Hàn Quốc cần lao động nước ngoài nhưng không bảo vệ được họ

mặc dù dân số giảm khiến lao động nhập cư trở nên quan trọng, nhưng họ thường xuyên phải đối mặt với người sử dụng lao động bóc lột, điều kiện vô nhân đạo và hình thức lạm dụng

This shift is part of the fallout from a demographic crisis (khủng hoảng nhân khẩu học) that has left South Korea with a shrinking and aging population. Data released this week showed that last year the country broke its own record — again — for the world’s lowest total fertility rate (tổng tỷ suất sinh).

President Yoon Suk Yeol’s government has responded by more than doubling the quota (tăng gấp đôi hạn ngạch) for low-skilled workers (công nhân trình độ thấp) from less-developed nations including Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, the Philippines and Bangladesh. Hundreds of thousands of them now toil in South Korea, typically in small factories, or on remote farms or fishing boats — jobs that locals consider too dirty, dangerous or low-paying. With little say in choosing or changing employers, many foreign workers endure predatory bosses, inhumane housing, discrimination (phân biệt đối xử) and other abuses.

The work can be deadly — foreign workers were nearly three times more likely to die in work-related accidents compared with the national average, according to a recent study. Such findings have alarmed rights groups and foreign governments; in January the Philippines prohibited its citizens from taking seasonal jobs in South Korea.

But South Korea remains an attractive destination (điểm đến hấp dẫn), with more than 300,000 low-skilled workers here on temporary work visas. (Those figures do not include the tens of thousands of ethnic Korean migrants from China and former Soviet republics, who typically face less discrimination.) About 430,000 additional people have overstayed their visas and are working illegally, according to government data.

The government introduced the Employment Permit System, or E.P.S., in 2004, eliminating middlemen and becoming the sole job broker for low-skilled migrant workers. It recruits workers on three-year visas from 16 nations, and in 2015 also started offering seasonal employment to foreigners.

In December 2022, Ray Sree Pallab Kumar, 32, lost most of the vision (mất hầu hết tầm nhìn) in his right eye after a metal piece thrown (ném) by his manager bounced off a steel-cutting machine and hit him. But his employers, in southern Seoul, sought to blame him for the accident, according to a Korean-language statement they tried to make him sign even though he didn’t understand it.

source: nytimes,

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