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Long-term residents of departure waiting areas need to be provided with a separate facility outside the airport to ensure a more humane life and improved treatment
Date : 2023.11.28 14:33:53 Hits : 294

Long-term residents of departure waiting areas need to be provided with a separate facility outside the airport to ensure a more humane life and improved treatment


- The NHRCK recommended to the Minister of Justice that the treatment of foreigners subject to repatriation be improved, and to the National Assembly Chairperson that the relevant legislation be reviewed and passed promptly -



  □ The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Chairperson Song Doo-hwan, hereinafter “the NHRCK”) delivered the following recommendations to the Minister of Justice and the Commissioner of the ○○ Airport Immigration Office and expressed opinions to the Chairman of the National Assembly on 20 October, 2023.

 

    ○ To the Minister of Justice: The NHRCK recommends the Minister to consider the installation of a separate waiting facility outside the airport to safeguard the rights of foreigners subject to inevitable repatriation who are required to stay for an extended period in the departure waiting room due to various reasons, such as legal proceedings against a non-referendum decision in the refugee status determination procedure. Additionally, establish operational rules and regulations that ensure humane treatment, encompassing provisions for sleeping and resting spaces, meals, opportunities for exercise, and access to medical support;

    ○ To the Director of the ○○ Airport Immigration Office: The NHRCK recommended that the departure waiting area be expanded prior to the establishment of a dedicated facility. In addition, the NHRCK recommended that the treatment of aliens be improved, including the provision of meals and the improvement of the overall living environment;

     ○To the Chairperson of the National Assembly: the NHRCK expressed the opinion that it is necessary to deliberate and pass the Bill for Partial Amendment of the Immigration Act (Bill No. 2118939), which establishes grounds for establishing separate facilities outside airports and stipulates operating standards, as a priority.

 

  □ The petitioner is a lawyer who represents victims, individuals who are currently in the process of challenging a non-referendum decision in the refugee status determination process. These individuals, who are applicants for refugee status, have been detained in the departure area of the airport for more than three months. The petition has been filed with the Commission on the grounds that the human rights of these victims have been violated by the respondent's failure to provide a special facility for foreigners who are unavoidably remaining in the departure waiting area, a space normally intended for short-term stays of persons denied entry, and who are now sharing this space with other victims.

 

  □ In response, the respondent asserted that the departure waiting area serves as a space to provide basic amenities, including meals and sleeping areas, prior to the aliens' repatriation. The respondent stated that because it is difficult to provide all of the necessities to aliens with extended stays, the respondent advises individuals to use the amenities within the airport passenger terminal, and that this guidance is provided in accordance with procedures for legal recourse, including litigation.

 

  □ The Committee on Human Rights Violation led by Standing Commissioner Lee Chung-sang, concluded that the departure waiting area has the potential to violate human dignity and values as outlined in Article 10 of the Constitution. This assessment is particularly concerning in the context of prolonged stays, with regards to aspects such as meals, sleeping space, exercise, and medical services.


     Therefore, a determination has been made that there is a need for improvement to ensure the human dignity of foreigners subject to repatriation. This involves providing a dedicated facility and establishing operational rules and regulations for foreigners waiting for an extended period. The focus is on enhancing conditions not only for those waiting for a long time but also addressing issues that may affect aliens with shorter waiting periods. The aim is to improve the overall environment and treatment within the departure waiting area.

 

  □ To achieve this, the NHRCK recommended that the Minister of Justice establishes rules and regulations ensuring a humane life for aliens subject to repatriation, particularly those residing in the departure waiting room for an extended duration. Simultaneously, the NHRCK suggests expanding the departure waiting room space and enhancing treatment, directing these recommendations to the Director of the ○○ Airport Immigration Office. Furthermore, the NHRCK expresses its opinion, urging prompt deliberation and voting on the proposed bill with objectives aligning with the details recommended. This opinion is conveyed to both the Chairperson of the National Assembly and the Minister of Justice.

 


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