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2003 Migrant Workers Struggle In South Korea

  Planned working permition system for migrant workers for South Korean unions not enough
South Korea's unions lambasted the government's plan to implement the exclusive work permit system for migrant workers on a trial basis as a withdrawal from its reform drive.
  Working Permition for Migrant Workers - A Step Forward in the Right Direction
South Korea's Ministry of Labor is moving to allow foreign industrial trainees to hold wage-earning positions, beginning as early as July, according to the daily JoongAng Ilbo, March 29. The new job category will replace the trainee program, which is more a kind of modern slavery as anything else.

2002 Migrant Workers Struggle In South Korea
(Two Faces of Korea)

  [Updated] Kabir and Bidu released--but only temporarily
Kabir Uddin and Mohammed Bidduth, two Bangladeshi workers at the forefront of the migrant workers movement in South Korea, were temporarily released on December 1st by immigration officials at the Hwaseong Immigration Processing Center.
  Migrant worker activists protest arrests, crackdown
On September 2nd, immigration officials, accompanied by 30 policemen, raided two migrant houses in Masok and detained 13 migrant workers from Bangladesh, including Kabir and Mohammed.

  Migrant workers struggle: hunger strike, protests and more arrests
Last Thursday, Kabir Uddin and Muhammad Bidduth, Equality Trade Union-Migrants Branch leaders who have been detained in Hwasong Immigration Processing Center for two months since a government crackdown on migrant workers, initiated a hunger strike to protest human rights violations inside the detention center.
  Release Kabir Uddin and Mohammad Bidduth! Stop the witch-hunting to union members and crackdown undocumented migrants in Korea!
On September 2 at Six o'clock in the morning, nine Immigration Bureau officials and about 30 police personnel came in Songseng Industrial Zone in Masok district. They stormed in the two Bangladesh migrants' house and arrested all 13 Bangladeshi migrants residents.
  Protestor’s Show Solidarity with Foreign Workers in Korea
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) held a solidarity picket outside the Korean Airlines office in downtown Toronto yesterday to protest the current crackdown on migrant workers in South Korea.
  Migrant workers protest government crackdown
ETU will demonstrate every day in front of the immigration office unil Kabir and Mohammed are released.

[Related Article]
▷ Letter petition to South Korean government to release Md. Bidduth and Kabir Uddin
▷ Immigration focuses migrant crackdown on JCMK/ETU-MB

May we also strongly request you to participate in the Internationally Coordinated protest action to be held in front of Korean Embassies/Consulates in your country. We are suggesting you to join us on the simultaneous rally on the 26th of June.

    [Recent Article]

     - [Solidarity Message] Workers of all countries united!
     - Warten aufs Finale (German)
     - International Declaration for Migrant Workers' Demands for Achieving Working Visa and Opposing Crackdown to Undocumented Migrants in South Korea
     - The Struggle Continues Against the Continuing Repression
     - Crackdown is going on. Stop crackdown! Achieve working visa! - 1
     - Crackdown is going on. Stop crackdown! Achieve working visa! - 2

