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61% of Koreans view foreigners not members of Korea


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

According to the Overseas Koreans Foundation’s survey of 820 adults nationwide, 61.1 percent of respondents have difficulties in accepting migrant workers as members of society, indicating the country still has a long way to go until becoming a truly multiracial society.


In the foundation’s 2013 survey, only 57.5 percent said they did not accept them as members of Korean society. Last year, 56,000 new migrant workers came to Korea on a working permit program, mostly from Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines. Since 1995, the government has been inviting migrant workers to fill in gaps in the labor market.


The foundation didn’t ask for reasons behind the respondents’ viewpoint, but concluded that a recent economic downturn was to blame. GRI Research, which was commissioned to conduct the survey, said "this won’t help Korea to become a more diverse and open society." The result reflected traditional Korean society that believes in homogeneity.


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