The homeless people of the golden triangle
Runned away from their lands over the centuries, the Akha found refuge in Thailand in the early 1960's - when the conflict between the Kuomintang and the Burmese army eventually forced them to flee Burma. They were 7,000 in 1964 in Thailand, They are now over 70,000 people strong - and this flux hasn't stopped yet.
This influx, now massive, is felt by the Thai state as a threat to its security. Very few Akha are recognized as Thai citizens in their full right. Yet most still can not travel outside their district's village. Another discrimination: forty trades are forbidden to them (among them lawyer, hairdresser, blacksmith or construction worker). As for their rights, they stay limited.
Difficult to obtain citizenship, especially for the older ones that are unable to justify their birth date or of a long stay in Thailand. Not to mention the administrative complexity, no doubt wanted, in which they get lost.