Chiang Mai Framework for Action: Toolkit launched for construction sector to help improve the well-being of migrant families in construction camps

BANGKOK, 10 February 2022 – With support from the European Union, today the Baan Dek Foundation and UNICEF launched the Chiang Mai Framework for Action (CMFA), a toolkit that provides construction companies and real estate developers with guidance, a self-assessment tool, and practical steps for improving the living conditions of children and families living in construction sites.

The toolkit, developed and tested in consultation with construction sector leaders, workers, their families, and other key stakeholders, aims to support improved living conditions and access to basic services including healthcare and education for children and families living in the construction camps, many of whom are migrants. It offers an easy-to-use assessment tool for camp managers to identify needs, plan actions and monitor progress on the well-being of camp residents.

“Applying the Chiang Mai Framework for Action to camp management can lead to significant impacts for construction workers and their families,” said Nicola Crosta, Founder of Baan Dek Foundation. “The toolkit provides a scorecard and guidance on infrastructure, welfare, and services, health and education for more efficient and impactful camp management. We have calculated that for each baht invested in the camp communities, there is a seven-baht return for children and families in social value. This translates to children living in safer environments, with greater access to education and healthcare. It also helps improve the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of construction companies and real estate developers.”

The CMFA was developed based on the recommendations of Building Futures in Thailand, a 2018 report released by Baan Dek Foundation and UNICEF Thailand. According to the report, tens of thousands of children, mostly from migrant families, are living in poor living conditions and have limited access to education and healthcare services as well as vaccines. The report has sparked interest and collaboration from many construction companies who have joined Baan Dek Foundation in developing the toolkits in order to address these challenges.

Kyungsun Kim, UNICEF Representative in Thailand, views the toolkit as a win-win for all involved, “As well as improving the lives of children and families, improving safety and well-being in construction camps through the Chiang Mai Framework for Action can also help strengthen employee relations, reduce operational and reputational risks and elevate sustainability ratings. This represents an opportunity for construction companies to boost their social impact and align with growing global demand for businesses to take leadership on upholding human rights.”

“A whole-of-society approach is required to tackle this issue. The Chiang Mai Framework for Action is a good example demonstrating a great collaboration of civil society organizations, private sectors, and international agencies. We hope that the CMFA will trigger improved living conditions in the construction sites of migrants and their families and particularly as regards access to education and health care for migrant children. The European Union is proud to fund this important initiative. We want to ensure that no one is left behind” said H.E. David Daly, Ambassador of the European Union to Thailand.

Baan Dek Foundation and UNICEF Thailand have collaborated since 2017 to address the needs of children in construction camps. Commencing with the Building Futures in Thailand report, UNICEF Thailand has supported Baan Dek Foundation in the development and testing of the CMFA. The European Union has also supported its development through its project: Protecting children affected by migration in Southeast, South, and Central Asia.

The CMFA, including an online Self-Assessment Tool, Social Impact Guidelines, and a Reference Pack for camp managers and residents to plan and implement actions in their camps, is now available at


Photo credits:

  1. Ladawan Tachaiyot
  2. Nurama Taleh
  3. Ladawan Tachaiyot

About Baan Dek Foundation

Founded in 2002, Baan Dek Foundation is a Thai-registered foundation with the mission to provide access to education, health and safety services to the most vulnerable children living in urban slums and construction site camps in Thailand. Every year, Baan Dek Foundation supports over 1,400 children in Chiang Mai and Bangkok through complementary programs that provide emergency case management, child development, and community empowerment. To achieve systemic impact and sustain long-term change, Baan Dek Foundation collaborates closely with the Thai construction sector and public stakeholders (public schools, Ministries of Health and Education) to support migrant children in accessing public services and safer living environments.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

About the European Union (EU)

The European Union has contributed close to EURO 11 million (about 417 million baht) to support UNICEF’s work to protect the rights of children affected by migration in eight countries across Southeast, South, and Central Asia. The eight countries included in the EU and UNICEF co-funded program are Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan. From 2018-to 2022, the contribution aims to support children who are migrating or have been forcibly displaced within their own countries or across borders, or who remain behind when their parents migrate away.

The preceding is a press release published with full permission and authorization by the organization(s) listed in the PR material and TPN media. The statements, thoughts, and opinions of the organization involved in the press release are entirely their own and may not necessarily represent those of TPN media and its staff.

Adam Judd
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