SEOUL, May 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Children who are not registered for long-term stay in South Korea should not be forced to leave the country unconditionally, recommending that the government come up with a system through which qualifications for residency could be assessed, a public human rights watchdog said Wednesday.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) recommended the Ministry of Justice to put a stop to the unconditional forced deportation of unregistered migrant children who have stayed in the country for a long period of time, suggesting that the government establish a system for them to apply to stay in the country and be screened if they want to stay to establish residency.
The recommendation came ahead of the end of the grace period for the forced deportation of two unregistered migrant teenagers aged 17 and 18.
They are subject to forced deportation as they are not eligible to stay under Article 23 of the Immigration Control Act.
Forced deportation was suspended with parents in accordance with the ministry’s guidelines on “protecting students’ learning rights.” However, once they graduate from high school, they will be subject to deportation again.
Under current laws, there is no system in place for them to apply to stay in South Korea.
However, the NHRCK explained that both were born in Korea, completed elementary, middle and high school here, formed identities in Korean language, customs, culture, and living environment, and that social foundations such as friendships were formed in Korea.
“The Ministry of Justice has the authority to decide on the deportation of the victims, but it is certain that the personal disadvantages of victims who formed a social base only in Korea will be greater than the public interest they intend to achieve through the victims’ forced deportation order,” the commission said.
The NHRCK recommended to the government that if the teens want to stay in Korea, the ministry should create a system that allows them to apply for residency, and that the government should actively examine whether to grant residency status using current laws and systems even before the system is drawn up.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)