International Standards and the Rights of Migrant Workers

International standards and the rights of migrant workers

Hyunmo Choi (Director of the Center for Migrant Workers’ Human Rights in Korea)

The whole country is in turmoil over the controversy surrounding the import of U.S. beef. Opposition sparked when the contents of the beef import agreement with the US government, which was concluded in a blitz shortly after President Lee Myung-bak took office in February, became known, and the opposition began to spread day after day, filling downtown Seoul and other major cities across the country with citizens who gathered by lighting candles. is going Those who took part in the protests are demanding full renegotiation, criticizing the government for showing a humiliating attitude toward the United States, giving up the people’s right to health and the nation’s quarantine sovereignty, despite the majority of the people’s objections.
However, the government has been able to supply high-quality beef at a low price through this US beef import negotiation, and the fear of mad cow disease is an unfounded myth. Concerns are rising as it suggests a policy to deal with it.  
One of the most cited logics raised by government spokespersons against citizens’ criticism of the US beef import negotiation is the international standard presented by the International Bureau of Fisheries and Fisheries (OIE), an international organization in charge of international meat distribution.
In a word, the government’s logic is that there is no problem because ‘this US beef import agreement is an agreement that faithfully follows the OIE international standards that countries around the world comply with’. Since when, the Korean government has become an exemplary international-level government that recognizes and faithfully follows international standards.
However, as an activist working to protect the human rights of migrant workers and migrants, this is not what I feel.
Earlier this month, Mr. Torner, the chairman of the Seoul-Gyeonggi Incheon Migrant Workers’ Union (Migration Union), and Mr. Sobur, the vice-chairman, were arrested and detained at the same time in different places at the same time on the same day by the Ministry of Justice’s immigration enforcement officers. work was forcibly deported. This happened less than six months after the three leaders, including the chairman and vice chairman of the migrant labor union, were simultaneously arrested last year and forcibly deported.
The Ministry of Justice insists that it was just a part of the daily crackdown and deportation measures against illegal immigrants, but what was revealed during the continuous crackdown and deportation process of the migrant union leaders is that anyone can see that it is a ‘target crackdown’ to not tolerate union activities. cannot be denied
Immediately after their arrest, the National Human Rights Commission, the same national institution, made an emergency relief decision to suspend the execution of deportation until the investigation of human rights violations against Mr. Torner and Mr. Sobur was completed, and a lawsuit was filed with the court. An appeal was also submitted to the Minister for the forced eviction, but everything was ignored.
In addition, international organizations such as Amnesty International as well as domestic civil society organizations have proposed international standards for civil and political rights presented by the UN and ILO, freedom of union establishment and activity for all migrant workers, and sufficient rights under due process. He presented international human rights standards such as compliance with remedies and appealed to the Korean government to stop deportation and to abide by the required procedures, but to no avail.  
The logic of the Ministry of Justice was that there was no problem because ‘expulsion of illegal immigrants is a natural right of a sovereign state’. Negotiations on US beef imports and forced deportation of migrant union leaders. How should we evaluate the government’s dual attitude toward international standards related to these two issues?
A nose ring if you put it on your nose An earring if you hang it on your ear. Swallow if sweet and spit out if used. The Republic of Korea contributes to the promotion of international human rights by producing the UN Secretary-General, a leader of the world, and serving as a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council.
I hope that the country will stand upright before boasting.

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