[Stop-traffic] News/Korea: ROK Gov't To Set Up Foreign Workers' Rights Protection Agency

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Korea: ROK Gov't To Set Up Foreign Workers' Rights Protection Agency
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Jul 19 2000 - 01:44:51 EDT


ROK Gov't To Set Up Foreign Workers' Rights Protection Agency

Seoul, May 24 (Yonhap) -- The government will establish a pan-national
organization to protect the rights of foreign workers in the nation, the
Justice Ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry will extend the stay of foreign industrial trainees and their
job period by one year each.

The government wants to protect the human rights of foreign workers and
eradicate violence and discrimination by Korean employers, and will
implement related measures after consultations with other government
agencies such as the Labor Ministry, it said.

The prosecution will designate special prosecutors exclusively in charge of
crimes against foreign workers and industrial trainees and file criminal
complaints against work sites that infringe on their human rights.

It will also hand down administrative punitive action on work sites that
violate the government's guidelines.

Foreign workers can stay in the nation for up to five years, including
three years for industrial training, instead of three years -- two years of
industrial training and one year of employment.

The government will allow relevant officials, civilian experts and
representatives of foreign workers to help evaluate the human rights
conditions of foreign workers and formulate subsequent countermeasures.

"We want to prevent human rights abuses on foreign workers such as beatings
and the delayed payment of wages, which are not supervised due to most
foreign workers here being illegal immigrants," a Justice Ministry official
said.

Some 235,000 foreign workers were in the nation as of April 30, of whom
149,000, or 64 percent, are suspected as illegal immigrants.
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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