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A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US treaty ally in 1954 after sending troops to Korea and fighting alongside the US in Vietnam. A military coup in September 2006 ousted then Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat. December 2007 elections saw the pro-THAKSIN People's Power Party (PPP) emerge at the head of a coalition government that took office in February 2008. The anti-THAKSIN People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD, aka yellow-shirts) in May 2008 began street demonstrations against the new government, eventually occupying the prime minister's... See More



 Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma

Geographic Coordinates:

 15 00 N, 100 00 E


 Total: 513,120 sq km
Land: 510,890 sq km
Water: 2,230 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 4,863 km
Border countries: Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km


 3,219 km (Rank: 36)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


 Tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid


 Central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
Highest point: Doi Inthanon 2,576 m

Natural Resources:

 Tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land

Land Use:

 Arable land: 27.54%
Permanent crops: 6.93%
Other: 65.53% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 64,150 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 409.9 cu km (1999)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 82.75 cu km/yr (2%/2%/95%)
Per capita: 1,288 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts

Environment - Current Issues:

 Air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - Note:

 Controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore

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 Noun: Thai (singular and plural)
Adjective: Thai

Ethnic Groups:

 Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%


 Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects


 Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1% (2000 census)


 66,720,153 (July 2011 est.)

Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 19.9% (male 6,779,723/female 6,466,625)
15-64 years: 70.9% (male 23,410,091/female 23,913,499)
65 years and over: 9.2% (male 2,778,012/female 3,372,203) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 34.2 years
Male: 33.3 years
Female: 35.2 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.566% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 12.95 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 7.29 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 34% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.8% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 BANGKOK (capital) 6.902 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.054 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 48 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 16.39 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 17.38 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 15.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 73.6 years
Male: 71.24 years
Female: 76.08 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.66 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 4.3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.298 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital Bed Density:

 2.2 beds/1,000 population (2002)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 99% of population
Rural: 98% of population
Total: 98% of population
Urban: 1% of population
Rural: 2% of population
Total: 2% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 95% of population
Rural: 96% of population
Total: 96% of population
Urban: 5% of population
Rural: 4% of population
Total: 4% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 1.3% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 530,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 28,000 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
Animal contact disease: rabies
Water contact disease: leptospirosis

Note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 7% (2006)

Obesity - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 7.8% (2003)

Education Expenditures:

 4.1% of GDP (2009)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 92.6%
Male: 94.9%
Female: 90.5% (2000 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 13 years (2010)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 4.3%
Male: 3.7%
Female: 5.1% (2009)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
Conventional short form: Thailand
Local long form: Ratcha Anachak Thai
Local short form: Prathet Thai
Former: Siam

Government Type:

 Constitutional monarchy


 Name: Bangkok
Geographic coordinates: 13 45 N, 100 31 E
Time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 77 provinces (changwat, singular and plural); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Bueng Kan, Buriram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep Mahanakhon (Bangkok), Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Lop Buri, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phrae, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sara Buri, Satun, Sing Buri, Sisaket, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, Yala, Yasothon


 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)

National Holiday:

 Birthday of King PHUMIPHON (BHUMIBOL), 5 December (1927)


 August 24, 2007

Legal System:

 Civil law system with common law influences

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet, also spelled BHUMIBOL Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946)

Head of government: Prime Minister YINGLAK Chinnawat, also spelled YINGLUCK Shinawatra (since 8 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister CHALERM Yubamrung (since 10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister CHUMPHON Sinlapa-acha, also spelled CHUMPOL SILPA-archa (since 10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister KITTIRAT Na Ranong (since 10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister KOWIT Wattana (since 10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister YONGYUT Wichaidit (10 August 2011)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers

Note: there is also a Privy Council advising the king

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; according to 2007 constitution, the prime minister is elected from among members of House of Representatives; following national elections for House of Representatives, the leader of the party positioned to organize a majority coalition usually becomes prime minister by appointment by the king; the prime minister is limited to two four-year terms

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral National Assembly or Rathasapha consisted of the Senate or Wuthisapha (150 seats; 76 members elected by popular vote representing 76 provinces, 74 appointed by judges and independent government bodies; members serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon (500 seats; 375 members elected from 157 multi-seat constituencies and 125 elected on proportional party-list basis; members serve four-year terms)

Elections: Senate - last held on 2 March 2008 (next to be held in March 2014); House of Representatives - last election held on 3 July 2011 (next to be held by July 2015)

Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PTP 265, DP 159, PJT 34, CTP 19, others 15

