Press Release : Thailand announces additional measures to fight statelessness news3

Press Release : Thailand announces additional measures to fight statelessness

On 7 December 2016, the Cabinet approved 2 resolutions to further address the issue of statelessness and promote the rights of stateless persons in Thailand, as proposed by the Ministry of Interior.

Firstly, the Cabinet approved in principle the draft Ministerial Regulation to specify the status and conditions to stay in Thailand for persons who are born in Thailand but do not possess Thai nationality.  This Regulation, once officiated, will grant foreign children born in Thailand the right to legally stay in Thailand, following the rights of their parents, and preventing them from being criminalised as illegal immigrants. 

Secondly, the Cabinet also approved a resolution on Guidance and Measures to address nationality and status problem of stateless students and persons born in Thailand. This resolution enables foreign children who were born in Thailand to apply for Thai nationality, given the conditions of either their parents are from ethnic minority groups who were registered with the Ministry of Interior and have lived in Thailand for not less than 15 years, or their parents are from other groups but the children themselves have received a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Children who are currently studying can also apply for Thai nationality to the Minister of Interior.  Abandoned children can also apply if they have lived in Thailand not less than 10 years and have certification from relevant agencies under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. This policy can potentially grant access to Thai nationality up to 80,000 children in Thailand.

These two Resolutions aim at further protecting the rights of children born in Thailand and have lived in Thailand for more than 10 – 20 years.  They answer to Thailand’s obligations as a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  More importantly, they strongly reaffirm Thailand’s national commitment to end statelessness, and as a progressive role model to address this issue at the international level.