UN praises 'strong Thai will' to end statelessness

UN praises 'strong Thai will' to end statelessness

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has welcomed Thai efforts to reduce statelessness among children.

The UN refugee agency said it welcomed a recent revision of a government guideline to create a pathway to Thai nationality for more than 60,000 stateless students in Thailand.

Under the revised guideline issued by the Ministry of Interior on Sept 30, the ministry will coordinate with the Ministry of Education and educational institutions to accelerate the registration of all non-Thai students into the national civil registration system.

Those benefiting include students who are eligible for Thai nationality but were never registered or are registered incorrectly in the system. By being recorded correctly, these students will now be able to apply for Thai nationality.

"Thailand continues to take courageous steps to identify the challenges encountered by stateless people in obtaining nationality as well as improving their access to rights," said Giuseppe De Vincentiis, UNHCR's representative in Thailand.

"The revision of this guideline represents the Thai government's strong political will to provide nationality solutions for stateless persons and it will be important to maintain this level of ambition in the coming years."

The revision is in line with pledges made by the government this week at the High-Level Segment on Statelessness gathering convened by the UNHCR in Geneva, which marks the mid-point of the #IBelong campaign to end statelessness.

The event aimed to assess achievements to date, showcased good practices, and encouraged pledges by states and others to take action to address statelessness.

Thailand has endorsed UNHCR's #IBelong campaign to end statelessness by 2024 and has become a leader among the campaign's "Group of Friends".

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