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Dec. 14  2018
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International Declaration for Migrant Workers' Demands for Achieving Working Visa and Opposing Crackdown to Undocumented Migrants in South Korea

We the undersigned migrant organizations, advocates and institutions, the Peoples Organizations, NGO's, Unions, and individuals, do hereby unite on the following:


We the undersigned migrant organizations, advocates and institutions, the Peoples Organizations, NGO's, Unions, and individuals, do hereby unite on the following:

The livelihood and condition of the people all across the globe have aggressively been worsened by the effects of neo-liberal globalization. Their plight is getting more and more twisted and chaotic everyday. Many of the people were forced to leave their country of origin and tried to find better opportunities elsewhere. Outside their country of origin these are migrants, immigrants, undocumented, refugees and displaced people.

The destructive prescription of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank (IMF-WB) and the GATT-WTO that enforces the liberalization, deregulation and privatization scheme among the third world and underdeveloped countries have served to intensify the exploitation. The proposals of the two International bodies which are controlled by the most advanced countries led by the United States promises free market competition, sustained development and high technology in the global arena and more foreign loans. In reality, it dislodges the peoples' socio-cultural and political rights. It perpetrates economic downturn, job-insecurities, low-wages; decline in social benefits and aggravates the poverty of the people. It has forcedly uprooted and continues to uproot the people from their ancestral lands, families, communities and nations. Under the masthead of globalization, the capitalists states have been aggressively pushing the neo-liberal agenda that can be reflected on the ongoing labor restructuring in many countries like Korea that affects both the local workers and migrant workers.

We strongly express our deep concern on the current move of Korean government's to purge out the undocumented migrants and the suppression of their labor rights and freedom of expression.

We believe that the "Registration" strategy, and the expected series of intensified crackdown will cause more difficulties and human rights violation against migrant workers.

These migrants are forced to work abroad because of the worsening economic situation in their own homeland and to cope with the basic needs of their family. While in Korea, they contribute in the economy through the availability of their cheap labor services in the 3Ds (Dirty, Difficult and Dangerous) jobs while at the same time and contribute as active consumers in Korean Society who purchases goods and avail of services of banks, restaurants, small stores, and so on. But this contributions remains unrecognized and instead their rights are continuously suppressed.

We believe that this deportation strategy is not only simply because of the expected rise in the number of illegal or undocumented migrants during the World Cup and the Pusan Asian Games. This is but a divisive policy in line with the Government's agenda to maintain the Trainee System and implement the new Employment Permit System (EPS) for the new comers. Both the Trainee and the new Employment Permit system is and will not actually resolve the increasing number of undocumented migrants, as more migrants will experience more and more human rights violation. In addition the 'Registration "strategy to implement the new Employment Permit System is basically not for the currently undocumented migrants in Korea.

We deplore and condemn the heightening harassments and threats against those who are opposing this scheme. To express their demand, migrants are supposed to held a rally but was blocked an suppress by the police and other agencies of Korean government. This is a clear violation of the fundamental human rights that prep-supposes the freedom of speech. In fact the members of the Equality Trade Union-Migrants Branch (ETU-MB) are constantly under strong attacks, blacklisted and are consistently under surveillance. Even inside the Myongdong cathedral, the Police and intelligence officers closely monitoring and keeping eyes to members who are having a Sit-in strike. The protest rallies in front of the immigration office were brutally assaulted. Many of the supporters who joined the mass action were hurt, bruised and wounded.

We join ranks with the recently formed "Struggle Alliance Opposing Crackdown and for Achieving Legalization, a broad coalition of NGO's, Worker Unions, Human rights groups, Churches and students groups supporting the migrant workers struggles.

Therefore, we resolved to:

Support the ETU-MB, Struggle Alliance and the migrant workers demands:


1. Stop Crackdown against undocumented migrants
2. Abolish the Trainee System and implement a genuine legalization program where in the currently undocumented migrants be given a working visa for 5 years.
3. Stop the suppression of their rights. Recognize and respect our rights to Assemble and Freedom of Expression.
4. Oppose the Employment Permit System which is worst than the Trainee System
5. Immediately provide the 3 Basic Labor Rights (Rights to Unionize, Collective Action and Negotiation) and the right to transfer in any factory without restrictions
6. Treat the migrant workers as Human Beings. We demand Justice to all forms of Physical, verbal, sexual abuses. Assure all our migrant rights and Human rights.

International Declaration for Migrant Workers' Demands for Achieving Working Visa and Opposing Crackdown to Undocumented Migrants in South Korea

Unity Declaration Signatories

Name and/or Organizations Address/Country
2002 / -0 / 6-
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