News ID: 219599
Published: 0632 GMT August 09, 2018

U.N. refugee agency welcomes Thai move to give cave boys citizenship

U.N. refugee agency welcomes Thai move to give cave boys citizenship

The U.N. refugee agency welcomed on Thursday a decision by Thailand to grant Thai citizenship to three boys and their soccer coach from among a group of 13 who were rescued from a flooded cave last month.

The 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, from the “Wild Boars” soccer team were catapulted into the international spotlight after they became trapped inside the Tham Luang Cave in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Reuters.com reported.

A dramatic, international rescue effort ended on July 10 when they were all brought out safely after an ordeal lasting more than two weeks.

The rescue highlighted the plight of Thailand’s “stateless” people, who are often denied rights and opportunities because they are not citizens. Three of the boys and coach Ekapol were considered stateless, even though they were born in Thailand.

The four were granted citizenship on Wednesday.

   
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