Amnesty aims to boost migrant workers’ rights

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Amnesty aims to boost migrant workers’ rights

Amnesty International in South Korea called on the government on Thursday to improve working conditions for agricultural migrant workers and to help to put an end to the widespread use of forced labor.

At a press conference in Jung District, central Seoul, commemorating International Migrants Day, the human rights organization demanded that the country abolish Article 63 of its Labor Standards Act, which states that limits on working hours do not apply to agricultural migrant workers, increasing the potential for exploitation.

In conjunction with eight other organizations, Amnesty International published a declaration that aimed to shed light on these widespread abuses. Those groups included Slow Food Korea; the International Union of Food; and the Joint Committee With Migrants in Korea.

Amnesty International in South Korea, along with other organizations, runs a campaign known as the Human Rights Dining Table, which seeks to raise awareness about the exploitation of migrant workers, a group that is considered “invisible” in Korea.

“I would positively assess the government’s efforts,” said Kim Hui-jin, the director of Amnesty International in South Korea. “The Ministry of Employment and Labor has promised since we started the campaign to look into migrant workers’ circumstances and tighten supervision. But progress is still minimal, considering it hasn’t yet demonstrated a solid commitment to changing the status quo.”

As part of the Human Rights Dining Table, Amnesty International in South Korea has collected online and offline petitions in a bid to abolish Article 63. More than 28,400 people from 128 countries have participated.

Amnesty said those petitions would be sent to Ministry of Employment and Labor, along with the human rights declaration for migrants.

BY PARK YUNA [ypc3c@joongang.co.kr]



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