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Commission welcomes government’s decision to uphold refugee law

Graphic: A crowded commuter train in Seoul, Korea

The NHRCK Chairperson also urged the government to take further efforts to eliminate community prejudice against refugees.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has welcomed the government's commitment to the Refugee Act and called for further efforts to address prejudice against refugees, the Korea Herald reported.

In a statement, Commission Chairperson Lee Seong-ho said it is the "responsibility" of a member state of the international society to accept refugees in the country.

Lee called on the government to review the low acceptance rate of refugees and to hire more officials to review the applications for refugee status.

"The policy that checks on the social network services accounts of the refugees and regularly reviews their refugee status are not measures that reduce Korean nationals' fear of refugees, they are excessive screening. Therefore, the government should be careful in continuing the policy," he said in the statement.

Lee also urged the government to take further efforts to eliminate bias and prejudice against refugees.

"People should be careful not to judge refugees based on their nationality and religion and accept groundless or exaggerated information," the statement read.

The Presidential Office delivered its response on 1 August to an online petition demanding the government abolish the Refugee Act and stop granting refugee status to asylum seekers.

More than 710,000 people signed the petition within a month after it was posted on the Presidential Office's website on 13 June.

Korea is a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and became the first country in Asia to establish and enact its own Refugee Act in 2013.

Date: 7 August 2018

Source: Korea Herald

Image credits

  1. A crowded commuter train in Seoul, Korea - Mathieu Thouvenin; Flickr creative commons