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What the Refugee Office, represented by the Ministry of Justice, is doing is a flagrant violation of human rights, and I will list the details related to that, along with the laws and regulations that criminalize these violations.
|International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1969 (ICERD)
(d) Other civil rights, in particular:
(i) The right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of the State
(e) Economic, social and cultural rights, in particular:
(iv) The right to public health, medical care, social security and social services
South Korea signed 1978-8-8
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR)
- Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
- Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:
(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity;
(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;
(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant.
There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Covenant pursuant to law, conventions, regulations or custom on the pretext that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
- Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
- No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
South Korea signed 1990-4-10
Refugee Convention of 1951 and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees 1967
The Contracting States shall issue identity papers to any refugee in their territory who does not possess a valid travel document.
prohibition of expulsion or return (“refoulement”)
- No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, member???ship of a particular social group or political opinion.
- The benefit of the present provision may not, however, be claimed by a refugee whom there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the security of the country in which he is, or who, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of that country.
South Korea signed 1992-12-3
United Nations Convention against Torture 1984 (UNCAT)
- No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
- For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
South Korea signed 1995-1-9
Article 3 (Prohibition of Compulsory Repatriation)
No recognized refugee, humanitarian sojourner, nor refugee applicant shall be repatriated compulsorily against his/her will under Article 33 of the Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
One of the first harms caused to asylum seekers when their identity papers are withdrawn is to deprive them of all health insurance privileges, which are compulsory under Korean law. However, this category is deprived of them.
Once the identity card is withdrawn, all services are stopped and it becomes difficult for the refugee to obtain medical care, as most hospitals refuse to recognize the deportation papers submitted by the refugee office
Patients are treated by emergency rooms only in major hospitals, and some cases are accepted in private hospitals at very high costs after providing a lot of explanations for the reasons for not carrying the ID card, or in some cases who only have expired passports, they are stopped and many clarifications are requested.
NHIS national health insurance service stop the service immediately as soon as the identity card is withdrawn by the immigration office. Even if the aggrieved party pays in advance, or if he is an employee of a company, the service is suspended for him without prior notice, and the deduction of health insurance costs continues even after stopping the service until the insurance company is notified by the aggrieved directly, and in some cases, administrative costs or additional entitlements may be incurred. It is obligatory to pay if the insurance is used after the period of expiry of the period of residence or the period of withdrawal of ID card. The same formula is used by the insurance company for all victims when health insurance is canceled using National Health Insurance Act
|Article 10 Loss Of Eligibility.
Article 10 | Date, etc. of Loss of Eligibility
(1) The insured shall lose his/her eligibility on the day he/she falls under any of the following subparagraphs:
- The day after when he/she dies;
- The day after when he/she loses his/her nationality;
- The day after when he/she ceases to reside within the country;
- The day he/she becomes a dependent of an employee insured;
- The day he/she becomes an eligible recipient;
- The day a request for exclusion from coverage of the health insurance is made by a person
- formerly covered by health insurance but became a person eligible for medical care for distinguished service.
(2) If eligibility is lost under paragraph (1), the employer of the relevant employee insured or the head of a household of the self-employed insured concerned shall report the particulars to the insurer as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare within 14 days after the date of loss of the eligibility.
What appears above, marked in yellow, is what is used against the victims to justify the reason for canceling or suspending the health care service.
In addition to the loss of health benefits, there are many damages to the victims of the refugee office after the ARC card is withdrawn. Telecom companies stop services immediately after the ARC card is withdrawn by the Immigration Office. All benefits and services provided by telecommunications companies will be lost, and the victim bears all costs of paid or unpaid fees. The inability to obtain mobile phone service deprives victims of the most basic civil rights. In addition, all foreigners, not just refugees, are obliged to provide the Immigration Office with a mobile phone number and a residential address. However, in this case, the victims may incur more damages and violations that may result in the payment of heavy fines for their inability to contact the immigration or refugee office.
It is clear that it is a coordinated and systematic matter to make the living conditions of the refugees difficult, as it is not possible for a foreigner to obtain mobile phone service without an ARC card. It is a systematic pattern of isolating these victims and forcing them to take illegal ways to obtain alternative communication services. The only alternative solution is for one of the victims’ friends or people unknown to the victim to establish a new communication line, and in some cases these victims are forced to pay large sums to others just to provide them with communication services.
All of this is done with the knowledge of the Korean authorities in a systematic and hidden way to penetrate the privacy of these victims and eavesdrop on their phone calls and know the social circles for reasons related to national security, taking into account the competent authorities, which is a flagrant violation of all regulations, rules, laws and international norms.
These infringements are not only related to telecommunications services, but go beyond that and include banking services as well, whereby some withdrawals, money transfers, or deposits are refused, which causes the victims to lose their financial assets. In most cases, the services of the smart bank card are stopped. After that, the bank card is withdrawn and another is issued with less advantages only in the event that the victim still holds a valid passport. In most cases, bank services are stopped completely.
In addition to all the previously mentioned damages suffered by the victims after withdrawing the ARC card. There are many harms related to the loss of eligibility. The simplest things of life are deprived of these victims, such as registering in a gym, going to the post office, going to recreational places, and so on. These victims are deprived of all the benefits enjoyed by a Korean citizen or a foreigner residing in South Korea. In order to obtain the simplest services, the affected people try to explain to the other party why they do not have an ARC card, and so on.
Those victims who have a job, their services are dispensed with, as they are not entitled to work because of the loss of eligibility.
Knowing that these victims in the majority do not have other sources of income, including families and children, these children are deprived of education and health care without any alternatives or solutions provided by the state.
South Korea has signed and ratified many international agreements in this regard, and I have mentioned some of them above.
The rights of these victims are being systematically violated with the knowledge and sight of governmental and civil organizations and in coordination with the Immigration Office and the Refugee Office to make the living conditions difficult and force these victims to surrender, make concessions or leave the Korean lands.
The conditions mentioned above explain some of what I personally experienced during my experience, however there are worse cases and experiences with horrific and tragic results.
Alex / Interviewed by Yeonju
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