Thailand Passes Law Allowing “Stateless” Individuals to Apply for Citizenship

by admin on May 8, 2019

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The Thai government published a new law in the Royal Gazette that will effectively allow Thailand’s so-called “stateless” individuals to apply for a birth certificate and Thai nationality.

“Stateless” or “rootless” people in Thailand are typically those who are abandoned at birth and as a result, have no Thai identification number, preventing them from gaining citizenship status.

Also, many individuals living in the remote border regions of northern Thailand and Myanmar also often qualify as stateless individuals, as Thailand oftentimes does not recognize their Thai nationality.

Thailand’s stateless people epidemic drew headlines during last year’s famous cave rescue when the media learned that three of the trapped boys and their coach were stateless and lacked basic rights afforded to those with official Thai nationality.

According to attorneys specializing in family law in Thailand, the newly revised Civil Registration Act gives these individuals a chance to apply for citizenship as well as change their name and other information on official documents.

Last month, one of the first stateless boys was able to obtain his official Thailand ID under the new law.

The boy will now have the ability to work legally or pursue tertiary education in Thailand.

Read the full story here.

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