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I. 부천외국인노동자의집 설립배경 II. 부천지역 외국인노동자 현황 III. 부천외국인노동자의집 활동계획
부천외국인노동자의집 설립배경
The Korean society achieved the migrant transition in 1987.
Migrant workers from Asia, Africa and South America started flowing into Korea massively, just like the Korean workers who went to America, Germany and Saudi to earn foreign currency.

The structural backgrounds of foreign workers' influx to Korea lie in the changing characteristics of world system and the upward mobility of Korea. Foreign workers from China, East Asia and other poor countries have migrated to Korea based on easiness to get a job and easiness to obtain an entry visa.

Foreign workers who migrated to Korea from 1987 to 1990s were illegal (undocumented) workers because the Korean government did not have a rational procedure for them, but in 1994, the Korean government applied the “Industrial Technical Program for foreigners” because of the rapid increase of migrant workers flowing into Korea.

By December 2003, 80% of foreign workers in Korea were undocumented workers and only 15% of the foreign workers were legal workers and 5% were industrial technical trainees.

Industrial technical trainees and undocumented workers were so called ‘slaves’ as they were denied so many of the basic Human Rights such as long working hours, low wages, overdue wages, frequent occurrence of industrial accidents, violence, abuse, passport seizure and many other encroachment upon personal rights.

While all these mistreatment was going on, two important things occurred that made the Korean society aware of the sufferings of migrant workers

In January 1994, a sit-in strike in front of Myung Dong Cathedral by 11 foreign workers who suffered from industrial accidents, urged Korean government to allow foreign workers the workmen’s accident compensation.

Those 11 foreign workers from Bangladesh and Nepal cried out that not only were there violence, abuse, and discrimination from work, they didn’t get any compensation when their fingers got cut off and bruised and that they even got fired from the company without getting any of their wages. They demanded an improvement in the ‘Industrial Technical Trainee System.’

13 Nepalese industrial technical trainees who have escaped from their working site went on a sit-in strike in January 9 1995 in front of the Myung-Dong Cathedral in Seoul which caused the stipulation of the improvement of the industrial trainee system. They said, “We didn’t get paid for six months, they told us they’ll pay us by sending the money straight to my home country but it wasn’t done and we couldn’t stand the managers’ beating and violence.”

They cried out “Don’t beat us”, “Don’t treat us like animals”, “We’re human too”, “We’re not slaves”, “Pay us our salaries”, “Give back our passports”. Industrial technical trainees who participated in the sit-in strike said “6 months of our lives in Korea were like the ones of animals.”

These two events became the start of telling people about the sufferings of foreign workers and the press reported the news widely and it became a huge social problem that brought out many interest in migrant workers.

Supporting the foreign workers in 3D small work places in Bucheon were discussed by religious circles and civil societies and finally in March 1995, Bucheon Foreign Workers Center was open with Bucheon social society and the religious circle as the council of the center.

Bucheon Migrant Workers’ Center helps the foreign workers to be treated equally and to be able to receive medical treatment, education, counseling and many other practical needs. We also help the migrant workers with the legal assistance, labor law, medication, education, and for you to be able to work in a safe environment by protecting the human rights of migrant workers in Korean society. We work hard so that you may return to your home country safely, after your stay in Korea.
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