The G-20 Summit and Another Violence
Taewan Kim (Director)
One day in July, when rain and heat are rampant, we had to hear heartbreaking news. July 8, 2010. It was news that a 20-year-old Vietnamese bride, Tatti Hwang-ok, was murdered by her husband, who was suffering from mental illness, just a week after they got married to Korea.
When I was in school, through the writings of Professor Young-hee Lee and others, I thought that Vietnam is a really great country. The country that made the United States flee from the war with the superpower America, and the country that is proud of its prestige even in the conflict with China. When I think of the pain that a 20-year-old wife and wife of a flower-like age of 20, a citizen of such a country, must have suffered in Korea, my heart is really heavy.
Tatti Hwang-ok’s father, Tak-sang, expressed this wish on the afternoon of July 17, when the Korean condolences came to his house on the outskirts of Can Tho, the southernmost part of Vietnam.
“I urge you once again. Please help the son-in-law who commits the crime of disobeying humanity receive a fair and just punishment. Also, consider the Vietnamese women who married in Korea as your daughters and help them live a humane and happy life. This is my last request.”
However, even at this time in Korean society today, ‘another violence’ with a different type is being inflicted on migrants. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that another type of violence and human rights violations is being done through state agencies. On May 4, the Ministry of Justice announced that it would implement the ‘Departure Support Program’ for illegal aliens. He said that support will be provided to undocumented immigrants who voluntarily leave the country and employers who employ them, and at the same time, enforced enforcement will be carried out during this voluntary departure period. In order to safely hold the G-20 summit to be held in Seoul on November 11 this year, reducing the number of 180,000 undocumented immigrants is an urgent priority. In the subsequent crackdown process, human rights violations are increasing.
The damage caused by unintentional checks is increasing day by day. Among the known cases is the story of an undocumented migrant who was unintentionally checked on the street because he was wearing a lot of accessories. The police searched his bag and called him a thief because he had many items. Despite showing the receipt, he went to the store where he bought the item, checked it again, and even searched the house, revealing his racist views. They treated migrants as potential criminals because of their different skin color and poor language skills. In addition, since the enforcement is very violent and threatening, many migrant workers were fatally injured and even killed in the process. A migrant worker who was being chased by a crackdown in Daegu last April had to be taken to the hospital with blood.
Human rights violations against migrants detained in the immigration office still persist . On June 9, an undocumented Chinese resident, Yoon, who was waiting to be investigated at the 4th floor foreigner protection room at the Suwon Immigration Office in Gyeonggi-do, was kicked by an immigration officer and slapped in the face and back with handcuffs. According to the Immigration Office, Yoon’s resistance at the time of the crackdown caused another immigration officer to be injured while stalking him. Such treatment is like retaliatory assault and torture during custody by state agencies.
Also, the fines for undocumented migrants, which were exempted for a while after the suicide of a migrant worker who failed to pay the fine in 2000, have been revived. The government has set a period for intensive crackdown on undocumented migrant workers from June to August, and said that migrant workers caught during this period will be fined before leaving the country. These fines are too much for migrant workers who are not even getting paid properly. Incheon Immigration Office deducted a fine from the salary of a Filipino worker without his consent. If you did not pay the fine, the Immigration Office did not even force you to leave the country. In other words, long-term detention until a fine was imposed, infringing upon the freedom of the migrant workers. Long-term detention is also used as a threat to obtain fines.
G-20 member countries such as China and Indonesia are also countries of origin for undocumented migrant workers. Would it make sense to invite the leader of a country and take anti-human rights measures against its citizens? Excessive enforcement crackdowns and forced deportation measures will put South Korea on the label of an anti-human rights state.
Although the Ministry of Justice is proposing a ‘departure support program’ for undocumented migrants, the reality is that it will carry out compulsory crackdowns on a large scale. There is. They are trying to drive undocumented migrants as potential criminals, as an element of social anxiety and threat. Many human rights groups define joint enforcement by the Ministry of Justice and the National Police Agency as an act of human rights violations against undocumented migrants, and the departure support program as an act of deception against undocumented migrants and their domestic employers. The government should immediately withdraw these measures, which are contrary to the true multicultural society that they claim. Now, immigrants who are playing a role in various parts of Korean society should be regarded as partners to live with, respect human rights and treated as members of our society.
Korean society should not forsake the wishes of Mr. Tatti Hwang-ok’s father, Mr. Tak-sang.