The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is accelerating efforts to verify the Thai nationality of stateless people living in the kingdom.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said he has instructed the DSI to proactively sort out the citizenship applications of stateless individuals, who face hardships due to their status. Nearly 480,000 people have so far applied for citizenship and are awaiting verification from Thai authorities.
They are mostly minority highlanders who live along Thailand’s border regions and lack the necessary documents to prove they are Thai citizens by birth. Without citizenship, these people will be unable to receive full legal protection and welfare benefits.
According to the justice minister, the DSI has developed a computer program to improve its verification process. The program is linked to the citizenship database of the Department of Provincial Administration and can trace a person’s blood ties to any living relatives. The program has an accuracy rate of 100% and can process verification details up to 12 times faster than the previous method.
The Justice Minister added that the DSI and the Central Institute of Forensic Science will search for more stateless people who have been left out of the verification process.