Urgent Pastoral Care for the Children of Nonregistered Foreign Workers in Korea
The CBCK Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Foreign Residents Living in Korea (President: Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Bishop of Daejeon) held a meeting of the diocesan priests for the pastoral care of migrants and foreign residents living in Korea at the office of the Diocese of Daejeon on February 16, 2012.
Rev. Mark Kim Pyeong-ahn of the Labor Pastoral Commission of the Archdiocese of Seoul mentioned that the majority of the children of nonregistered foreign laborers in Korea have not been offered proper benefits of education and medical care. Even though their parents have legal problems, the children have rights to be educated. He also pointed out several problems of these children: not to be legally protected, to be confused in their identities, to fall behind in learning and language and to have financial difficulties. In this regard, he added that there should be more care and support for them.
Rev. Andrea Heo Yoon-jin, the Secretary of the Committee, said that the Church should take care of the marginalized who the government do not support. On a humanitarian level, the Church needs to find ways to support the children of the nonregistered migrant workers.
Bishop You said, "Immigrants in Korea have been going through many difficulties, but the government is paying more attention to issues near at hand. The Church takes a role to find out the causes of the problem and to suggest alternatives."