According to government data, South Korea has accepted only 164 asylum seekers out of 6000 who applied for shelter, despite the Corona Virus outbreak. Immigration is an irritable issue in South Korea, where many appreciate themselves on ethnic homogeneity, even as its population of 51 million rapidly ages and the labor force shrinks.

The figure of 5,896 candidates for refugee status between January and August was down around 36 percent from the comparing time frame a year ago, data from the justice ministry showed a week ago. 

©Ed JONES/AFP/Getty Images

Russians topped the list of applicants at almost 18 percent, trailed by people from Egypt, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and India. Just around 4 percent of the 4,019 who finished the screening process were acknowledged or allowed residency for humanitarian reasons, although not recognized as refugees, a rate less than the 6 percent of 2019 and 16 percent of 2018, according to the data.

South Korea started accepting refugee applications in 1994 along with the UN refugee convention. The number of asylum seekers has risen vigorously since it turned into the first Asian country to receive its own refugee law in 2013, exceeding 16,173 in every 2018. But the government suppressed, after a sudden rise in the arrival of Yemeni refugees, in the southern resort island of Jeju. Though the rebels of neighboring countries “North Korea” are not considered as asylum seekers and automatically receives citizenship.

There was a backlash in 2018 against immigration after the arrival of hundreds of asylum-seekers from war-torn Yemen in the southern resort island of Jeju ©Ed JONES/AFP

In Europe, although asylum applications have dropped down in the middle of the border closure, against the virus, many countries have sheltered thousands of refugees, affected by the war and persecution.  Very few Asian countries like Japan have eagerly accepted more refugees.

New York-based Human Rights Watch denounced Seoul’s strict refugee policy this year, urging more acceptance and transparency in application reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like