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Controversies in the Amendment to the Korean Refugee Law (1)

Time2021-06-03     Authoradm-South KoreaReserved   FromOverseas Korean News   Read

출처: 2019 출입국외국인정책통계연보- 법무부

Source: 2019 Statistical Yearbook on Entry and Exit Policies for Foreigners-Ministry of Justice

On December 28, 2020, the Ministry of Justice of South Korea announced an amendment to the Refugee Law. After its promulgation in 2012, the Refugee Law was revised twice in 2014 and 2016, but there was no significant change. However, the announced amendment to the Refugee Law heralds the biggest change to date. Because it is a major change, there are some controversial content in the society. It is necessary to look at the main content of the controversy and the background under which the modification was made. 

First, introduce a refugee disqualification system. At present, if you apply for refugees, you must go through refugee review unconditionally. Refugee review includes "application review", "interview investigation", "factual relationship investigation", etc. However, part of the review procedure can be omitted if the following requirements are met:

Article 8 of the Refugee Law (Review of Refugee Recognition) The Minister of Justice may omit part of the review procedure specified in Item 1.

1. When submitting false documents or making false statements and other concealed facts when applying for asylum recognition

2. When a person who has not obtained refugee certification or who has canceled refugee certification in accordance with Article 22 applies for refugee certification again without major changes

3. When a foreigner staying in Korea for more than one year applies for refugee certification when the period of stay is about to expire, or when a foreigner who is subject to compulsory deportation applies for refugee certification for the purpose of delaying execution

Based on the "partial omission" regulations, the Legal Department is currently operating a "quick review" system. Interview surveys generally take 3 to 4 hours, and complicated incidents sometimes last more than 10 hours, so civil servants in charge of the survey will feel burdened. After the interview, they have to write result reports and other work burdens, so it is difficult to carry out 1 More than one interview survey. This is one of the main reasons why refugee review takes a long time. 

"Quick review" is to take these issues into consideration. For cases of false refugee applications and other abuse of refugee applications, the interview investigation is simplified as much as possible, and the interview investigation can be conducted for about 1 to 2 hours, and interview investigations can be conducted more than twice a day.

The Ministry of Justice conducted a rapid review of some cases of abuse, and temporarily allocated manpower from other departments to the refugee review, and tried its best to conduct the review. However, as the statistics below show, the recent surge in refugee application review speed cannot keep up. The review is getting slower and slower. Taking into account the limited national budget, increasing the number of civil servants responsible for review is also limited.

If the refugee review is postponed, the biggest benefit will be those who stay in South Korea and make false claims for refugees in order to make money. Six months after the refugee application, the employment permit, therefore, the longer the review is postponed, the more money can be made in Korea. Under normal circumstances, South Koreas wages are several times or even dozens of times higher than that of refugee applicants home countries, so they think that the more they insist, the better.

      On the contrary, if the refugee review is postponed, the people who suffer the most are those who really need humanitarian assistance and must be protected. Only by ending the refugee review process as soon as possible can we obtain refugee certification or obtain a humanitarian stay permit (although it is not a refugee, but the Korean government protects the system when there is a certain danger), can we live safely in South Korea, but the longer the review time, the more necessary The longer you live with anxiety.



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