United Nations Volunteers in Thailand

UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UNV volunteers, throughout the world.

Our inspiration

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.

UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UNV volunteers, throughout the world.

UNV and Volunteerism in Thailand

The concept of volunteerism is well engrained in Thai society and culture. The origins of Thai society, like many others, is an agricultural society based on mutual help. Further, one of the major aspects of Buddhism, the religion of most people in Thailand, is 'making merit' (tham bun) through a good karma (deed) aimed at being rewarded by a good or better life in the future and good or better rebirth in the next life. Volunteerism and philanthropic activities are also encouraged through the actions of His Majesty the King of Thailand and the Royal family who have embodied the philosophy of helping others, volunteering their time and commitment to public service.

While the first Thai UNV volunteer was deployed in Tanzania back in 1982 more substantive cooperation with the Thai Government and UNDP Thailand followed the International Year of Volunteers in 2001, supported by Thailand. Until today, almost hundred international UNV volunteers served in Thailand. Currently 25 international UNV volunteers are providing their expertise. One of the most significant contributions of UNV thus far has been support in 2006 towards the establishment of a National Center for Giving and Volunteering (NCGV), formally launched in May 2007.

Meet Daniel, a United Nations Volunteer serving with UNHCR in Thailand.
UNV in Thailand
UN Volunteers come from countries all over the world. Currently there are 14 UNV Volunteers serving in Thailand.

International Volunteers

International UNV volunteers serve in countries other than their own. They are recruited for specialized inputs to development programmes, and increasingly, in the areas of peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and UN-supported electoral processes. The UNV programme maintains a roster of candidates with relevant experience in these sectors. It covers more than 100 professional categories including, for example, programme/project development, administration, communications, community development, demobilization and reintegration, disaster prevention, humanitarian and civil affairs, engineering, environment, HIV/AIDS, medicine, human rights, logistics and election support. For more information: http://www.unv.org/how-to-volunteer

What is provided to a UNV volunteer?

  • Settling-in Grant calculated on the duration of assignment to be paid at the beginning of the assignment
  • Monthly Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) for basic living costs
  • Pre-departure entitlements (shipment of personal effects, miscellaneous expenses for visa fee, medical examination) and air tickets to and from the country of assignment;
  • Life, health and permanent disability insurances;
  • Annual leave at a rate of two and a half working days a month; and
  • Resettlement allowance upon satisfactory completion of an assignment, based on its duration


  •  University degree or higher technical diploma
  • At least 25 years old (no upper age limit)
  • Several years of relevant working experience
  • Good working knowledge of at least one of the three UN working languages English, French and Spanish
  • Strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to adjust to difficult living conditions
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a development country

Online Volunteers

UNV’s Online Volunteering service connects development organizations and volunteers over the Internet and supports their effective online collaboration. It gives development organizations access to a broader pool of knowledge and resources to enhance their capacities, while it offers individuals worldwide additional opportunities to volunteer for development and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. If you are interested in volunteering online, your first stop should be UNV's Online Volunteering service at http://www.onlinevolunteering.org

The Online Volunteering service has enabled more than 1000 non-profit development organizations (CSOs, government institutions, academic institutions, United Nations organizations) to benefit from the support of more than 12,000 individuals from 182 countries (60% women, 40% from developing countries in 2007) who:

  • Provide technical expertise (e.g. advice on waste disposal, contract drafting)
  • Support project and resources management (e.g. project planning, volunteers management)
  • Contribute to knowledge management (e.g. data collection, database development)
  • Facilitate communication and networking (e.g. newsletters production and translation, moderation of online discussion groups

UNV online applications or rosters are NOT accessible through the Online Volunteering service. For inquiries regarding an application or its status on the roster, please write to roster@unvolunteers.org.