Connect with us


Stateless children make plea for Thai nationality, rights



Stateless children make plea for Thai nationality, rights | Thaiger


– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Stateless children make plea for Thai nationality, rights
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: As New Year and National Children’s Day gifts, homeless and migrant children in Thailand are asking for Thai nationality and basic rights.

Kaloh Ma-yeur, a 21-year-old freshman at Loei Rajabhat University, recalled how his migrant parents and him used to wander the streets of Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district when he was seven.

He told of living the life of a glue-sniffing, chain-smoking beggar who ate leftover food in trash boxes and slept on the street for two years.

He was saved by Ban Kru Nam Foundation manager Nutchanart Boonkhong’s “Friends on the Streets” project. Ms Nutchanart and her foundation staff helped him to get an education, he said, but he was dragged back two months later by his parents.

“So I ran away to return to Kru Nam,” Kaloh said. “[I went] from being a child beggar who could not speak Thai [to] obtaining a good education. Now, I would like to represent homeless and migrant children – whose lives are a living hell – to ask policymakers to push for our chance to be legal persons with basic rights and protection and better life opportunities,” Mr Kaloh said.

A 17-year-old Myanmar girl, identified only as “Jin”, who studied Mathayom 1 at a Bangkok school, recalled that her parents used to move from one construction site to another in search of work while she helped them in this physically-demanding job. Years ago, she met Thongpoon Buasri, from the Foundation for the Better Life of Children, who invited her to stay at the foundation and be educated. Overjoyed to get the chance to study, the girl proved a good student and earned all As. She said she wanted to be a painter and to get Thai nationality.

Kru Nam said what the homeless kids needed was love, sincerity and a safe place to find their feet and grow up to be good adults in society. She urged Thai authorities to provide them with Thai nationality and clarify their status as the country moves towards the Asean Economic Community this year.

Despite the Nationality Act stipulating people living in Thailand for 10 years could apply for Thai nationality, she said the law wasn’t being implemented this way.

Her foundation was pushing for stateless kids with status cards, starting with the number 0, to be able to register under the foundation’s household, so that the children would be entitled to basic rights. Moreover, children obtaining Thai nationality would reassure NGO staff members that their work was effective and legal, she added.

National Human Rights Commissioner Mana Ngamnet said homeless children – migrant or Thai-origin – could be considered and must be registered to receive rights according to the Child Protection Act. This would entitle them to education, healthcare and decent job opportunities without being discriminated against.

These comments were presented at a seminar held as part of the 7th Thailand National Health Assembly from December 24-26 at Nonthaburi’s Impact Arena Exhibition and Convention Centre.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Singapore21 mins ago

Singapore decriminalises sex between men while halting legalisation of same-sex marriage

Thailand15 hours ago

Unhinged gunman fires 18 shots into school because kids were too noisy

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Raid finds all monks on drugs in Phetchabun temple

Sponsored23 hours ago

Challenges of starting a business in Thailand as a foreigner

World15 hours ago

Iran threatens footballers’ families with prison and torture, security source says

Thailand16 hours ago

Angry Thai man condemns foreigner for not wearing a mask on BTS

Thailand16 hours ago

Thai man commits suicide due to mass govt corruption

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime17 hours ago

Pattaya loan sharks allegedly abduct and assault young woman

Property News18 hours ago

Nana Overview Guide in 2023

Tourism18 hours ago

Phuket sees over 50,000 Russian tourists in past month

Thailand18 hours ago

Hapless Bangkok gold thief gets caught at a bus stop

Lifestyle19 hours ago

Stop and smell the tulips at Floral Fair 2022 in Bangkok

Thailand20 hours ago

Police seize board game after claims it could cause insurrection in Thailand

World20 hours ago

Mauna Loa, world’s largest volcano, erupts for the first time in 40 years

Tourism21 hours ago

Thailand tourism may see a decline next year

Thailand21 hours ago

Thai govt to crackdown on cybercrime & handout free laptops to poor kids

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11