SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Refugee advocacy groups are strongly opposing the South Korean government’s efforts to revise the Refugee Act.
The government recently issued a preliminary notice on the legislation of the revised Refugee Act that focuses on strengthening the reapplication procedures for asylum seekers.
A group of refugee rights groups, including the Refugee Rights Network, issued a joint statement claiming that the revision not only infringes on human rights but also results in the de-facto abolition of the refugee recognition review system itself.
Given the reality that about 1,000 asylum applications are reviewed through document assessments per day, the groups insisted that the revision of the Refugee Act would create a structure where almost all refugee applications could be dismissed.
They urged the government to instantly stop the legislation of the revised Refugee Act, stressing that the government should come up with new legislation and policies through consultations with the United Nations refugee agency and professionals.
The minor opposition Justice Party also noted that the number of refugee applicants stood at 6,088 in the January to September period of this year, of which only 42 were recognized as refugees.
Against this backdrop, if the criteria for reapplication are strengthened further, most asylum seekers would be rejected and deported.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)