Three Boys and Coach Rescued from Cave Stateless, Lack Basic Rights

Three of the boys rescued from a flooded cave in the North of Thailand recently and their football coach are stateless, lacking many of the basic rights afforded to their teammates and other Thai citizens.

The four, who were part of the Wild Boars youth football team trapped in the Tham Luang cave complex for more than two weeks, hail from the remote border-region where Thailand meets the Shan state in Myanmar.

The three boys have Thai ID cards, which give them some basic rights and access to public services such as the right to education and access to healthcare. Their coach, on the other hand, does not have a Thai ID card and lacks most basic rights.

According to Thai law, stateless individuals don’t have the right to work in Thailand and have severely limited freedom of movement, needing to get permission to travel outside their province and also facing difficulties securing a passport.

Most stateless people eligible for citizenship don’t have the requisite legal knowledge to apply and if they do, often face discrimination and corruption, according to a campaigner for the rights of stateless people in northern Thailand.

Read the full story here.

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