Refugees are constantly becoming a big issue around the world. First of all, the dictionary definition of ‘refugees’ is ‘people escaping to foreign countries or other provinces to avoid persecution due to racial, religious or political or ideological differences.’ As these refugees enter the country, South Korea’s interest in the issue of refugees is increasing. The influx of refugees is increasing public anxiety. In particular, let’s take a look at the position of the Jeju people.
The Jeju refugee crisis is a series of controversies that began when about 500 Yemeni refugees entered Jeju Island without a visa reportedly applied for refugee status. Jeju residents are having trouble as a result of the Yemeni refugees entering the island. As Yemeni refugees flock to Jeju, the pros and cons of this issue are heating up. Opponents to accepting refugees are putting forward arguments that there are too many different cultures and crimes, and present terrorism fears. For Korean people, the Islamic culture is too strange, and, as in European cases, they don’t seem to want to fit into our culture. In addition, those who reject the Yemen refugees claim they are fake refugees who came with the goal of getting jobs, and cite that the majority of them are young adult males. On the other hand, those in favor of accepting refugees argue that they are no different from the Korean people during the Korean War and that they should not be forcibly returned to Yemen. Additonally, it’s hard for refugees registered with the Ministry of Justice to commit crimes and they’re different from illegal immigrants who enter the country secretly. The controversy over the refugee issue has spread to the National Assembly: Cheong Wa Dae. The debate over pros and cons is expected to continue until a final stance is announced by the government.
So, what are the ways to solve such refugee crisis? Ailan Kurdi, a three year-old boy, is a prime example of the British refugee crisis. The child died on the way to Europe and was pushed to the coast of Turkey. This completely upset European public opinion, causing British Prime Minister David Cameron to turn around and accept refugees. In the case of Turkey, the number of refugees is so high that there is no special support and only few meals a day, such as a few loaves of bread, are provided to those identified through refugee registration.
The fundamental problem with the current situation is that only a few of the refugees, recognized as refugees and entering the desired country, remain in a dire situation. Those who succeed in entering Britain or Germany can live on the benefits of a country-set refugee aid package. But those excluded from admission to the country are likely to die on ships, trucks, and roads. Although nothing has been said about the right solution yet, the government should look at the position of its citizens and establish a proper policy that does not discriminate against refugees. Essentially, we should concentrate on resolving the Syrian civil war or Islamic state.
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