DER Documentary

A Right to Belong

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by David A. Feingold
color, 11 min, 2002





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While once a dormant issue in Thailand, the inability to gain citizenship has developed into a problem that affects over 400,000 people in its low-income mountain regions. Recognizing citizenship among a nation is a basic human right, however the people of the mountain region - referred to as "Hill Tribes" - are facing a crisis that has led to the growth of trafficking of woman and children. In A Right to Belong, various Hill Tribe individuals discuss their personal experiences in attempts to gain citizenship, as well as explain how their communities as a whole have suffered. Some effects caused by the lack of citizenship have been the inability to receive health care, register marriages, and participate in politics. Organizations such as UNESCO have begun to aid in the development of the Highland Citizenship Registration Project to assist in granting citizenship, and jointly stop trafficking. Additionally, this short film explores the progression and implementation of this program, and the hope that many have for the future.


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