In 2017, the Royal Thai Government has geared up for granting proper legal status and Thai nationality to stateless persons born in Thailand to ethnic groups or to displaced persons who have resided in Thailand for a long time. The RTG has strong intention to facilitate the acquisition of Thai nationality with due process according to Thailands nationality laws and international human rights laws. To reach the goal, the Minister of Interior made the proposal to the Thai Cabinet to approve criteria and procedures on the acquisition of Thai nationality, by virtue of Section 7 bis paragraph two, for children born in Thailand to stateless parents who have resided in the country for not less than 15 years.
On 12 September 2017, at 9.30 hrs, Mr. Grisada Boonrach, Permanent Secretary for Interior chaired a citizenship ceremony at the Community Hall of Muang District, Mae Hong Son Province. This time, 548 formerly
stateless students, who were born to ethnic minorities or displaced persons residing in Thailand before 1999 and benefitted from the aforementioned Cabinet Resolution, received a Thai National ID Card directly from the Permanent Secretary.
The Permanent Secretary welcomed the new citizens with a sermon on legal and moral obligations. He also encouraged these students to dedicate themselves to education and make use of the education to contribute to the country as decent citizens of Thailand. At the ceremony, these new citizens affirmed the oath of Thai citizenship in front of a portrait of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and sang the National Anthem to express their loyalty to Thailand and the monarch.
The ceremony was also attended by numbers of stakeholders in the Province including Mae Hong Son Governor Mr. Suebsak Aiemwijarn, high-level provincial officials, Chief District Officers, other relevant governmental officials, and representatives of local NGOs which have closely engaged in resolving statelessness amongst students with Mae Hong Sons government (e.g. the Legal Status Network Foundation (LSNF), the Development Center for Children and Community Network (DCCN), the Social Life Project (SLP), Thailand Lahu Development Foundation (TLDF), the International Justice Mission (IJM), the 19th District of the Church of Christ in Thailand).