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  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2465

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« on: October 07, 2014, 03:08:30 pm »
An interesting article I stumbled across. It doesn't really impact NETs the way it does immigrints and temporary workers, but it was interesting. I wonder what others, like Korea Studies majors, who studied a lot about Korean society would have to say about this.

Quote
A U.N. expert on racism called on the South Korean government Monday to tackle the country’s xenophobia issue by stepping up education and legislating comprehensive anti-discrimination laws.

“I have found incidents and problems (of racism and xenophobia in South Korea) that are serious enough to be brought to attention,” said Mutuma Ruteere, U.N. special rapporteur on racism, in a press conference in Seoul on Monday.

He made these comments on the last day of a weeklong visit to Korea to examine the racial discrimination situation here. He is to file his report on racism in Korea to the U.N. Human Rights Council next year.

He said the state of migrant workers in the agriculture industry requires “serious attention” from the South Korean authorities.

Many of the workers face extremely poor working conditions, especially in the greenhouses in the winters and summers, as well as wage inequality, he said.

“I have been informed that (South Korean) government has introduced amendments to the employment permit system which now make it harder for foreign workers to change employment and which in some cases require them to have left the country in order to be paid their severance settlement after finishing their employment contract in Korea,” he said.

He also said that South Korea’s EPS system, which was launched in 2007 to attract more foreign workers to the country, makes it impossible for those under the scheme to be granted permanent or long-term residency, as the EPS is limited to a maximum of 4 years and 10 months.

In Busan, he spoke to foreign fishermen who face discrimination in wages ― they are often assigned the “most difficult tasks and get paid less than their Korean counterparts”― as well as racist verbal and physical abuse by the Korean ship owners.

Ruteere also addressed the discriminatory use of the term “multicultural families” among South Koreans. The concept of such families, he said, were often used in the Korean media to convey negative connotations of foreign workers and migrant wives from Southeast Asia.

“Similarly, one must note that the policy of multicultural families is the vast majority of cases applied only to foreign women who marry a Korean man and not vice versa. The definition of these marriages also excludes two migrant workers from a non-Korean background,” he said.

The U.N. expert also spoke of existing xenophobic groups in South Korea, who claim that the nation’s policies on multiculturalism discriminate against Koreans, as they are excluded from social benefits that immigrants receive. Ruteere concluded that “no such discrimination” exists against Koreans.

“It is however important for the (South Korean) government to dispel these myths and clarify the situation in order to prevent the proliferation of racist and xenophobic movements,” he said.

As of the beginning of this year, there are more than 1.57 million people with foreign citizenship in Korea, most of them from Asia, including foreign brides and international students. That accounts for more than 3 percent of the country’s population.

“My understanding of multiculturalism is to strengthen intercultural understanding. It is not a one-way street, but a two-way street,” Ruteere said when asked about Korea’s multicultural polices that some argue as culturally assimilating. “Koreans have a lot to learn from their migrants, and the culture of their migrants. True multiculturalism means learning from both sides.”

To improve the situation of racism in the country, Ruteere stressed the importance of education on racism and xenophobia, while suggesting the enactment of a comprehensive anti-discrimination act. “(It is also important) to ensure that the media is sensitive of the responsibility to avoid racist and xenophobic stereotypes and that these are properly addressed and perpetrators punished where appropriate.”

Ruteere, who arrived in Korea on Sept. 29, visited Seoul, Sejong, Busan, Changwon, and Ansan to monitor the situation of racial discrimination in the country. He met with government officials, U.N. agencies present in the country, NGOs, asylum seekers and migrant workers during visit, among others.

In spite of his requests, however, the U.N. rapporteur said he was not given a chance to speak to any of the country’s ministers.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20141006001064


Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2014, 05:33:02 pm »
I wonder what Ban Ki-moon had to say about that UN report?

This is nothing new, but korea / koreans will still make headlines like these for years to come. no matter how much the government "tries" to educate its people with reference to people other than themselves (i.e., foreigners), or treat those who are different with decency and respect (not only immigrants or foreigners, but also the disabled, foreign or korean), koreans will ....well, just continue to be koreans.

http://seoulistic.com/korean-culture/understanding-racism-korea/





  • qi
  • Veteran

    • 207

    • July 21, 2011, 12:16:33 pm
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2014, 07:49:07 pm »
I wonder what Ban Ki-moon had to say about that UN report?
...
Doesn't matter because he doesn't matter.


  • lazuli1
  • Adventurer

    • 42

    • January 09, 2013, 07:29:33 am
    • South Korea
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 07:39:27 am »
It's true. I live in the boonies and, out next to the sweatshops, I saw the storage container that they put the foreign workers (Vietnam, maybe Thailand) in. I can't imagine how cold it must be during the winter in a blue metal box on a hillside.


