Thai soccer workforce’s stateless boys granted citizenship

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In a ceremony in Chiang Rai province Wednesday, the Mae Sai district chief accepted citizenship for Ardoon Sam-aon, Mongkol Boompiam, Ponchai Khamluang, and assistant coach Ekkapol Ake Chanthawong.

The Wild Boar workforce attracted worldwide consideration in late June when 12 younger gamers and their coach ventured inside a collapse northern Thailand for a day tour however discovered the exit blocked by rising floodwater.

The workforce was trapped for nearly three weeks, earlier than cave diving consultants from all over the world led a fancy operation to convey them out on stretchers carried via slim tunnels.

Ardoon, the 14-year-old soccer participant who spoke English to British cave divers after they had been discovered, was born in neighboring Myanmar, and brought into care by an area Mae Sai Grace Church group as a toddler.

Mae Sai sits on the very fringe of the border between Thailand and Myanmar, and it is common for households to cross the border to seek for work or go to highschool. Many in Mae Sai are members of minority teams, and sit on the crossroads of the 2 nations.

There are 430,000 stateless folks dwelling in Thailand, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Folks could also be registered as stateless if their Thai mother and father can’t be discovered, if they arrive from areas the place nationwide borders have modified, or in the event that they stay in distant areas with out details about nationality procedures.
The Thai authorities has labored to scale back statelessness in recent times — greater than 27,000 stateless folks have been granted Thai citizenship since 2011, based on UNHCR. Simply this February, the government held a group ceremony granting citizenship to 342 stateless folks, most of them college students.

On Wednesday, the boys had been amongst 30 stateless folks granted Thai rights.

16-year-old Ponchai Khamluang is granted Thai citizenship, along with two other boys and the coach of the Wild Boar soccer team.

After the workforce was rescued from the cave, the officers had promised to start out the method of granting the stateless boys Thai citizenship.

In the course of the ceremony, they had been handed Thai ID playing cards, which grants them entry to public companies corresponding to healthcare and freedom of motion.

Members of the Wild Boars soccer team at a ceremony to mark the end of their retreat as novice Buddhist monks.

After the dramatic rescue, the workforce spent a couple of week within the hospital, the place they had been rigorously monitored for attainable infections or pneumonia. Upon their launch, the workforce recounted their ordeal and thanked their rescuers at a press convention, carrying matching Wild Boars workforce shirts.

Twelve of the 13 members then spent a week as Buddhist novices at a monastery, and are returning to regular life of their small city surrounded by family and friends.



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