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NHRC, Restraint and Deportation by Statement is Invasion of Human Rights

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said that ordering to deport a foreigner deciding on statement without identifying his identity is an act of invading human rights. The NHRC made it public on January 19 that it recommended the director of the Seoul Immigration Office to remove detention and deportation order on K, 60. The Commission insisted, "Based on the possibility of forging his passport the office ordered him to deport based on his statement even though he was staying legally.  Ordering deportation is invading his right to pursue happiness and freedom of body guaranteed by Constitution Article 10 & 12."
K was controlled by an officer of the Immigration office because he talked nonsense about his identity during crackdown while working in a company in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi on November 18. K made a petition to the NHRC on January 30, saying, "It is unjust to restraint and deport me even though my passport and visa is not forged."
Newsis  January 19, 2009

Truth vs. Falsehood of Migrant Workers Employment Law

In the economic slowdown, migrant workers are also facing difficulties. Even though they have work permit, they are the first ones to be dismissed. These migrant workers are deported because they can not find another job within the permitted period based on the migrant workers employment law or become undocumented.

◇ If a migrant worker fails to find another job, he or she becomes undocumented.
A, filipino migrant worker, was working in an auto parts manufacturing company in Gyeonggi-do, and he received a notice of dismissal all of sudden.
Due to economic depression, the company started layoff and migrant workers became the first victim. Small & medium sized companies dismiss migrant workers first.
A person of an auto parts company said, "Last month we dismissed eight migrant workers. Jobs became decreased. We have to pay employees. However, due to limited financial resources, we started to fire migrant workers first."
A problem is if a migrant worker who lost his job can not find another one within two months, he is highly likely to become undocumented. According to the current migrant workers law, if a migrant worker can not get permission of his change of workforce within two months he has to leave Korea. His chance to change his workforce is limited to three times. So, if his second workforce faces financial difficulty again, he should change it again.
In reality according to the Ministry of Labor on January 29, number of migrant workers who changed their workforce is 1,149, 171 percent increase compared to the same month a year ago. Moreover, since migrant workers paid considerable amount of money to enter Korea, there are high possibility for them to stay undocumented rather than go back to their country. 

◇ Need to adjust number of changing workplace
Request to take a measure to deal with this situation on the government level was raised. In case of Japan, they are pending to extend migrant worker's period of stay from three to five years.
The government now takes care of companies who employ migrant workers and considers to limit a range of jobs where migrant workers are permitted to work. Accordingly, various circles have came up with necessity of extending job seeking period for migrant workers, However, the government decided to stick to its principle of two months.
A person from a civil group said, "Considering the current economic situation, it is difficult for employers to employ migrant workers continuously. Therefore, a measure not to produce undocumented migrant workers including extending job seeking period should be introduced."
However, the government worries about overproducing migrant people with bad credit by extending job seeking period more than two months due to increasing living costs.
An officer of the MOL said, "It is largely a migrant worker's responsibility not to find another job. They should lower their expectation on potential workplace." "To prevent from producing undocumented migrant people, they plan to introduce them to companies which suffer from lack of workforce," he added. 
Medical Today  February 7, 2009

Economic recession, Xenophobia, Now Labor Barrier
In the global economic recession, trade and finance protectionism has been rising. And xenophobia on migrant workers all over the world has rapidly spreading. People in fear of unemployment pointed migrant people as a subject of expressing their rage and dissatisfaction with reality. Their excuse is that migrant people take jobs and benefits from them and make the economy worse. US Senate passed a bill of limiting to hire migrant people in finance industry. This case shows that the government tries to get rid of citizens' xenophobia by introducing job protectionism. 

◆Increasing crime against foreigners

Since last year when financial crisis became serious in Europe, crime against foreigners has increased. According to a German weekly magazine, as of the year 2008, in Germany crime by extremist groups rapidly increased up to 30 percent. In Russia, 122 were reported to be killed and 380 were injured by Skin Heads last year. 
In Italia on January 1, an Indian migrant workers in his thirties was terrorized with flame by three Italian teenagers, and he is in a critical condition. Italian president Giorgio Napolitano made it public on February 4 appealing, "We all are responsible for this incident. This crime against migrant workers should not occur again."
Some of the extreme right stimulate the public by saying discrimination against race publicly. Lieberman, representative of the Israel Beiteinu - extreme right party -, is an example. He said, "Arab people in Israel are one of Hamas. Unless they pledged themselves to be loyal to Israel, their right to vote should be deprived. ", without hesitation. 

◆Rising labor barrier

With xenophobia spread, labor barriers have been rising all over the world, too. US Republican senator Charles E. Grassley who had proposed a bill of limiting migrant workers employment in US banks, sent a letter to Ms CEO Steve Ballmer on February 2, saying "MS should first dismiss migrant workers instead of preferring to hire them to local people."
Spain, where construction industry was enjoying its boom for ten years up to 2006 and employed many migrant worker, changed their attitude toward migrant workers due to recent economic crisis. The government accepting its citizens demand to secure their job started to send migrant people back to their countries. Since last September the government paid unemployment allowance of USD 40,000 in a lump sum to migrant workers who gave a written promise of not coming back to Spain within the coming three years. 
In UK from January 30, thousands of energy industry workers went on large strike against employing migrant workers. In this regard, the UK government promised to consider their demand positively, and the strike finished in five days. Gorden Brown, prime minister of the UK said, "We will scrutinize whether articles of migrant workers in EU is partially favorable to employers." Prior to this last December UK introduced a new scored immigration system, a harder procedure for migrant people. 
Asia is not an exception from labor barrier. Malaysia bans from hiring migrant workers in certain industries. Taiwan started a subsidy program in which the government subsidizes companies who replace migrant workers with local people with 10,000 Taiwanese dollars (about 390,000 won) per worker. Patrick Taran, researcher of Migrant Labor, the International Labor Organization, pointed out, "Migrant workers are hired last, but fired first. They should not be scapegoat of the economic crisis." Vice president of the World Bank said, "As migrant workers have lost their jobs in the developed countries' shrinking labor markets, overseas transfer, a major financial source of the developing countries, has largely decreased. This situation hit hard their economy, too".
Hankyung  February 9, 2009