SEOUL, Jul. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Conflicts surrounding Yemeni refugee applicants in Jeju have become frequent at the refugees’ temporary workplaces, stemming from cultural differences between the Yemenis and their Korean employers.
On July 10, a Yemeni refugee in his 20s who was hired as a crewman on a ship filed a police report claiming that he had been assaulted by the captain.
The Yemeni told police that the captain hit him on the back of his head because he was unable to sort the fishnet properly before going fishing.
The refugee went on to say that although he did not want his employer to be punished, he did not want to work on board the ship anymore.
With the help of the Migrants Center, two Yemeni refugees were transferred to a shelter where they are currently being held under protection.
On July 9, two Yemeni refugees came to the Jeju Immigration Office after vowing to quit their jobs at a farm only two days after they started working due to conflicts with their employer.
The farm owner who hired them said that when the Yemenis were given mowers to work on, they ended up completely damaging the machines.
“It’s hard to work with Yemenis because of the language barrier and cultural differences,” said the farm owner.
Meanwhile on July 1, two Yemeni refugees who had been working as ship crewmen got into an altercation with each other involving a weapon over the issue of washing dishes. Both men are on the verge of being deported for their actions.
The Yemeni refugees that have come to Korea are unable to communicate properly with their employers due to their complete lack of proficiency in the Korean language.
In addition, the Yemenis are typically unfamiliar with the work being offered to them, generally from the primary industry sector.
According to current laws, refugees are not allowed to work in South Korea for six months following their refugee application, but the Ministry of Justice made an exception to allow the Yemenis to work on farms and at restaurants, taking into consideration their livelihood.
However, it has been reported that only 228 Yemenis out of 466 currently hold jobs.
After the refugees were first allowed to take on jobs on the island, 40.3 percent either quit working on their own accord or were fired.
At a press conference held on June 25, Jeju Immigration Office director Kim Do-gyun said that the Yemenis were being granted jobs on a limited basis.
“Even if the refugees quit their jobs, they are receiving help to get another job if they want,” said the director.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)