“What do Stateless or Nationality-less persons exactly mean??”

This is the first article I wrote in February 1st, 2006 when I first had a chance to involve in this matter, "statelessness & nationalitylessness"

This question was all the time coming up on my mind when I first had a chance to be in a meeting with the Sub-committee on Children without Nationality (under the Senate Committee on Women, Children and the Aged by resolution 3/2545 on 20 March 2002) on the 1st of February 2006.

On that day, I reached the House of Parliament about 2 hours before the meeting started. I was so excited to have a special chance from Associate Professor Phunthip Kanchanachittra Saisoonthorn (I call her “Archanwell”, she is a professor @ Law faculty, Thammasat University) to join and see how they held an official meeting with my own eyes. When the meeting had begun, they all talked about Statelessness and Nationalitylessness which I had no idea about these two words at all!!

If we talk about foreigners, even 7-year-old kids would know and could tell what they are and how they are different from Thai people. But when we’re talking about stateless or nationality-less people, I can say that no one really knows who they exactly are unless they have been studying on the issue before.

I was one of those people who had no idea about that. After the meeting, I felt really ashamed of myself. Actually, I was considered as a Political Science student from one of the best university in Thailand, but I didn’t realize the importance of the issue at all. It is something to be concerned about, so there has been such a sub-committee taking care of this issue in Thailand. 

After that meeting, I had two more chances to follow Archanwell and the Sub-committee going on field trips to the northeast of Thailand – Aranyaprathest, Sra-Kaew and the south of Thailand – Phuket and Phang Nga.

For those field trips, I did understand something deep inside me. I was able to see and to learn real life outside the university. Out there, there are so many things which have never been included in our textbooks. I didn’t ever think that I would have understood if I hadn’t had these great chances to see situations myself.

I did talk to those people facing the stateless and nationalityless problems and did listen how much they have been suffering from the problems. Suddenly, I realized one thing; it was because they didn’t have knowledge on the issue. Then, unknown makes them afraid to solve the problems and finally, they didn’t do anything, but just waited asking for help from other people. In fact, who the hell would really care about the others’ problems??

I found out that if only they knew what they should have known such as some basic laws or policies, they would not have faced the difficulties like this. I won’t blame laws or policies, I think most of them are already good enough and suitable for the situations in Thailand, but I will blame those officers who actually have a direct duty on using laws or policies in order to help people who don’t have a chance to know such a thing.

Anyway, this was the first important step making me stuck with the issue. I realized that I am interested in people. I think, human is such an amazing creature to learn about. Every each person has their own different problems and things to deal with. I don’t ever think that I’m smart or cleaver enough to help those people, but I think I need to learn more from them. I would say that they are also my teachers teaching me the best way to help them out. It’s kinda “RECIPROCAL”..

Days after days, I kept thinking about this. As soon as I was graduated, I couldn't wait to see Archanwell and told her an important decision I have made that I had a really strong intention to work on this issue. And I promised myself that I would study more and more in order to help those stateless and nationality-less persons, really!!

หมายเลขบันทึก: 101759เขียนเมื่อ 8 มิถุนายน 2007 15:06 น. ()แก้ไขเมื่อ 22 กันยายน 2013 17:54 น. ()สัญญาอนุญาต: จำนวนที่อ่านจำนวนที่อ่าน:

ความเห็น (3)

Many thanks for sharing ka... I m very appreciated this information in English which is very rare in Thailand.

On 9 July, Khun Dee asked me a crucial question relating to the stateless and nationalityless issue by e-mail, but I think, it might be useful for others who are also interested in the issue. So, I would like to answer the question again here in this post so that others passing by can add other comment or discuss further..!!

This is what Khun Dee wrote to me:

I would like to ask you for an information about nationalitylessness especially in the definition in English ka. I could not find it in public source such as wiki.

Thank you very much ka :)


This is what I answered:

Dear Khun Dee,
Sorry for my late reply!!
Anyway, about the meaning of nationalitylessness, I would say that it actually comes from "ความไร้สัญชาติ" in Thai.
Unfortunately, you wouldn't be able to find it in English 'coz as far as I know it is a special situation found only in Thailand and maybe in Southeast Asia countries while in western countries, they know only status of "statelessness" (ความไร้รัฐ).
In western countries where Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness was accepted, they deal with the problem of stateless people by giving nationality.
But in Thailand, we solve statelessness problems by giving state recognition first. For giving nationality or not, we will decide later up to each personal facts.
That's the reason why we have the word "Nationalitylessness".
So, "nationalityless person" is one acquired state recognition in civil registration system and still in the process of legal personality development (acquring nationality or the other better status).
It is very technical things to talk about, really..!!
But, basically to answer your question directly.. I would say that nationalitylessness means "the stage of being without nationality"..!!

Hope, this would help..!!

Not to say "agree" or "disagree" with the previous explaination, but something for interested person to exercise your brain:

According to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, "stateless person” means a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. (จะเห็นได้ว่า ไม่ได้หมายความถึง "คนไร้รัฐ" หรือ พูดถึง "ความไร้รัฐ" เท่านั้น - กล่าวคือไม่ได้แปลตามตัวอักษร)

Then one might be asking whether a "nationalityless person (the one that has no nationality of any state but being granted permission from the Thai government to stay, either temporarily or permanently, in Thailand)" is considered as a national by Thailand under its Nationality Act?

Can one says that for a person (with no nationality) to be given "state recognition" by Thailand (making him/her a "nationalityless person"), s/he is considered as a Thai national by Thailand? Or s/he is still considered non-Thai national, only with permission to stay in Thailand.

Can one then says that a "nationalityless person" in Thai context is a "stateless person" in international context (based on the definition of stateless person in the 1954 Convention above)?

One might be asking further whether it is necessary to seperate the issue of "definition" from the issue of "intervention to address the problem"?

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