Note: 74 senators were appointed on 19 February 2008 by a seven-member committee headed by the chief of the Constitutional Court; 76 senators were elected on 2 March 2008; elections to the Senate are non-partisan; registered political party members are disqualified from being senators

Judicial Branch:

 Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Justice, and Supreme Administrative Court; all judges are appointed by the king; the king's appointments to the Constitutional Courtare made upon the advice of the Senate; the nine Constitutional Court judges are drawn from the Supreme Court of Justice and Supreme Administrative Court as well as from among substantive experts in law and social sciences outside the judiciary

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Chat Pattana Party or CPN (Nation Development Party [WANNARAT Channukun]; Chat Thai Phattana Party or CTP (Thai Nation Development Party) [CHUMPON Silpa-archa]; Phalang Chon Party (Chonburi Power Party) [CHAO Manivong]; Phumjai (Bhumjai) Thai Party or PJT (Thai Pride) [CHAWARAT Chanvirakun]; Prachathipat Party or DP (Democrat Party) [ABHISIT Wechachiwa, also spelled ABHISIT Vejjajiva]; Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [YONGYUTH Wichaidit]; Rak Prathet Thai Party (Love Thailand Party) [YONGYUTH Wichaidit]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 People's Alliance for Democracy or PAD; United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or UDD

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Kittiphong Na RANONG
Chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20007
Telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611
Consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Kristie A. KENNEY
Embassy: 120-122 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330
Mailing address: APO AP 96546
Telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000
FAX: [66] (2) 254-2990, 205-4131
Consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai

Flag Description:

 Five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red; the red color symbolizes the nation and the blood of life; white represents religion and the purity of Buddhism; blue stands for the monarchy

Note: similar to the flag of Costa Rica but with the blue and red colors reversed

National Symbols:

 Garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird figure); elephant

National Anthem:

 Name: "Phleng Chat Thai" (National Anthem of Thailand)
Lyrics/music: LUANG Saranuprapan/PHRA Jenduriyang

Note: music adopted 1932, lyrics adopted 1939; by law, people are required to stand for the national anthem at 0800 and 1800 every day; the anthem is played in schools, offices, theaters, and on television and radio during this time; "Phleng Sansasoen Phra Barami" (A Salute to the Monarch) serves as the royal anthem and is played in the presence of the royal family and during certain state ceremonies

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Economy - Overview:

 With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, generally pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand enjoyed solid growth from 2000 to 2007 - averaging more than 4% per year - as it recovered from the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Thai exports - mostly machinery and electronic components, agricultural commodities, and jewelry - continue to drive the economy, accounting for more than half of GDP. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 severely cut Thailand's exports, with most sectors experiencing double-digit drops. In 2009, the economy contracted 2.2%. In 2010, Thailand's economy expanded 7.6%, its fastest pace since 1995, as exports rebounded from their depressed 2009 level. Antigovernment protests during March-May and the country's polarized political situation had - at most - a temporary impact on business and consumer confidence. Although tourism was hit hard during the protests, its quick recovery helped boost consumer confidence to new highs. Moreover, business and investor sentiment remained buoyant as Thailand's stock market grew almost 5% during the three-month period. The economy probably will continue to experience high grow well into 2011.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $586.9 billion (2010 est.)
$544.4 billion (2009 est.)
$557.4 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $318.9 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 7.8% (2010 est.)
-2.3% (2009 est.)
2.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $8,700 (2010 est.)
$8,200 (2009 est.)
$8,400 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 12.4%
Industry: 44.7%
Services: 43% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 38.64 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 42.4%
Industry: 19.7%
Services: 37.9% (2008 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 1% (2010 est.)
1.5% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 9.6% (2006 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 1.6%
Highest 10%: 42.6% (2009)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 53.6 (2009)
42 (2002)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 132,241 (Burma) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 24.7% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $58.1 billion
Expenditures: $62.16 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 18.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -1.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 43.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
44.9% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 3.3% (2010 est.)
-0.9% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 7.58% (31 December 2010 est.)
1.75% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 5.935% (31 December 2010 est.)
5.963% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $35.35 billion (31 December 2009)
$28.76 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $283.6 billion (31 December 2009)
$237.5 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $43.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$35.25 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $390.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$318.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $365.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$300.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $277.7 billion (31 December 2010)
$138.2 billion (31 December 2009)
$102.6 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans


 Tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 14.4% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 139 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 91.3%
Hydro: 6.4%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 2.4% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 131.6 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 1.979 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 2.313 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 406,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 988,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 269,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 807,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 435 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 30.88 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 39.17 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 8.29 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 312.2 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 $12.29 billion (2010 est.)
$21.86 billion (2009)


