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Vice-Minister's speech at the 103rd International Labour Conference

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4 June 2014 12:00pm, Geneva Switzerland

Mr. President and distinguished delegates!
According to the Report of the Director-General,
Migrants represent about 3% of the global population and this number is expected to grow.
Taking into account the ongoing trends of aging populations and the changing proportions of economically active population,
we are fully aware of the evolving complexity and multi-faced nature of migration issues.
In this respect, I believe that it is meaningful to have “fair migration” as the agenda of the 103rd International Labour Conference and discuss tasks upon us.

In Korea, the number of foreign residents has been continuously increasing since 2000, reaching approximately 1.6 million or 3% of the total population, today.

In response, the Korean government legislated the "Act of the Treatment of Foreigners in Korea" in 2007.
In the following year, 2008, we established and began enforcing the first 5-year plan for migration policy.

With the second basic plan for migration policy established in 2012 under the vision of a “vibrant Korea growing together with global citizens”, the Korean government is carrying out various policies aimed at openness, social integration, protecting human rights, securing safety and ensuring international cooperation.
Based on this social integration policy, we are providing migrants with sincere support customized to their needs throughout the stages of migration, so that they successfully settle down and become self-sufficient in Korean society.
Additionally, Korea is providing multicultural education for better communication between migrants and Koreans in order to provide opportunities to embrace cultural diversity.
With a view to preventing discrimination against foreign workers through labor inspection, we are also putting in our best efforts to protect rights of foreigners as the Refugee Act took effect in 2013.
Mr. President and distinguished delegates

As was mentioned in the Report of the Director-General, a well-regulated labor migration system is one of the most significant tasks towards ensuring “fair migration”.
With the introduction of the Employment Permit System in 2004, Korea has been operating the whole procedure, from entry into Korea, job search, and return to country of origin, in a way that is transparent and clear.

Not only that, the government is protecting the rights of the workers by treating them equally with Koreans under the Labor Standards Act, the Minimum Wage Act and etc.

In doing so, Korea seeks to become “an exemplary model” in migration management.
In September, 2010, the EPS system of Korea was praised as a “Pioneering a system of migration management in Asia” by the ILO and the system was awarded the grand prize of the UN Public Service Awards in June, 2011.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the EPS system this year, Korea will continue to refine and advance the EPS system and spare no effort in protecting the rights of migrant workers.
Meanwhile, the Korean government has been stepping into nurturing human resources in developing countries through various ODAs.
It is our hope that our assistance will facilitate sustainable development of the countries.

In order to support job creation in countries of origin, Korea is providing support both for the construction of job training centers and the establishment of job training policies to make sure that they can operate and manage these systems in a self sustaining way.

Through the ILO Partnership Program, Korea has been contributing to capacity building and policy improvement in migration in the Asian developing countries.
Mr. President and distinguished delegates

Through tripartite discussion at the 103rd ILC, it is my hope that we can share the best practices in migration and respond properly to the trends of global migration.

Towards these ends, it is our belief that the ILO will play a significant role in realizing the goal of “fair migration”.
Thank you for your attention.

Last Modifide Date   :   Mon June 16, 2014
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