volunteers are not only interpreters in health facilities but also provide health knowledge and help inform migrant communities on their rights and on hygiene and sanitation.
Paragraph 3, page 27
Today, Thailand has raised the capacity of 1,629 Local AdministrativeOrganizations to become completely self-reliant in managing energy in communities,with over 6,000 community energy volunteers delivering news and information fromthe Ministry of Energy with approximately at least 300 participants per community.
Paragraph 4, page 59
Thailand attaches great importance to mobilizing partnership fromdifferent sectors to support the country’s development scheme. At present, theGovernment has a mechanism in place which promotes the involvement and strengthens the work of social enterprises, civil society organizations and volunteers.
Paragraph 5, page 61
Additionally,Thailand cooperated with UN Volunteers in holding a Conference on South-SouthExchange on Youth Volunteering for SDGs: Sharing Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and other ASEAN approaches.
Thailand's Voluntary National Review on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 2021View source
Reporting positive contribution of volunteering to the SDGs
Paragraph 1, page 1
With regards to SDG3, the country’s Universal Health Coverage and Village Health Volunteers played an integral role in the effective management of the COVID-19 crisis.
Paragraph 2, page 6
As such, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has promoted the participation of all sectors within the country in the development of Thailand’s 2021 VNR, including the National Assembly, academia, youth, and volunteers. [...] These VNRs have focused on themes such as “Localising the SDGs” in 2018, “Community Empowerment” in 2019, and “Volunteerism and Sustainable Development” in 2020.
Paragraph 3, page 14
The Friends of the Homeless is a private sector organisation which has worked with vulnerable groups, including homeless persons, in Khon Kaen in order to contribute towards reduced inequalities and strengthened community resilience. The group has also worked with youth volunteers in developing youth networks in Khon Kaen, focusing on implementation in the Khon Kaen municipality, Sila tambon, Khon Kaen Old City tambon, and Mueang tambon (totaling 3 municipalities and 1 amphoe). [...] As such, the group implemented the “Khon Kaen COVID Fight” project between 1 June- 31 July 2020 in two phases: In the short-term, the project has supported youth and community volunteers to organise COVID-19 protection events, in which assistance was offered to homeless persons and vulnerable groups with regards to access to welfare, food, and employment, in order to reduce the impacts of the pandemic on such groups in Khon Kaen. [...] In total, 221 persons received support from the project, including 91 women, 128 men, and 1 LGBTI person. This also included 3 men with disabilities. The project leveraged the support of 89 volunteers, including 57 women, 31 men, and one LGBTI person.
Paragraph 4, page 18
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Thailand’s efforts to promote good nutrition, and has even disrupted the national school schedule. This therefore means that schoolchildren have not been regularly weighed nor had their height measured in schools. The Government has instead promoted other means to achieve this, especially through the involvement of the Village Health Volunteers (VHV) system, in order to ensure that every child is weighed and has their height measured every three months.
Paragraph 5, page 21
The Government has communicated with the public at both the central and local levels to boost effective management, therefore managing issues such as the transmission of information, integrated focal points at the provincial level, and the creation of a communication network at the local level. This has particularly relied on public health volunteers.
Paragraph 6, page 23
(1) San Sai Nam Nueng Group: Youth volunteers for child and youth mental health in San Sai tambon, Fang amphoe, Chiang Mai Province The San Sai Nam Nueng Group was founded on 4 October 2008 from children and youth from 18 villages in San Sai tambon, Fang amphoe, Chiang Mai. The group first began with projects aimed at AIDS prevention in local communities in 2011, before diversifying its projects in other areas such as community volunteerism, promoting local customs and traditions, and combating drugs. Youth empowerment activities and advocacy for youth empowerment policies at all levels within the province also comprise a priority for the group. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the group, in partnership with the San Sai Public Health Working Group and Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) Thailand, found evidence that the situation had brought an increase in cases of depression within youth and children in the area. Such cases stemmed from increased stress, psychological issues, relationship and family issues, and financial stress. The study found that 1850 persons under the age of 25 in the area, amounting to 17 per cent of the total population of San Sai, had significant mental stress. As such, the group established the “Leave Sadness, More Happiness” project. The project was supported by 25 volunteer leaders (including 16 women, 8 men, and 1 LGBTI person). The group initiated a field study on the mental health and stress levels of children and youth in San Sai, with 289 children and youth (aged between 11-25 years) participating. The study used the ST5 stress examination process promoted by the Department of Mental Health. [...] The consultation provided the following recommendations:[...] 3) Hospitals should provide training and capacity-building for medical personnel on mental health support through partnerships with networks and various local groups, such as local community leaders and village health volunteers, in order to raise the capacities of personnel in identifying cases which require support. [...] (2) Village Health Volunteers (VHV) Amidst the COVID-19 challenges, a group of people known as the “Village Health Volunteers” have played a critical role. They are part of a network that has been operating since 1978, following Thailand’s policy to improve the health system for the health and well-being of all Thais, for which the Ministry of Public Health would select a handful of villagers with volunteer spirits to train and educate them on health promotion efforts. After the training, the village health volunteers would play an important role in converting central policies into local implementation by disseminating accurate and simplified public health information and giving advice on diseases and proper health guidelines for other villagers. Over the past 40 years, the Ministry of Public Health has been determined to improve the work of the village health volunteers. In 2019, the Government launched a plan to develop the programme and elevate the volunteers to be “household doctors”. Network presidents from each village were selected to attend a special training session to learn about endemic diseases and epidemics, prevention methods, physical and mental health issues, and using Thai folk wisdom and traditional herbs for medicinal purposes. The Government also supported the village health volunteers to use modern technology for more efficient health promotion efforts in the communities. At present, there are approximately 1,040,000 village health volunteers in Thailand and 15,000 public health volunteers in Bangkok. During a period when people travelled back to their hometowns, many were afraid of a greater wave of COVID-19 transmission in Thailand. District Health Promoting Hospitals in each area then tasked the village health volunteers and health authorities with proactive campaigns to raise awareness, urge newly-arrived travellers to stay at home and refrain from social gatherings, and give self-care advice. They also formed the first line of defence in their efforts to collect travel information of households under their responsibility, collect health records of people in the communities for relevant agencies, give knowledge about COVID-19, and screen high-risk groups for public health authorities to monitor. The village-level screening effort has proven efficient and produced concrete results.
