IOM ROK Co-hosts Policy Seminar to Commemorate Korea’s 14th Together Day


Seoul, Republic of Korea – To commemorate the Republic of Korea’s 14th Together Day on May 20, IOM Republic of Korea and Korean think tank Migration Research and Training Center co-hosted a seminar Building a base for Evidence - Migration Policy – Social Integration Linkage. 

The seminar served as a venue to examine Korea’s GCM (Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration) implementation efforts particularly in relation to objective 1 and 17, as the seminar consisted of two main sessions: the importance of public consensus in migration policy and data for evidence-based policy making.

Kim Sang-Hee, the Vice Speaker of the National Assembly in her congratulatory remarks emphasized the importance of public consensus by saying, "Migration policy should work for the benefit of all." She added that "data-based evidence in the migration sector is paramount to minimize side effects while maximizing social benefits."

In the first session of the seminar, the status quo of social consensus for migration policy and challenges were discussed. Moderated by IOM ROK’s Policy and Communications Officer, participants from academia, the media and the Government of Korea unanimously pointed out the importance to earn public consensus in pushing the migration policy forward as the country steps into a de-facto multicultural country with around 5 per cent foreign resident population.   

Professor Kim Seok-ho of Seoul National University introduced the survey result analyzing the changes in attitudes of Koreans to other ethnic groups, and he emphasized the need to decentralize the policy involvement to raise public awareness toward migrants.

Lee Hee-yong, the director of Korea Press Foundation, brought up the problems of recent media reports on migrants and suggested counter measures such as educating reporters or awarding a prize for good reporting.

Im Sun-young from National Human Rights Commission of Korea indicated human right violations and negative perception toward migrants in Korea, to introduce the government’s efforts to improve human right protection system as well as to tackle the spread of misinformation and xenophobia.

Participants from the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly Research Service also echoed the importance of public consensus and the need for wider fora for candid discussions.

The second session examined the status quo of Korean migration data to address the need for detailed data collection and extensive usage for better policymaking. Researchers who have been using administrative statistics in their studies, pointed out the insufficiency of the current system and called for granular data collection and integrated utilization.

Following these calls, government officials from the Statistics Korea and the Ministry of Interior and Safety shared their ongoing efforts in updating government statistical system. In the meantime, Won Mi-jeong, a local council member of Gyeonggi-do province, which has the highest foreign resident population in Korea, shared the local government’s investment in data collection for the betterment of governance. She also stressed that local governments require higher discretion over migration policy.  

“Korea needs migrants as much as migrants want to be in Korea,” said IOM ROK Chief of Mission Steve Hamilton. He reiterated that the public perception of migrants needs to be built on evidence not political rhetoric.

Due to on-going COVID-19 Pandemic situation, the event was pre-recorded and will be streamed online on IOM ROK’s YouTube account from May 17 through 21, 2021.

For more information, please contact Nari Shim at IOM Republic of Korea. Tel: +82-70-4820-2648, Email: [email protected]

  • Seminar Official Poster. Photo: Yehbeen Park/IOM

  • The seminar is being recorded. Photo: Younghwa Shim/IOM

  • IOM ROK CoM Steve Hamilton is delivering a welcome remarks. Photo: Younghwa Shim/IOM