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Jun. 20  2018
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Inter-Solidarity 
Christian's Photo Column 

As the Struggle of Migrant Workers in Korea intensifies, International solidarity actions and support continue to widens.

International support actions are widening as the migrant workers' struggle in Korea unfolds and continue to intensify opposing the deceitful Registration program or "Voluntary Reporting Program for Unauthorized Foreigners" of the Korean government which directly attacks the migrant workers in Korea and the heightening harassments and threats against those who are opposing this scheme.

Source  :  Equality Trade Union Migrants\' Branch

International support actions are widening as the migrant workers' struggle in Korea unfolds and continue to intensify opposing the deceitful Registration program or "Voluntary Reporting Program for Unauthorized Foreigners" of the Korean government which directly attacks the migrant workers in Korea and the heightening harassments and threats against those who are opposing this scheme. The picket demonstration was participated by different nationalities representing various migrant and advocate organizations.

We have received copies of petition letters addressed to the Kim Dae Jung, the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration office demanding to scrap the Registration program, opposing the suppression of Migrants rights and freedom of statement, the continuing crackdown and calling for the implementation of working visa and genuine legalization. more than 300 petition letter signed by different organizations and individual worldwide has already been sent and signatories keeps on coming in up to now.

Simultaneous picket demonstrations were held in Hong Kong and Ontario Canada Last May 3 in front of the Korean Embassy. Similar protest action was also held in Myondong Seoul, where representative from different unions, and NGO's delivered their solidarity and support statements.

In Hong Kong, the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) ( http://www.migrants.net ) Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU-HK), the Far East Overseas Nepali Association (FEONA) and the Asian Students Association (ASA) attended the protest action gave solidarity messages in the Korean consulate. A petition letter signed by 42 organizations worldwide was presented to the Korean consulate but consulate officials refused to receive the petition letter.

According to Ramon Bultron of APMM, the refusal of the Consulate officials to formally accept the petition letter shows the insensitivity and arrogance of the Korean government towards people in Hong Kong and other parts of the world advocating for the rights of migrant workers in Korea.

The harassments and intimidation being experienced by those against the VRPUF belies the claims of Korea that their President is a human rights crusader, Mr Bultron added.

In Ontario, similar protest action was lead by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) ( http://www.ocap.ca/dispatch.cgi/archive/korean_migrants ) in front of the Korean Consulate. According to John Clarke, the organizer of the OCAP its statement sent to the Equality Trade Union-Migrants Branch in Korea, "We have learned of (Korean) Government's reprehensible crackdown on undocumented workers living in Korea. We wish to add our voice to those who will condemn this conduct".

"Toronto is a city that is estimated to have a population of up to 100,000 undocumented immigrants who have come here from many different countries in search of a decent life. The government here has just established a special squad to hound and deport these people. For this reason, our organization feels a strong sense of support for your (ETU-MB's) cause. As migrant workers, you have created wealth with your labour. You are entitled to have your human rights respected, you deserve economic justice and you have every right to defend yourselves when these things are denied.

"Though the main burden of resisting this attack will be taken up inside Korea, we can at least ensure that people in Canada are made aware of the dirty secret you would like to hide - your denial of human rights and economic justice to migrant workers.", John Clarke added.

In the Philippines, the Migrante International, a global alliance of Filipuino Migrants associations held press conferences were held. forum discussions were also organized to denounce the strong attacks to the migrants rights in Korea. Protest action in front of the Korean Embassy was also set this week. The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants together with MIGRANTE International is coordinating with the Philippine Congress particularly with the House Committee on Labor and Employment about the issue. The House committee is keen on our suggestion to summon top government officials in the Philippines and those in the Philippine Embassy in Korea for a House committee hearing to explain about what they are doing regarding this voluntary registration program. There will be some members of KASAMMAKO who will be in Manila and will attend the hearing to re-echo the demand of migrants workers in Korea.

In Bangladesh, on the 6th of May 2002 at 10:30 am the Welfare Association of Repatriated Employees (WARBE), a returned migrant workers association in Bangladesh have organized a demonstration in front of South Korean Embassy in Dhaka. The Officer In-charge of the Police Station of Gulshan came to the organizers and told them to make the demonstration 300 meters away diplomatic enclave. The Officer in- charge of the police station received the petition letter on behalf of the Korean Embassy.

In Mongolia, members of the CEDAW Watch Network Center, a member of the regional Council of the Asia pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) organized a team to collect signatures of family members of migrant workers in Korea to be submitted to the Mongolian Government and the Korean Embassy in Mongoli, .Human rights Sub commission of the parliament, National HR Commission, Ministry of Social Welfare and UNDP.

Ms Zanaa J, a members of CEDAW appear on the Monglian TV program talked about volunteer registration issue of Korean Government Policy. More than 800 signatures of parents and relatives of workers in Korea. Just previous Sunday, we stand in front of the State department Store and collected 200 signatures. This week my organization will present these signatures to the Mongolian Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social welfare and labor, Korean Embassy in Mongolia and other HR organizations.

In addition, we received news from different groups from other countries confirming similar protest and solidarity actions in Melbourne, Sydney in Australia, Nepal, Germany, and Europe, and the US.

Reference: Marlen Kim Obrero (016-3991296)
Seoul Gyeonggi Incheon Equality Trade Union Migrants Branch (ETU-MB)
Email: migrant@jinbo.net
Homepage: http://migrant.nodong.net/main.htm
Tel: (82)-(2)-985-9061, (82)-(31)-594-4767

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