PHOTO STORY: Stateless People Struggling to Live in Thailand

PHOTO STORY: Stateless People Struggling to Live in Thailand
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
What you need to know

How stateless people in Thailand struggle to survive.

Listen
powered by Cyberon

There are about 2 million people living in Thailand who are considered stateless by the Thai government, according to 2015 UNESCO statistics. These people have to face many restrictions of Thailand's law such as restricted areas, no funding for schools and so on.

"It does not matter how good or clever you are. You are always being limited by the fact that you are stateless, and it's like a bird being kept in a cage," said Joi Mong Thong, who had an life-time opportunity to study aboard but was barred by area restrictions as he was stateless.

origin
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
A stateless woman holds her baby, who under Thai law and regulation is considered an outlaw baby because he was born to people with no identification.
origin_(1)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
One of the main problems for stateless people is that they live too far away when the population survey is carried out.
origin_(2)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
Villagers at the Nor Lea village gather and have dinner. Nine out of 10 of the villagers are stateless.
origin_(3)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
Jerm Mongthong gathers roses from her farm from which she earns 4,000 baht per month. She is not allowed to leave the village and this is one of the few things she can do for a living.
origin_(4)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
Migrant parents carry their stateless children to join a Mother’s Day celebration organized by a school in Fang district, Thailand.
origin_(5)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
Many stateless children end up being novice monks to further their studies because the government doesn’t provide financial aid for these people.
origin_(6)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
A young man stands soaking in the middle of the rain while being checked for permission to leave the area.
origin_(7)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
70-year-old Sen Naitee shows his medical ticket for people without identification. The ticket is only valid in certain hospitals so he needs to travel at least one to two hours to receive treatment.
origin_(8)
Photo Credit: Visarut Sankham/Rinse
Jerm Mongthong with her documents and her family documents.

Rinse has authorized publication of this article. The original text is published here.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole