Nov. 22  2019
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Christian's Photo Column 

[Essay] New migrant workers for South Korea

Christian is a German journalist, photographer, and activist. He joined the resistance movement in Palestine for one year, and was once an honored guest at the Pyongyang International Film Festival. He now resides in Seoul.

Source  :  Base21

By Chritisan/Media Activist

By the beginning of next year, South Korea will deport thousands of migrant workers. But at the same time, the South Korean government will bring in thousands of workers to farms. They will be exposed to the same bad conditions.

Last year, while I was on my way to Busan during my first trip to South Korea, I thought about the future of Korean agriculture. I know about the desolate situation in the countryside here. Young people want to go to the cities, to study, and to find proper, well-paying jobs. Nobody wants to stay in the rice fields until the water reaches their knees -- not anymore. So, in the near future, only some old people will be left in the countryside, and they will have to take care of the food for over 50 million Koreans.
In short, no workers in the South Korean fields, no rice on South Korean tables.

My (possibly crazy) idea: after reunification with the "brothers and sisters" in the north, the North Koreans should come to the South Korean countryside, settle there, learn there, and then they'll work for the food for all Koreans.

But the South Korean government has other plans. After they decided to change the trainee system for foreign factory workers into the "Employees Permit System" -- the migrant workers demand a Work Permit System -- they'll now bring in thousands of migrant farm workers. Under the same conditions of the trainee system. It's the same shit : they aren뭪 really "abolishing" the system. If you want to know more about this really stupid story, you should read the following article from Dong-a Ilbo.
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