Foreign Workers Exposed to Harsh Living Environments | Be Korea-savvy

Foreign Workers Exposed to Harsh Living Environments

This file photo shows migrant laborers working at a farm in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows migrant laborers working at a farm in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, March 29 (Korea Bizwire)With the exposé of foreigners living in harsh environments following news reports of various incidents, local governments and authorities are stepping up to come up with preventive measures.

Last Monday, four young Nigerian siblings were killed in a fire that engulfed a three-story residential building in Ansan, south of Seoul.

The four siblings — two girls aged 4 and 11, and two boys aged 6 and 7 — dead inside the scorched second-floor home.

All seven family members, including the parents and a 2-year-old baby, were inside the home when the parents found the living room ablaze.

The size of the house was only 21 square meters, too small for a family of seven.

Meanwhile, a Thai worker died early this month at a pig farm in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province where he had worked for around 10 years. His home was a small sandwich-panel structure in the corner of the pig farm.

A Thai couple who had been inhabiting an old apartment in Gochang County, North Jeolla Province, died last month while trying to make a fire in order to keep themselves warm in the winter cold.

A series of unfortunate accidents like these have brought local authorities nationwide to step up and help foreigners.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Council passed a new ordinance last month for the protection of the human rights and the support of foreign workers in the agricultural and fishery sectors. It is the first of its kind in the country.

The ordinance includes the governor’s responsibility to establish and execute plans for ensuring the rights of foreign workers and providing stable working and housing environment.

The city of Gyeongsan in North Gyeongsang Province decided to distribute 200,000 won (US$153) every month to the parents of all foreign children attending a local children’s daycare center, starting this month.

Jeju Province is also investing 470 million won this year to expand services provided by the Foreign Resident Center.

The center offers consultation service in seven languages as well as interpretation services. The center also runs a temporary accommodation facility to provide shelter to foreign workers without a place to stay in the short term.

H. M. Kang (

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