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    UN Welcomes Thailand Granting Nationality to Over 18,000 Stateless People

    © AFP 2017/ FABRICE COFFRINI
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    The continued fight with statelessness is of great importance as the phenomena has a negative impact on access to basic human rights, including free movement and education, according the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) welcomed on Tuesday an announcement by the Royal Thai government that more than 18,000 stateless people had been granted Thai citizenship in the last three years.

    "This marks an important further step in the global campaign to end statelessness by 2024. The number of stateless people in Thailand now stands at 443,862 with the three-year reduction and the cleaning up of the government’s database," UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said in a briefing.

    The agency said that the continued fight with statelessness is of great importance as the phenomena has a negative impact on access to basic human rights, including free movement and education.

    The children and youth are particularly affected if they are stateless, the UNHCR spokesman stressed.

    More than 10 million people are believed to be stateless around the world, with over 40 percent of them living in Asia, according to UNHCR estimates.

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