  • Redondo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 642

    • October 14, 2012, 05:28:11 am
    • toronto
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 08:34:46 am »
I wonder how hard it is for the government to do something about the xenophobia here. Is it too much work for ajoshi's at the board of education to implement some sort of bi-annual education program with a slogan like 'Other countries' people are also people!'? Probably.


  • Nivea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1644

    • September 02, 2011, 11:23:30 pm
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2014, 08:43:07 am »
I wonder how hard it is for the government to do something about the xenophobia here. Is it too much work for ajoshi's at the board of education to implement some sort of bi-annual education program with a slogan like 'Other countries' people are also people!'? Probably.

It's easy to do something about it, for its be effective is another matter. I imagine its the older people in power that are most xenophobic anyway.


Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2014, 08:44:40 am »
These stories are sad.


  • Mashley30
  • Super Waygook

    • 356

    • August 31, 2011, 11:47:35 am
    • Gwangju, South Korea
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 08:46:07 am »
I wonder how hard it is for the government to do something about the xenophobia here. Is it too much work for ajoshi's at the board of education to implement some sort of bi-annual education program with a slogan like 'Other countries' people are also people!'? Probably.

It's not really in favor for those in power to direct hate away from easy targets. It even happens within Korea with the Jeolla province. Keep people's focus on things that don't really effect them rather than something that would actually cause change. It's a power tactic.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5763

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
    more
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2014, 09:40:27 am »
Apparently the government doesn't care about the UN.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/10/264_165901.html
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • pkjh
  • The Legend

    • 2174

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
    • Asia
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2014, 10:26:55 am »
Apparently the government doesn't care about the UN.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/10/264_165901.html
lol... not surprising. But a lot of countries don't care about the UN, like the US under Bush's regime, and Canada recently.


Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 10:41:34 am »
Apparently the government doesn't care about the UN.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/10/264_165901.html

Wasn't South Africa suspended from the UN because of Apartheid?


  • MattD
  • Waygookin

    • 24

    • March 07, 2014, 03:10:37 pm
    • Daegu
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 10:54:42 am »
Apparently the government doesn't care about the UN.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/10/264_165901.html

Wasn't South Africa suspended from the UN because of Apartheid?
From: http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/pmun/
"The United Nations General Assembly on 12 November 1974 suspended South Africa from participating in its work, due to international opposition to the policy of apartheid. South Africa was re-admitted to the UN in 1994 following its transition into a democracy."

Google is a wonderful thing.


Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2014, 11:06:25 am »
Apparently the government doesn't care about the UN.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/10/264_165901.html

Wasn't South Africa suspended from the UN because of Apartheid?
From: http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/pmun/
"The United Nations General Assembly on 12 November 1974 suspended South Africa from participating in its work, due to international opposition to the policy of apartheid. South Africa was re-admitted to the UN in 1994 following its transition into a democracy."

Google is a wonderful thing.

It sure is!

http://www.healthcentral.com/autism/c/1443/162610/autism-sarcasm/


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5763

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
    more
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2014, 04:58:19 am »
Apparently the government doesn't care about the UN.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/10/264_165901.html

Wasn't South Africa suspended from the UN because of Apartheid?

It didn't take long for ..... but, but it is worse in .............. (country's name) to appear here.

Yes, SA was indeed banned and all that stuff, but we have moved on, perhaps Korea should consider moving on too.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2014, 01:00:55 pm »
I wonder how hard it is for the government to do something about the xenophobia here. Is it too much work for ajoshi's at the board of education to implement some sort of bi-annual education program with a slogan like 'Other countries' people are also people!'? Probably.

It's easy to do something about it, for its be effective is another matter. I imagine its the older people in power that are most xenophobic anyway.

Yes, the 45 to 60 year olds are the the 1980's generation and they balem everyone but themselves for al of their country's issues.  They've calmed down somewhat compared to before, but are definately different from their parents generation.  Their parents loved us and I'll occasionally meet some random 80 year old who comes up and starts speaking to me in good English.  They survived the Korean war and remember us saving their ass and they like American culture.  They'll talk about old western cowboy movies and even some slower rock songs.  Go to a noraebang with some much older Koreans and they'll even sing "heart of gold" and "hotel california" with you. 

Then when their kids came of age, they hated anything western because they're ungreatful a-holes.  They started blotting out anything foriegn, inventing k pop, and not playing western music until very recently.  Use to run into this a lot when I lived in the countryside a few years ago.  If I bought a foreign product at a store, I'd go back in a week later and be looking for it.  They would refuse to order and keep saying "Korea", "Korea". 

It's changed nowadays as the younger generation has come into being and many more travel abroad than before.  I find folks here mostly quite pleasant nowadays compared to several years ago. 


