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Until recently, the Minister of Justice’s Guidelines for the Determination of Convention Refugee Status was an internal document, withheld from public scrutiny and review. Gong-gam successfully obtained a Supreme Court decision ordering public disclosure of the Guidelines.
First-time recognition of a Chinese asylum seeker as a Convention refugee
Obtaining damages against the Korean Federation of Small and Medium Businesses for failing to provide industrial training to migrants despite accepting their fees
Gong-gam’s commitment to education and training extends to refugee and migrant issues. Recent events include regional workshops in Seoul, Daejeon, Daegu and Gwangju for activists advocating rights for migrant workers
In association with Minbyun (Lawyers for a Democratic Society), Gong-gam conducts research and takes part in various projects to protect the rights of migrants and improve their quality of life.
The Civic Movement to Protect the Rights of Immigrant Children 2009.07.30 16:07 5518
Writer opmanager

The Civic Movement to Protect the Rights of Immigrant Children

And Teenagers Has Commenced

On April 20th in the Seoul YWCA auditorium, ‘The Civic Movement for the Protection of the Rights of Immigrant Children and Teenagers’ (hereafter ‘The Civic Movement’) held a launching ceremony and panel discussion.  The creation of ‘The Civic Movement’ and the location of its first meeting were proposed on March 24th by the Seongdong Migrant Workers’ Center.  There are a total of 7 participating organizations, including the World Neighbors Association (Seongdong Migrant Workers’ Center), JIgu Chon Sarang Nanum Association, Foreigner (in Korea) support Organization Committee, the Seoul YWCA, the Seoul YMCA, the Young Korean Academy, and the Korean Public Interest Lawyers’ Group, Gong-Gam.


Korea has signed and ratified the 1991 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Under the Korean Constitution, the 1991 UN Convention has the same effect as Korean Law.  Article 2 of the 1991 Convention declares that ‘States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.’ Therefore, the Korean government has an obligation to protect migrant children who are under 18 years-old and reside in Korea. Qualification of sojourn in Korea cannot be a reason to exclude protection.  However, despite the need to protect migrant children in Korea, there is no legislation in the 1991 Convention that protects migrant minors in Korea in areas such as the right to be educated, the right to medical treatment, and the right to residence.  A large majority of migrant children under 18 years old who are now living without registration in Korea are not provided with any protection.


Given these issues, ‘The Civic Movement for the Protection of the Rights of Immigrant Children and Teenagers’ has been established to address the missed issues of providing migrant children with their right to receive education and medical services.  To guarantee the rights of migrant children in Korea, “The Civic Movement” is planning to work on revising legislation and engage in a nationwide campaign to bring these issues to the public’s attention.  


The main direction of the revised legislation on the rights of migrant children is listed below: 
 Guarantee the right to be educated through revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
 Guarantee the right to health through revision of the National Health Insurance Act and Medical Care Assistance Act.
 Guarantee the right to develop through revision of the Infant Care Act.
 Guarantee the minimum cost of living support through revision of the National Basic Living Security Act
 Guarantee the right to a safe residence through revision of the Immigration Control Act and Nationality Act.
 Guarantee that migrant children and teenagers be eligible to receive migrant support services through revision of the Multicultural Family Support Act and the Act on the


Treatment of Foreigners in Korea.
 Establish legal protection for migrant children and teenagers by revising and fixing other legislations and enacting a special law.

  During the year 2009 ‘The Civic Movement’ plans to progress the revision of the above legislation by holding forums, public hearings, and public relation campaigns.

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