A Fresh Lease

Sep 5, 2016 | Stateless Reduction

The Community Sensitisation Project started in October 2015 and is concentrated at providing stateless people with official documentation that recognises them as a Thai Citizen. People who are stateless lack access to basic healthcare; have difficulty acquiring employment and are unable to travel out of their districts.

Since then it has impacted many lives, including that of Mia, a young girl from the Acha Tribe. Mia was born in the Mae Fa Luang District and is also part of the Keep Girls Safe Project, who came to the shelter when she was nine years old. She has three older sisters, two of which live with her mother.  Mias relationship with her mother has been tense for a long time; when she was little her mother got remarried and left her & her sisters with a mentally ill Uncle who was extremely poor and had no income. None of Mias family have a Thai ID and this creates extra pressure on the family. Mia used to stay with her sister when she went home to visit her family while living at KGS, because her mother would not welcome her or the KGS staff. Even when Mia gets to go home she needs to have an ADRA staff member with her as the project is in a different area and without a Thai ID she cannot leave the district.

Fortunately, the CSP project has been able to help Mia’s family with Thai Citizenship. Her sister was given a Thai ID in December, now she can travel locally or abroad and access government subsidies. Her mother was also provided with a Thai ID in February which has made her much more friendly towards the ADRA staff, and now Mia can stay with her when she visits. The staff have created a mutual understanding with the mother in relation to Mia and now she can spend quality time with her mother. Her other two sisters have also submitted applications and are now waiting to see what happens.

Currently, CSP staff are in the process of getting Mia her Thai ID. There have been many difficulties in doing so as they need documentation and witnesses that Mia has been at KGS the whole time and not elsewhere. Unfortunately, all staff at her previous school have retired and the shelter has since moved locations; and so finding witnesses is tricky.

Staff are working with Mae Fa Luang offices and Chiang Rai City Hall to acquire evidence so their claim can be substantiated. Mia was however able to get her birth certificate, which is a step in the right direction and hopefully will help in her battle to be recognised as a Thai Citizen. Something she should not have to be doing, but has been easier thanks to the CSP team, their hard work and Mia’s smiling face.