CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – On Christmas Eve, IJM staff traveled into the mountains of Northern Thailand. Their first stop: a tiny village where they gathered with more than 350 people. Their next stop: A courthouse.
The villagers belong to a Hill Tribe and have lived in northern Thailand for generations. However, they lack the documentation to prove that they are Thai citizens. There is a simple process to get the right documentation—it should take about three months to have a citizenship application reviewed. But IJM has been advocating for these men and women for more than two years.
"Citizenship is theirs by right and by law," explains IJM Director of Operations in Southeast Asia, Blair Burns. He adds, "Any law will fail to protect if it's not put into practice, and in this case these Hill Tribe people are being oppressed because a simple process stopped moving."
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