Paragraph 7, page 27
Thailand plays a role in technical support for other developing countries, including through increased funding every year. Support encompasses the transfer of knowledge and technology, support in terms of equipment and tools, the provision of experts and volunteers, development of basic infrastructure, and the development of human resources through trainings and scholarships.
Paragraph 8, page 28
Youth-Led Networks Lead the Charge for Quality Education Youth volunteers have paid much interest to events promoting education and life-long learning. Youth networks have particularly been interested in education programmes that correspond to the capacities or interests of the learner or the local context. The events organised serve to assist youth in learning more about themselves, therefore increasing their adaptability to situations and their changing surroundings. They support local youth to build their capacities to be ready for future employment. [...]
Paragraph 9, page 31
Besides individual-oriented development work, the Women’s Development Committees also tackle inequality and violence against women and children in society. While carrying out development work and solving problems, volunteers in the committees promote activities that are beneficial to women, emphasising root cause analysis and data collection to help shed light on the work. This will be followed by management tasks, media production, and public relations campaigns to disseminate knowledge that are in the best interest of women.
Paragraph 10, page 38
Power for Sustainable Future Foundation: The Power for Sustainable Future Foundation is a social enterprise sponsored by PTT Public Company Limited. The Foundation has a mission to act as an intermediary to mobilise aid and promote renewable energy management at the community level through the use of renewable energy technology suitable for that area. Instead of just delivering aid, the mission holds activities including field trips and training sessions to cultivate the concept of volunteerism in the minds of young people and local villagers, which will lead to long-term energy and environmental sustainability in the area. [...] The projects have benefite+C42d around 4,000 people in rural and disadvantaged areas. The Foundation has also organised workshops to educate children and youth, volunteers, community leaders and representatives, about energy. The workshops were attended by a total of 977 participants, divided into 347 volunteers and 630 interested people.
Paragraph 11, page 48
Social Development and Human Security Volunteers (SDHSVs) In addition to government agencies present, Thailand leverages a network of volunteers in preventing and tackling issues of inequality at a community level. The Social Development and Human Security Volunteers (SDHSVs) support the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security’s operations in local development and providing aid for target groups in communities. Their work ranges from presenting data on social problems in communities, coordinating with networks at all levels to assist those impacted, to developing long-term support schemes. The Government has launched a programme for the volunteers’ specialised training according to the target group under their care or those who need support, namely the SDHSV Training Programme for Specialised Disability Support and Elderly Support, which aims to lay a foundation for the responsibilities of the SDHSVs; share techniques in the work, report writing and how to draw lessons from the experience; and deepen understanding about rights, disability support and elderly support. The programme will improve the SDHSVs’ skills, build their confidence and allow them to gain various proficiencies in keeping a social watch and caring for people with disabilities and the elderly.
Paragraph 12, page 54
The Government should work with other sectors to design and implement efficient and sustainable waste management actions, including food donations, legal protection for food donors and food distributing volunteers, and tax incentives for food waste recycling.
Paragraph 13, page 61
To achieve SDG14, Thailand has emphasised its commitment to develop the management, conservation, and restoration of the sea and ocean, as well as efforts to strengthen partnership from all sectors. Goals set by the country include increasing marine protected areas to 10 per cent of the entire maritime area by 2030, increasing the number of manatees from 250 to 280 by 2022, and increasing the number of volunteering networks for ocean conservation by at least 30 per cent per year. These goals are ambitious and require serious efforts. [...] Community-Led Efforts to advance “Life under Water”: The Marine Rangers, currently totalling more than 15,200 volunteers in 24 coastal provinces, play an important role in carrying out marine and coastal resources conservation efforts with government agencies and monitoring any situations that may affect marine and coastal resources. They also take part in raising awareness for people to understand problems afflicting local marine and coastal resources and can formulate plans to address the problems as suitable for each area. In addition to the Marine Rangers, other volunteer groups also help drive the implementation of SDG14, such as the Crab Bank group, which has members in more than 532 communities and plays an important role in the restoration and conservation of blue crab resources. There are also special volunteer groups which come together to carry out specific activities, such as dives to collect marine debris, beach clean-ups, and waste collection andsorting. All in all, at least 80,000 volunteers play a key role in conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources in Thailand.
Paragraph 14, page 69
Community Justice Counsellors It is critical to promote cooperation with volunteers to create a mechanism for people to have easier access to the justice system and to participate in solving problems within communities. Communities have sought the support of “Community Justice Counsellors” to support this vision, and serves as a pro bono legal advisor to the villagers. The Community Justice Counsellors also provide a mechanism to enable villagers and volunteers to take part in community management and lay the foundation for sustainable development by themselves, which is one way to strengthen communities and create a sustainable local justice system. P. 70: Thailand’s SDGs Roadmap prioritises the strengthening of domestic implementation mechanisms for SDGs, awareness-raising on the Goals, and building partnerships with all sectors, the public sector, the private sector, academia, international organizations, and the general public including women, youth, and volunteers.
Paragraph 15, page 71
At the people level, the Cabinet recognized “Giving and Volunteerism” as a National Agenda in 2011 to promote volunteerism among the people as a key mechanism for SDG advancement. Currently, Thailand has 13.15 million formal and informal volunteers all over the country. This shows that ordinary Thai people are interested in helping to advance sustainable development in Thailand. In addition, civil society, academics, and private sector actors have also played an important part in supporting the volunteerism in Thailand. [...] The Friends from Thailand (FFT) initiative sends volunteers to CLMV countries and countries that have academic and economic cooperation with Thailand such as Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, and certain African countries (Mozambique, Benin, and Lesotho). FFT helps these countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic through providing public awareness materials, support for medical frontline personnel, conducting lab research in Bhutan, and providing Thai experts in various sectors.
Paragraph 16, page 73
The Government should establish a formal mechanism to engage volunteers in the country’s SDGs implementation process, including problem solving, monitoring and evaluation, financial mobilization for sustainable development, as well as raising public awareness on the SDGs.
Paragraph 17, page 75
Sectors who participated in the VNR process included the following: 1. Civil society organisations and volunteer networks were consulted through networks previously-established under the Open-Ended Working Group for the SDGs, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The VNR process was informed by data and case studies contributed by: (1) the Volunteer Spirit Network; (2) the Graduate Volunteer Project under Songklanakharin University; (3) Handup Volunteer organization; and (4) the Volunteers for Society Foundation, among many others.[...]
Paragraph 18, page 76
1. Civil Society and Volunteer Networks: 1.1. Overall Views on Sustainable Development: Volunteers are a vital human resource in advancing sustainable development within the country. The promotion of the role of volunteerism serves to create committed and responsible citizens to further the country’s development, while volunteers comprise active citizens that can lay a role in resolving problems. The development of volunteers at all ages is both a target and a means to create a society with social responsibility. Volunteer work should be supported by the government and private sectors in order to institutionalise volunteerism as a tradition in Thailand. 1.2 Challenges: (1) While Thailand has many policies that help to support enabling mechanisms for volunteerism, the Government can play a larger role in supporting volunteers. This includes in coordinating the role of state agencies and local government authorities in coordinating the work of volunteers across the country in a systematic manner. Volunteerism should be promoted in line with the priorities of local communities and areas. Volunteers should also be further empowered to support Thailand’s advancement of the SDGs. (2) The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a reduction in the total number of volunteers, given the limitations for joint activities and economic impacts from the crisis. This has led to a shift to online volunteering. However, the existing mechanisms for online volunteering in Thailand are insufficient. (3) The structure, working processes, and regulations of government agencies can sometimes cause delays to projects or lack clarity in implementation. 1.3 Recommendations: (1) The Government should accelerate the establishment of the National Volunteer Centre in order to set up a dedicated organisation for volunteering. This will allow the effective management of volunteering within the country, leading to improved implementation and raising the capacities of volunteers in a systematic manner in line with international standards. This organisation should be independent and flexible. (2) Thailand should introduce legislation that can support volunteer work, in order to support standardized volunteering and improve on welfare for volunteers. (3) The Government should support the establishment of volunteer centres at the tambon level to act as the central actor in coordinating volunteerism in normal times and in times of crisis. This will also support the participation of the population in resolving local problems sustainably. (4) Thailand should develop a masterplan on promoting the participation of the people and volunteers in advancing sustainable development. This should be developed in tandem with the system and tools to manage volunteerism including through the application of modern technology. (5) The Government should work together with the private sector in creating new forms of volunteering work, in order to respond to the needs of society, the business sector, and the people as a whole. (6) The country should promote research on raising the capacities and number of volunteers, and support the development of curricula and other means of creating more volunteers in education institutions across the country. This will lead to a more professional approach to learning on volunteerism.
Paragraph 19, page 79
Thailand has recorded significant progress in its advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, building on its extensive success in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. This has been achieved through the combined efforts and collaboration of the Government and all sectors within Thai society, including the private sector, civil society and volunteers, academia, and ordinary citizens.