"Research on the Situation of Birth Registration and Legal Status of Tsunami-affected Persons"

            Organizations providing assistance to affected persons in Thailand in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami realized that some victims lacked identification documentation, including birth and/or delivery certificates, and were denied the realization of other human rights. Over the past year, such organizations have attempted to resolve these problems by searching through available personal records, coordinating on civil registration issues with the Department of Provincial Administration, and holding meetings with relevant government agencies and others to examine policies and propose means for providing documentation, including birth documentation, to all affected persons.

            However, the achievement of solving the problems for the target group is incomparable when we talk about the problem of population explosion revealed in the data base of so many private organizations that have collected those records before. Therefore, by conducting in-depth analysis of the data which has already been collected by NGOs on tsunami-affected persons in the six provinces, further research can identify gaps in where further surveys are needed, as well as collect detailed case studies according to the different types of legal status and documentation problems encountered.

            This is going to make us see the whole picture of those problems, especially the problem of lack of access to birth documentation and personal status in law. This will allow recommendations and next steps on guidelines for assisting such different types of problems encountered, as well as indicate what parts of Thai law should be improved in order to ensure that such persons are able to obtain legal status and documentation.