Nepali non-skilled migrant workers in South Korea...
“Fallen to the lowest rung of the workforce ladder,
the highly educated are frustrated by harsh labor conditions
Migrants. Are they a solution to smooth out the approaching demographic cliff or are they a problem to exacerbate already tough employment and marriage prospects?
Currently, there are 2.42 million migrant workers, marriage migrants and migrant children living in South Korea. This number has grown by 1.25 million in the past 10 years. In reality, local farms and factories cannot function without migrant workforces. Yet, many still brand migrant workers as “job snatchers”. Also, the so-called “multicultural family”, which consists of a Korean local married to a foreign spouse, makes up about 2 percent of the total population, with the number of individual family members surpassing one million. Nevertheless, many people still stigmatize marriage migrant women with scam marriages and view them with contempt.
The Seoul Shinmun‘s Special Feature Reporting titled ’The 2019 Migrant Report: Betrayed Korean Dreams‘ will bring you a series of articles on ▲migrant workers ▲marriage migrant women ▲migrant children as we have been working to expose the discriminatory reality and debunk some of the groundless blames against them.
The first episodes will shed light on systematic loopholes as they focus on young migrant workers who came to South Korea with their hearts filled with ’Korean Dreams‘ but ended up committing suicide.
Seo Seonyoung, a Sociology researcher at Yonsei University says, “Nepali migrant workers who come to South Korea under the employment permit system tend to be highly educated.” Seo also notes how their families have great expectation for them. “But as soon as they step into the workplace, they would find themselves fallen to the lowest rung of the workforce ladder and the unbearable stress could eventually force them to commit suicide.”
There are growing voices calling for a systematic improvement to end the vicious cycle. The South Korean government has been endeavoring to strengthen ties and cooperation with ASEAN countries as part of its ’New Southern Policy‘. Also, migrant workers are needed to compensate for the labor shortage. Hong Sung Soo, Law professor at Sookmyung Women’s University says, “Discrimination and xenophobic reactions towards migrants are not only inappropriate but also not clever at all if we consider our industrial and demographic realities.”
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▶The Seoul Shinmun plans to cover more in-depth stories involving migrant workers, marriage migrants and migrant children in South Korea. If you have experienced or witnessed wage theft, uncompensated workplace injuries, verbal and/or physical abuses, we are waiting for your news tips. Email: email@example.com
Also, get in touch with more news tips and stories on bullying and any form of discrimination against marriage migrants and migrant children. Your news tips will strictly remain anonymous and protected.