Thursday, January 9, 2014

The other migrants

This article, Rights for Migrant Workers in Korea-NOW!, writes about the Migrant Worker's struggles here in the ROK. It focuses on the poorest, most pathetic segment of the migrants in Korea. Just as in the US no one focuses on the migrants working in Silicon Valley, foreign professors who fill STEM jobs that cannot be filled with native-born talent, or the doctors and nurses from the Global South, pity is used to appeal for human and worker rights here in Korea. There is exploitation among the educated and skilled, and transferred labor is not just the domain of the unskilled. If we can work together we could be much more effective.

English teachers in Korea should also be included in this struggle. They are often exploited, forced to work more without compensation, expected to work injured or sick, and exposed to sexual harassment, etc.

For many adoptees (if they were adopted to one of the approved former British colonies: the US, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand) or the UK itself, teaching English is their only option, locking them into the mercy of the ETI (English teaching industry). 

Although English teachers come from the global north, and presumably have more agency, many of the teachers here in ROK are here because they can't find teaching jobs in their home countries. Another large portion are here to pay off their student loans, so they're essentially in debt bondage to jobs they contractually cannot leave. The Migrant Trade Union has said that English teachers are the #2 filers of complaints with them.

Monday, January 6, 2014

[In-depth interview] adopted, twice abandoned 'ghost man' fall ... International Mia

This MBC story (With video. The quotes from adoptees are subtitled in Korean if you want to hear the originals) is about adoptees who are now living in Korea because they were deported from the US.

Since I can't use the language that was my birthright, I've pasted the (edited) Google Translate transcript below.

China is number one, followed by Ethiopia and Russia. Our country is astonishingly ranked number six. We sent 160,000 babies abroad to be adopted. Among them are a few cases of those twice discard. Anh Da Go reports.

Reporter: Dressed in ragged clothes, the men can be seen roaming the streets. "It's really terrible. Their arms and legs are cut, and their clothes are torn." Most people pass by, ignoring these "living ghosts." "I'm alone. No one knows [me]. Mossi was adopted when he was 2 years old, and returned when he was deported back to Korea at 34 years old. His parents could do nothing because he was not naturalized."If everything is going well, and there had been no adoption, I don't think I would have had no problems." Two years ago a deported adoptee was caught robbing a bank.

The government doesn't know about the immigration status of 20,004 people who were sent to be adopted. Pastor Kim Do Hyun of KoRoot "[the government] should track these cases better. These children had no family..." Adoptees often suffer from identity confusion, the suicide rate and drug addiction is four times higher than average. Laura Klunder "They said we didn't your sister to be lonely. I think they wanted me to be their pet." The government passed new laws about international adoption a year ago. Hwang Pil Gyu, a lawyer at a family law firm says, "Biological parents should raise their own children, but it they can't how can those children be protected? How to ensure the protection of children is a vital question. Of the OECD countries six send children to be adopted. In 2012 only 750 children got children from South Korea.