Migrant Forum in Asia
Telefax: +632.8277.9484 | Mobile: +63.921.540.5063
Email: mfa@mfasia.org | Website: www.mfasia.org

End the Crackdown and Deportations!

End the Crackdown and Deportations! Legalize all Migrant Workers! Win the Labor Permit System!

A concentrated crackdown against the 224,000 migrant workers living in South Korea began on August 1. This crackdown is expected to go on until the end of the year. The government says it is carrying out this intense crackdown for the purpose of stabilizing the Employment Permit System (EPS).


However, EPS is not the system that should be stabilized. Instead we must win the implementation of a new system that is able to protect the labor rights of migrant workers – that is, the Work Permit System (WPS). EPS is an evil system which seeks to put migrant workers at the mercy of their employers by denying them the right to change workplaces.

The Ministry of Justice says that it intends [to] carry out the crackdown using legal procedures to prevent human rights violations. However, just as in the past, crackdown officers enter factories without warrants and arrest migrant workers or go into homes searching every nook and cranny. Detention orders are never presented during these raids. Can we honestly call this “following legal procedures”?

In fact, immigration crackdowns are by their very nature human rights violations. The crackdown is an act that labels us criminals and tramples our every right in the dirt. We have the right to protest this crackdown in order [to] protect ourselves and demand that the most basic of our rights – the right to live like human beings – be respected. We are not criminals. It is neither just nor natural that we should be sacrificed to this barbaric oppression.

There are many Koreans who do not support the government’s policy of crackdown and deportations. Some of these people have been fighting with us against the government’s unjust policy and are now working together with us to build a protest movement.

If the government does not come up against strong protest, the crackdown will not stop or diminished in force. Therefore, protest is vital. The strength with which the government’s crackdown is carried out is inversely dependent on the strength of the protest built through the solidarity of migrant workers and Koreans. As such we must not simply try to avoid the crackdown by hiding, but instead use every means possible to fight it.

A mass demonstration calling for an end to the crackdown will be held at Seoul Station Plaza on August 19. On this day, many migrant workers and Koreans will gather to demand that the crackdown is stopped. Documented and undocumented migrant workers alike, let’s all participate strongly in this action.

Here’s how to protest the crackdown

  • Protest illegal crackdown procedures and demand your rights. (Please see “Guide for Migrant Workers on How to Respond to a Crackdown”)
  • Inform MTU (02-2285-6068) if you are caught in a crackdown or witness others being caught (time and date, area, place and corresponding immigration control office)
  • If you experience unjust violation of your rights during a crackdown, appeal to the National Human Rights Commission (Phone number: 1331)
  • If you want to find ways to protest the crackdown, contact MTU.

About Us

MFA is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.

It is guided by a vision of an alternative world system based on respect for human rights and dignity, social justice, and gender equity, particularly for migrant workers.

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Phone: +63-2-8277-9484
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