 $193.5 billion (2010 est.)
$150.7 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances

Exports - Partners:

 China 11%, Japan 10.5%, US 10.4%, Hong Kong 6.7%, Malaysia 5.4%, Australia 4.8%, Singapore 4.6% (2010)


 $161.3 billion (2010 est.)
$118 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels

Imports - Partners:

 Japan 20.8%, China 13.3%, US 5.9%, Malaysia 5.9%, UAE 4.7%, South Korea 4.4% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $172.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$138.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $111.9 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
$74.05 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $23.45 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$18.16 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $115.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$109.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Thai Baht to Any Currency

Baht per US dollar -
31.663 (2010)
34.286 (2009)
33.37 (2008)
34.52 (2007)
37.882 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 7.009 million (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 69.683 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: high quality system, especially in urban areas like Bangkok

Domestic: fixed line system provided by both a government owned and commercial provider; wireless service expanding rapidly

International: country code - 66; connected to major submarine cable systems providing links throughout Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast Media:

 6 terrestrial TV stations in Bangkok broadcast nationally via relay stations - 2 of the networks are owned by the military, the other 4 are government-owned or controlled, leased to private enterprise, and are all required to broadcast government-produced news programs twice a day; multi-channel satellite and cable TV subscription services are available; radio frequencies have been allotted for more than 500 government and commercial radio stations; many small community radio stations operate with low-power transmitters (2008)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 238, FM 351, shortwave 6 (2007)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 111 (2006)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 1.335 million (2010)

Internet Users:

 17.483 million (2009)

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 105 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 64
Over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
914 to 1,523 m: 15
Under 914 m: 6 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 41
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 13
Under 914 m: 27 (2010)


 4 (2010)


 Gas 1,889 km; liquid petroleum gas 85 km; refined products 1,099 km (2010)


 Total: 4,071 km
Standard gauge: 29 km 1.435-m gauge (29 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 4,042 km 1.000-m gauge (2010)


 Total: 180,053 km (includes 450 km of expressways) (2006)


 4,000 km (3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m) (2010)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 382
By type: bulk carrier 30, cargo 116, chemical tanker 23, container 19, liquefied gas 36, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 120, refrigerated cargo 27
Foreign-owned: 15 (China 1, Hong Kong 1, Japan 2, Malaysia 3, Singapore 1, Taiwan 1, UK 6)
Registered in other countries: 41 (Bahamas 4, Panama 6, Singapore 30, Tuvalu 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Prachuap Port, Si Racha

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Military Branches:

 Royal Thai Army (Kongthap Bok Thai, RTA), Royal Thai Navy (Kongthap Ruea Thai, RTN, includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force (Kongthap Agard Thai, RTAF) (2010)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 21 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; males register at 18 years of age; 2-year conscript service obligation (2009)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 17,689,921
Females age 16-49: 17,754,795 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 13,308,372
Females age 16-49: 14,182,567 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 533,424
Female: 509,780 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 1.8% of GDP (2005 est.)

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Disputes - International:

 Separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem terrorist activities; Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River; despite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities, and as of 2006, over 116,000 Karen, Hmong, and other refugees and asylum seekers from Burma; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 2011 Thailand and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN World Heritage site; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burma; in 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailand; 140,000 mostly Karen refugees fleeing civil strife, political upheaval and economic stagnation in Burma live in remote camps in Thailand near the border

Illicit Drugs:

 A minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; transit point for illicit heroin en route to the international drug market from Burma and Laos; eradication efforts have reduced the area of cannabis cultivation and shifted some production to neighboring countries; opium poppy cultivation has been reduced by eradication efforts; also a drug money-laundering center; minor role in methamphetamine production for regional consumption; major consumer of methamphetamine since the 1990s despite a series of government crackdowns

Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: Thailand is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the majority of the trafficking victims identified within Thailand are migrants from Thailand's neighboring countries who are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labor or commercial sexual exploitation; trafficking victims within Thailand were found employed in maritime fishing, seafood processing, low-end garment production, and domestic work

Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the government continued implementation of its human trafficking law, conducted awareness-raising activities on human trafficking, and continued work on its implementation of regulations that will allow trafficking victims to temporarily live and work within Thailand, though victims generally continue to be detained in government shelters; however, the government has not shown sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking, particularly in the areas of prosecuting and convicting both sex and labor trafficking offenders, combating the trafficking complicity of public officials, and sheltering trafficking victims (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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