Sunday, September 30, 2007

The End of Racial Discrimination in Korea?

According to the Korea Times, the Ministry of Justice is going to begin punishing direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of race, sex and nationality. If true then it's the best news I've heard all year. But one suspects that the new rules touted by the Ministry of Justice will be kept and enforced about as well as the traffic and parking rules.

What this could mean for Korea's hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers is a legal leg to stand on in order to get better working conditions and pay. It would mean the college and university teachers like myself would be entitled to the possiblity of tenure (assuming proper qualifications) and the pay that goes along with it. It means that banks and credit institutions could no longer refuse housing and unsecured loans to foreigners as has been the common practice. One would also assume that it would have some effect on the problem of foreigner ID numbers and their uselessness relative to that of Korean ID numbers (for example on websites).

If, and we are talking a big 'if' here, it can be properly implemented and if the Human Rights Commission does not get as bogged down in legal wrangling as one would reasonably suspect, then this could be a big step forward for Korea. It will be interesting to see how some of the ultranationalists both in the street and in the assembly will take this (certainly not lying down).

1 comment:

EFL Geek said...

Wonder if anything would be done to people who put up banners like these.

somehow I doubt it.