In what may turn out to be the most sensible refugee policy of all time, the South Korean government has announced that out of the many applications it has received from people claiming refugee status, since 2014, it has actually only granted three people this right.
Contrary to what the media would have you believe, “refugee status” is not an international standard as in fact defined by the nation itself. In nations that are members of the European Union for example, a refugee can be someone who is not only escaping war, but someone who is escaping poverty, hence the literally millions of economic migrants entering Europe under the refugee placement scheme.
But South Korea has a different definition. It actually doesn’t automatically class as refugees people leaving their nation for reasons of civil war. So for a Syrian “Refugee” to receive that status, it requires something more than just turning up (usually without paperwork) and demanding asylum.
According to the spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, there have been grave concerns over the safety of South Korean females because of the risk of Syrian Muslims entering the country. They believe that an increase in Syrian males would lead to an increase in sexual assault as they have witnessed in Europe. “Judging by what we see in Europe, we would prefer to protect our women, rather than potentially place them at risk.”
Seems sensible enough, doesn’t it?
The South Korean government has granted refugee status to only three Syrians since 2014, according to information confirmed by The Korea Observer Thursday.
The Ministry of Justice told the paper that they reject Syrians seeking refugee status who apply based solely on the war in Syria.
“Most of the Syrians have sought asylum on the grounds of civil war,” the ministry said.
“However, civil war is not sufficient grounds for granting refugee status.”
Kim claims that the government is strategically denying visas to asylum seekers to minimize the number of applications received.
Concerns have also been raised of the risk of sexual assaults which would occure should any migrants be allowed in.“Judging by what we see in Europe, we would prefer to protect our women, rather than potentially place them at risk.” In addition, the nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population