‘Stateless’ members of Thai soccer team rescued from cave granted citizenship – National


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BANGKOK – Three boys from a soccer group who have been rescued from a flooded collapse northern Thailand final month have been granted Thai citizenship on Wednesday, authorities stated.

Thai officials release video of boys thanking rescuers for saving them from cave

Their 25-year-old coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, additionally gained citizenship.

Ekapol and 12 boys had gone to discover the Tham Luang caves in Chiang Rai province on June 23, when a rainy-season downpour flooded the cave system and trapped them underground.

They survived for 9 days on water dripping from rocks earlier than they have been found. A world effort to rescue them ended on July 10 after they all have been introduced out safely.

Three of the boys and Ekapol have been thought of stateless, despite the fact that they have been born in Thailand, till native authorities checked their , together with beginning certificates, and authorized their requests for Thai citizenship.

The 4 have been additionally given Thai nationwide identification playing cards on Wednesday.

“They’ve all of the ,” stated Somsak Kanakam, chief officer of Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai. “All youngsters born in Thailand should have Thai beginning certificates with a purpose to qualify for Thai citizenship.”

‘Live life to the fullest’: Thai soccer team talks lessons learned from cave ordeal

Citizenship requests for some twenty different folks, most of them youngsters, have been additionally authorized, Somsak added.

Many stateless folks in Thailand come from areas the place nationwide borders have modified, leaving their nationality in query. Some belong to “hill tribes” dwelling in distant areas with restricted entry to details about nationality procedures, in line with the United Nations refugee company.

The cave ordeal highlighted the plight of individuals from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar dwelling in Thailand who’re denied some rights and alternatives as a result of they aren’t residents.

Greater than 486,000 persons are registered as stateless, in line with official information. Of that quantity 146,269 are youthful than 18 years outdated.

— Enhancing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Larry King

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