The government said additional education rights, healthcare, among other welfare programs will be assured for undocumented children of foreign nationals, who, in most cases, are staying in South Korea as illegal aliens.
The ministries of justice, health and welfare, education, family and gender equality, and interior and safety had planned a series of efforts to have undocumented children protected and supported, as announced by the administration, The Korea Times reported.
This came amid the demands for the improvement of undocumented children’s situations, as they do not receive the social services and basic rights they deserve.
According to the justice ministry, undocumented children in the country are estimated at 3, 400. The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK), meanwhile, said there are around 20,000 such children here.
The justice ministry addressed the calls through an announcement of a policy in April to provide legal status to undocumented children, as well as permission for temporary residency. This policy, however, contains some conditions that are hard for the children as well as their parents to satisfy, including:
· Children must have been born in Korea, have at least 15-year stay in the country
· Children must have graduated from elementary school before Feb. 28, 2021
· Parents are required to shell out money as fine for their illegal stay in South Korea
· They must also leave the country when the child becomes an adult.
The justice ministry was requested by the NHRCK to have the policy improved, citing that from around 20, 000 undocumented children, only around 500 will benefit from it.
The new measures would make some changes including the law on secondary schools which will be revised to assure undocumented children with high school education. They will also be provided by the education authorities with supplementary assistance like Korean language training and scholarships.
In the health aspect, undocumented children will be given by more government agencies with temporary registration numbers they can use for health checkups as well as welfare facilities access and state-administered test participation.