About half of defectors make money

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About half of defectors make money

Less than half of North Koreans who have defected to South Korea since 2000 are “economically active,” according to research conducted by a support foundation for North Korean defectors based in Seoul.

 The North Korean Refugees Foundation surveyed 1,200 defectors last year and found that 42.5 percent of them were active in South Korean after defecting. In comparison, 61.1 percent of South Koreans were active as of last August, according to Statistics Korea. Out of the 42.5 percent, 60.3 percent are men and 36.2 percent are women, although women make up a greater percentage of the North Korean defectors.

The term “economically active” refers to people who furnish the labor for the production of economic goods and services, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

 Hiring rates were found to be even lower for the defectors, at 38.8 percent, compared to 59.1 for South Korean citizens. The preference for male workers was also found to be dominant in hiring as well, at 56.2 percent.

 According to the report, 20.4 percent of those employed were engaged in simple labor, 19.6 percent in machinery operation or assembly and 18.7 percent in service occupations.

 The report found that 94.9 percent of those economically active work for wages and 40.9 percent of them are full-time regular workers. Also, 4.1 percent are self-employed and 0.9 percent are employers.

 When asked how those who worked had obtained their jobs, 21.7 percent said they had found their jobs through newspaper ads or street posters and 17 percent said they had help from South Korean acquaintances.

 Other survey results dealt with the health conditions of the defectors, of which 44.3 percent said that they “did not feel they were healthy.” Nearly a third of the 1,200 were suffering from arthritis, lumbar and joint problems.  

By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article[연합]
"탈북자 가구 절반이 월수입 100만원 미만"

경찰청, 1만2천205가구 생활 실태 전수조사

우리나라에 정착한 탈북자 가구의 절반 이상이 월평균 수입 100만원 미만의 열악한 생활을 하고 있는 것으로 나타났다.

경찰청이 지난해 8∼10월 탈북자 1만2천205가구의 생활 실태를 전수조사해 16일 발표한 결과에 따르면 월평균 수입 100만원 미만이 50.5%인 6천164가구인 것으로 집계됐다.

월수입 50만원 미만도 전체의 23.3%인 2천841가구나 됐다.

100만원 이상 150만원 미만은 3천324가구였고, 150만원 이상 200만원 미만 1천582가구, 200만원 이상 500만원 미만 1천77가구, 500만원 이상 58가구 등이었다.

실제로 경제활동을 하는 인원은 9천201명이었으며, 이들 가운데 자영업에 종사하거나 정규직으로 일하는 이는 21.4%인 1천965명에 불과했다.

아르바이트 등 일용직이 31.2%로 가장 많았고, 비정규직은 23.1%였다. 무직도 24.3%인 2천239명에 달했다.

탈북자들은 정착 과정의 어려움을 꼽으라는 질문에 경제적 곤란(39.1%)을 가장 많이 선택했다. 이어 문화적 이질감 14.3%, 취업 곤란 13.6%, 주변의 무시나 편견 11.3% 등으로 나타났다.

경찰 관계자는 "정부의 정착지원금이 일괄지급식이었다가 2006년부터 직업 훈련이나 자격증 취득 등의 장려금 중심으로 바뀌면서 민간의 적극적인 관심과 지원이 더욱 필요해졌다"고 말했다.
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