2009 Thailand National Human Development Report

13 May 2010

Human Security, Today and Tomorrow

In 1999, the first Thailand Human Development Report introduced the concept of human development and surveyed the state of human development in Thailand amidst the first severe Asian economic crisis in decades. 

The second report, launched in 2003, focused on “community empowerment”. The choice of the thematic focus was based on the realization that communities not only constitute the most significant social safety net, but also the dynamic forces behind the on-going vibrant and broad-based social and democratic reforms in Thailand. 

“Sufficiency Economy” was the theme of the third report, launched in 2007. It reflected the nation’s search for a more balanced development path, guided by His Majesty The King’s initiatives. It is with great pleasure that the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) and the United Nations Development Programme in Thailand (UNDP Thailand) present the fourth Thailand Human Development Report “Human Security: Today and Tomorrow”. This thematic focus was selected by a group of high-level public officials, well-respected scholars, civil society leaders, UN colleagues, and UNDP Thailand. It reflects the society’s cautious optimistic perspective on the global and national development situations.

Using the human security approach, the report surveys a whole spectrum of human development issues, draws attention to old risks and threats that persist, and identifies new risks and threats that are emerging with changes in the economy, society and the country’s position in the world. 

Meeting the challenges of minimizing and managing the risks at individual, community, and national levels requires a high-level and long-term commitment, as much as broad-based and continuous efforts. Since its establishment in 2002, the MSDHS has played a leading role in advocating policies and legal development, as well as implementing important programmes, to enhance human security for Thais and non-citizens living in the country. In recent years there have been significant developments toward the enhancement of the security of the most vulnerable groups of people, e.g. the protection of women and children, provisions for the elderly and persons with disabilities, the prevention and suppression of trafficking and the accommodation of ethnic minorities without full citizenship, displaced persons, migrant workers and stateless persons. 

The Universal Health Care Programme has enhanced the quality and security of lives of a large part of the population. The old-age fund, now under serious consideration, would represent another landmark development. 

But much remains to be done. This report presents a shortlist for action. It is hoped that the report raises awareness, fosters cooperation, and stimulates actions toward more secure livelihoods for the people and sustainable development for Thailand.


  • Human Security today: An audit
  • Emerging Issues for a Secure Tomorrow
  • A Short list for Action
  • Human Achievement Index
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  • 2009 Thailand National Human Development Report English | Thai