  • Space
  • The Legend

    • 2287

    • May 09, 2012, 10:11:12 pm
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2014, 01:05:58 pm »
Apparently the government doesn't care about the UN.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2014/10/264_165901.html

Wasn't South Africa suspended from the UN because of Apartheid?

It didn't take long for ..... but, but it is worse in .............. (country's name) to appear here.

Yes, SA was indeed banned and all that stuff, but we have moved on, perhaps Korea should consider moving on too.

Watched a kinda interesting documentary (a little bit simplified but just what you would expect from BBC3) on white slums since the end of apartheid, Saffer.

Maybe it'll interest you: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1mx930_reggie-yates-s-extreme-south-africa-1-the-white-slums_travel

That link didn't work. Maybe this will (remove the spaces)-
w w w . dailymotion . com/video/x1mx930_reggie-yates-s-extreme-south-africa-1-the-white-slums_travel
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 01:53:12 pm by Space »


Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2014, 03:08:07 pm »
This is no surprise to me because I have seen this going on since I first came to Korea since 2006. But this report should also extend to criticizing private English hagwons in Korea that are practicing Jim Crow. I remember I was talking to a white Canadian fellow one day, and he told me that he works for a hagwon in which the owner would never hire a black native English teacher from Canada USA, or South Africa. I should have told him up front, that if he works for a hagwon that is owned by a Korean who does not like black people, he is being no different than white people in the Southern USA who took in the comforts of Jim Crow. Some of these hagwons would not even want to hire ethnic Koreans from Canada, USA, or any one of the seven selected countries.

What most Koreans fail to realize is that if they can be racist against Southeast Asian migrant workers, there is no point in sticking up for white people who most Koreans love to worship so much. Bigotry against a southeast Asian person will lead to bigotry against a white person, black person, or even a person of a different religion or nationality. A bigot is a bigot. For the UN to make calls for the Korean government to make an anti-discrimination laws? That should not be happening. But what can you expect for a society with the majority of people who managed to make Korea into a nice place, but at the same time have third world attitudes. (This is in no way meant to insult people from so called third world countries, because even people from third world countries can be the least racist people in the world).

As a native English teacher, I give my solidarity to the foreign migrant workers in the fisheries, and sweatshops who have to take in the abuse from unscrupulous Korean bosses. I think that any native English teacher who has the social consciousness must be able to lend a helping hand, and be a voice for foreign migrant workers. Whenever you have the chance to meet a foriegn worker, interact with them. If you live and work in the same region where you will see a large number of them, spend time to hang out with them, talk to them. If any of them are students, enlighten them. If you or any one of them are members of the same faith community, worship with them and pray with them.


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2465

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: U.N. calls for Korean anti-discrimination act
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2014, 03:33:20 pm »
This is no surprise to me because I have seen this going on since I first came to Korea since 2006. But this report should also extend to criticizing private English hagwons in Korea that are practicing Jim Crow. I remember I was talking to a white Canadian fellow one day, and he told me that he works for a hagwon in which the owner would never hire a black native English teacher from Canada USA, or South Africa. I should have told him up front, that if he works for a hagwon that is owned by a Korean who does not like black people, he is being no different than white people in the Southern USA who took in the comforts of Jim Crow. Some of these hagwons would not even want to hire ethnic Koreans from Canada, USA, or any one of the seven selected countries.

What most Koreans fail to realize is that if they can be racist against Southeast Asian migrant workers, there is no point in sticking up for white people who most Koreans love to worship so much. Bigotry against a southeast Asian person will lead to bigotry against a white person, black person, or even a person of a different religion or nationality. A bigot is a bigot. For the UN to make calls for the Korean government to make an anti-discrimination laws? That should not be happening. But what can you expect for a society with the majority of people who managed to make Korea into a nice place, but at the same time have third world attitudes. (This is in no way meant to insult people from so called third world countries, because even people from third world countries can be the least racist people in the world).

As a native English teacher, I give my solidarity to the foreign migrant workers in the fisheries, and sweatshops who have to take in the abuse from unscrupulous Korean bosses. I think that any native English teacher who has the social consciousness must be able to lend a helping hand, and be a voice for foreign migrant workers. Whenever you have the chance to meet a foriegn worker, interact with them. If you live and work in the same region where you will see a large number of them, spend time to hang out with them, talk to them. If any of them are students, enlighten them. If you or any one of them are members of the same faith community, worship with them and pray with them.

Is it the same when hagwons want to hire Gyopo or Asian-only personnel? I know that this is totally illegal in all aspects in the US, but in a country like Korea, they expect it. And if you work for a hagwon that wouldn't hire someone based on skin color, and you didn't know it, are you still gaining the benefits? What if it is about gender?

I kind of get your point, but I think you opening analogy rather far off.