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Thai citizenship means 'dream of brighter future' for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

The decision of the government to grant citizenship to three of the boys recently rescued after being trapped in a flooded cave, along with their football coach, has been welcomed by agency, the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Following global of the rescue, it emerged that although the three boys and with their were residents in Thailand, they were officially Stateless.

Almost half a million people in the country, often from nomadic hill tribes and other ethnic groups that have been based in border regions for centuries, do not hold Thai citizenship.

Granting the "Wild Boars" team members secure status should make a significant difference to the prospects of the boys and their coach, according to Carol Batchelor, UNHCR's on Statelessness.

"By granting them citizenship, has provided them with a formal identity that will pave the way for them to achieve their aspirations and to participate as full members of society," Carol said.

Worldwide, several million people are Stateless, and can find themselves denied access to basic rights and services. Other restrictions include being refused the right to travel, marry, own property, or work.

has been hailed by the UNHCR as a in regional efforts to end Statelessness. In the last decade, 100,000 people have been granted Thai citizenship, and the government has committed to finding for all those living within its borders, by 2024.

Referring to the Thai rescuees, Batchelor referred to the Government's actions as "a shining example of how positive action by a State, can aid people and quickly resolve their stateless situation."

"We welcome this effort by Thailand and urge all States hosting stateless populations to help eradicate this entirely avoidable blight on humanity.

The UNHCR says it will continue to support the and stateless communities in Thailand to reach the country's ambitious 2024 target.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 10 2018. 08:10 IST