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South Korea stops receiving Vietnamese workers

South Korea stops receiving Vietnamese workers

Monday, October 08, 2012, 09:34 GMT+7

South Korea has stopped receiving workers from Vietnam since the number of runaway Vietnamese workers who overstay their visas to work illegally in the country has increased steadily and there are no sign of improvement. The statement was released in a document sent by the South Korean Minister of Employment and Labor to the Vietnamese Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs. This means no more Vietnamese workers will be sent to South Korea this year, according to Vietnam's Overseas Labor Management Department. In the document South Korea explained that it is temporarily halting the bilateral agreement on “sending Vietnamese workers to South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS) program,” since the percentage of Vietnamese workers in the country who are illegal is currently 57 percent.

Under the agreement, which was first signed between the two countries in 2004, both parties will renew the program every two years, but after the latest renewal expired on August 28, South Korea refused to continue the program.

South Korea also attached to the document a list of illegal Vietnamese workers. Accordingly, 22,708 Vietnamese laborers are working illegally in the country, of whom 11,347 arrived under the EPS program. South Korea has previously given warnings about a potential halt to the agreement after statistics showed that by December 2011, 48 percent of Vietnamese workers in South Korea stayed on in the country after their contracts expired, the highest proportion among the 15 countries that sent workers to South Korea.

The figure later increased to 54 percent in the first quarter of 2012 before reaching 57 percent at present. This serious situation has prompted South Korea to decide to stop receiving workers from Vietnam.

This means that about 12,000 workers that have passed Korean language tests and are waiting to be selected by South Korean employers have lost their opportunity to work there, said the Overseas Labor Management Department. The majority of Vietnamese workers in South Korea work in production and manufacturing (over 78 percent), followed by more than 9 percent who work in construction and another 10.5 percent in agriculture. The rest work in fisheries (1.7 per cent) and the service sector (0.2 per cent). Vietnamese workers in South Korea are reported to send back over US$600 million in remittances to their families each year.

Tuoi Tre





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