After more than thirty years of waiting, Meetee finally received her proof of Thai citizenship— her ID card.
In Thailand, hill tribe people like Meetee are not considered citizens. They cannot go to school, own land or be guaranteed a fair wage. Without citizenship, Meetee lived in dire poverty. She couldn’t find work, and her children struggled to support her. Without an ID card, she lived in constant fear of violence or abuse.
A few months ago, IJM’s team received the news that Meetee had been waiting decades to hear: her ID card was in the local government office, ready for her to retrieve!
IJM accompanied her and celebrated this long-awaited day. With this precious document, she is now able to access healthcare, travel freely, and receive government benefits in her old age. She no longer needs to fear the police, or risk exploitation and violent abuse.
You have helped make all of this possible. Today, she is a free Thai citizen because of supporters like you. Thank you!
Below is Meetee's original story from 2018
Imagine being denied citizenship in your own country.
No citizenship means no healthcare, no access to education, and no protection from violence.
In Canada, it’s hard to imagine a life without the rights, freedoms, and privileges we often take for granted.
The Akha people are an ethnic minority group living in Thailand’s Northern region. Because of their ethnicity, they are discriminated against and often refused citizenship.
Meetee has lived in Thailand for her entire life, but she has been waiting for citizenship for decades.
With no citizenship, Meetee was never able to go to school and has never learned to speak, read or write Thai. For over 10 years, IJM has been working to combat citizenship rights abuse in Thailand.
IJM advocates for people like Meetee, whose cases have been illegally delayed or denied, and secure the rights, freedoms and protection they deserve.
The process of securing citizenship for people like Meetee is messy, frustrating and often wrought with setbacks.
But thanks to our faithful supporters, IJM has helped over 17,000 people gain citizenship or correct legal status.
Today, Meetee is still waiting for the central government to issue her ID number so she can receive the citizenship card that will transform her life and prove that she belongs.