  Cordial and Sinister Faces of the World Cup 2002 in Korea
With this, the Korean Government creates two faces during the World Cup. One is the joyously cordiality for foreign tourist and the other is the sinister attacks to migrants workers
Korea is showing the world a welcoming foreigner-friendly face to the thousands of visitors attending the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup games. But the face that the Korean government isn't showing is its unfair treatment of an estimated 300,000 migrant workers living and working here.
- About 60 organization formed an alliance committee for Migrant workers
Last Thursay (May 9th) a broad coalition was formed.It was dubbed as " Struggle Alliance Opposing the Oppression to Migrant Workers and for Achieving Working Visa
- Reject Registration!! Stop Crack Down!! Achieve Working Visa!!!
Migrant workers, one after another, unite in sit-in rally for the sake of freedom of assembly and association, annihilation of massive crackdown, and achievement of working visa.
- Priests attack tent erected by migrant workers
The migrant workers have resorted to a sit-in in response to government suppression of a legal rally to have been held on April 21st calling for cancellation of the new registration system currently being implemented, which they feel is tantamount to deportation, and also for fair legal status, minus the trainee system which is now in place.
[Related Article]
▷ Concerted Actions of Migrants in Korea is Already a Victory
▷ As the Struggle of Migrant Workers in Korea intensifies, International solidarity actions and support continue to widens.
▷ Solidarity statement for migrant workers from KAKAMMPI
▷ Memorial Service for Murdered Migrant Worker
▷ International protests held vs Korean government's repatriation Policy; demand for Legalization
▷ [April 28] Migrant workers rushed in sit-in struggle!!!
▷ Migrant Workers in Korea held a Protest Rally to denounce the Korean Deportation policy and Calls for legalization of all undocumented migrants
▷ APMM Message of Support to the Protest Action Launched by the ETU-MB and the KCTU
▷ Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) together with other migrant organizations and local advocates held a picket demonstration in the Korean consulate in Hong Kong

2001 International Migrant Workers Day

[BASE21 Special Articles]

[Dec. 16] Migrant Workers Rally For Recognition, Rights
- The goals of the conference were to gather information on the Asian ICT industry and internet right issues in Asian countries, and to form international solidarity in order to better defend those rights.

[Dec. 17] Migrant Workers Should Organize and Struggle for Their Own Labor Rights
- A strategy workshop for organizing migrant workers in South Korea was held at Dongguk University on December 17th.

[Dec. 18] Stop Government Crackdown, Guarantee Labor Rights for Migrant Workers
- On Dec. 18th, rallies against brutal police crackdowns on migrant workers were held in front of immigration offices in Seoul, Incheon, Uijeongbu, and Busan. Their demand: "Abolish the trainee system, stop the massive crackdown, amnesty for undocumented workers."

[Related Articles]
  • 250 Koreans Demonstrate on International Migrants Day
    - Around 100 protestors gathered in front of the Seoul Immigration Office, shouting "Abolish trainee system! Achieve labour rights! Stop crackdown on migrant workers!", with pickets in various different languages of migrant workers in Korea.

  • Statement from UNITY of Filipno Migrants in Korea
    - The migrant workers comprise the biggest industrial reserve army of the cheapest and most exploited labor in Korea because they fall in the pit of cheap docile enclaves of workers. Worse, they do not even recognize them as workers.

  • The Case of Tae Sook Park
    - Currently, Ms. Park's case is being appealed; her story raises some important issues. Politicians should not be above the law. The political and social power given to them should demand they live by the very standards they preach. Also, why was it so easy to abuse the rights of an immigrant worker, and how do we help to change this?

  • Seven Year history with Migrant Workers, Ansan Migrant Shelter
    - It is just seven years since Ansan Migrant Shelter started fighting for migrant workers human rights.

  • Advance Peoples Resistance against Neo-liberal Globalization
    - Migrant International, a global alliance of migrant NGOs, Mass Organizations Associations, in cooperation with Contak-Philippines, Gabriela International and the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrant Filipinos successfully held a worldwide conference dubbed the International Migrant Conference on Labor-Export and Forced Migration Amidst Globalization (IMC). This important event took place from November 4 to 8, 2001, in Manila, Philippines.

  • Hosting the Science Council on Migrant Workers in IPSAKU
    - In this current society, controversial issues on problems with which migrant workers faced aren't drawing public attention. Instead, the American presidential election in 2001 and the war against terrorism occupies the publics interests.

- Struggle Video Collection -

May 25th, 2002 Policemen Blocked the migrant workers demonstration in front of Myock-Dong immigration office

May 18th, policemen attacked the activists for migrant workers struggle, who were trying to burn the large model of self-registration paper

May 3rd, the Priest of Myungdong Cathedral attack tent erected by migrant workers

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