CHIANGRAITIMES – Two stateless children being held at Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre, their mother and another adult family member were released from Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok on Friday.
The sister and brother, 13-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother, members of an indigenous ethnic group in the mountains of Vietnam, their widowed mother and another family member arrived in Thailand in 2008 seeking asylum, but were later detained in Chiang Mai for about 18 months since mid-2010.
National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) chairperson Dr Amara Pongsapich told a news briefing that the children’s freedom resulted from joint efforts and collaboration among the NHRC, the Immigration Bureau and the Thai Committee for Refugees Foundation (TCR).
It was a solution to help the stateless to get a proper treatment in accordance with human rights, she said.
The TCR hailed Thailand’s move, saying “it marks Thailand’s historic development in human rights protection.”
“The release represents Thailand’s restless efforts to promote and protect human rights of children in compliance with its fundamental obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Thailand ratified on Feb, 12 1992,” the TCR said.
Following the release, the girl said she was delighted and would like to further her study. She wanted to be a lawyer to secure a release of detained stateless persons. Now she would like to be granted opportunity to live with her uncle in the United States.
Her mother also said she wanted the United Nations to help facilitate her family for resettlement in any third country.
St. Andrews International School granted the two children full scholarships of Bt1 million during their entire stay in Thailand upon the release.
Veerawit Tianchainan, TCR Executive Director, said the release of the two stateless children and their family was a pilot scheme. There are about 50 other stateless persons still being detained and needed help. (MCOT online news)