Matcha Phoru-in, an activist who works with undocumented refugees in northern Thailand, told Reuters that people who are stateless aren't recognized as citizens of any country, are usually poor, and have restricted travel, work and benefits rights.
Rescue divers told BBC News the boys were heavily sedated during the rescue to prevent them from panicking in the water-filled passageways, which were barely large enough to fit through. The children were well taken care of in the cave.
The world was gripped after 12 schoolboys and their football coach were saved by divers after being trapped underground for 17 days.
"We're very glad we could get you out alive".
While they are believed to be in good health, the boys and their coach face a long road to recovery and are still being evaluated at a hospital in Chiang Rai.
Four boys were rescued Sunday, and another four were guided to safety on Monday. None of the four boys who were the first group to be evacuated from the cave has a fever, and the three boys who have minor lung infections are improving, Thai officials said, adding that they are taking less medication and can eat anything they want.
"Some have had muscle infections, cold, flu, and some psychologists have been taking care of them to relieve stress", Health Ministry Inspector Lertvirairatanapong said.
Meanwhile, doctors said the boys they saved have so far not shown any significant ill effects from their ordeal as rescuers head home.
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He's got a very bouncy Australian accent and they [the rescued boys] seemed to find that quite relaxing and reassuring.
On Wednesday, they too were recovering, nursing battered hands and feet from wading through the cold water in the cave to reach the boys.
The team became captured within a cave in Thailand on June 23 and survived for 18 long days before being miraculously rescued by a courageous group of worldwide divers.
The extensive search-and-rescue operation, which included more than 1,000 people from various nations, has now switched to a treatment process.
"We just did what we could", he said yesterday. They were carried by stretcher in the compartments that hadn't flooded.
The story of the Thai boys lost and found and finally rescued has all the makings of a Hollywood drama, capped with a happy outcome, and film companies are scrambling to buy their story. "That won't happen or we'll give them hell".
At least one film production house was already working on a scheme to make a Hollywood treatment out of the heroics of divers, cavers and medics who risked their lives to free the "Wild Boars". "They have to help each other".