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Exploited Foreign Workers
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[0호] 승인 2005.07.07  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글
Lee A-ram

A couple of days ago, I’ve heard a surprising news. That was a cruel murder case - an alien worker was killed by a drunken Korean. Most of the foreign workers come from Southeast Asia. They work in 3D(Dirty, Dangerous, Difficult) jobs that Koreans do not want to do. They play an important role in our society. As industrialization pro-ceeds wages increase, so that it is very natural that workers from other countries rush into Korea. However, they are usually illegal visitors and protecting them is a difficult problem.

We do not have any interest in their human rights. However, it is very ironic that, when we see Koreans are discriminated in other countries by foreigners, we are very indignant. Foreign workers even use Korean sentences that mean “Do not beat me.” or “Do not insult me.” This circumstance explains our ugly reality. And the people who hire them, have the alien worker do a lot of works at terrible surroundings, and what is worse, they do not give paychecks on time.

In their home countries, the alien workers have families to support. Moreover, most of them stay in Korea illegally and some of them are threatened - if they ask their money, they will be reported as illegal stayer. Even though they have accidents in work places, they have to go home with no money and hurted body.

50 years ago we experienced deep dispair from the Korean War that ruined the Korea peninsula. Many Koreans left the country for hopes in other countries. They endured hard labor as the alien worker do now, and they contributed to development for the nation at strength. For example, many Koreans went to Germany. They usually worked there as nurses or mine workers. The Germany treated them with warm heart so they helped Korean economic development.

However, now we treat the alien worker as low as animals. Do we have the right to contempt them while forgetting what the German did to us in the past? In addition, Korea is not yet a developed country. Can we look down them because their countries are poor?

They cannot speak Korean very well because they come from other countries. They cannot adapt this environment, and cannot enjoy Korean food. But we need them to maintain Korean economy. Without their help, Korean economy will slow down. We should respect their rights.

They are not our slaves, rather they are our friends. They are part of the same kind of people. The equality of human right tell us that we should treat them like ourselves. With a new perspective, we must understand them.
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