Actor Jung Woo Sung spoke up for the Yemeni refugees in Korea.
On June 20, Jung Woo Sung posted a picture of a refugee camp on Instagram and urged people to show support for refugees. The actor is an honorary ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency.
He wrote, “This is the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, which I visited late last year. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees continue to live in this largest refugee camp in the world today with little hopes of early return.”
He continued, “Today is World Refugee Day. Globally, some 68.5 million people are displaced, with 16.2 million people being forced to flee in year 2017 alone. Please stand with refugees today in understanding and solidarity.” Jung Woo Sung also shared the official statement from the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) Representation in the Republic of Korea.
Following is the full statement:
“UNHCR has been following closely the situation of recent arrivals of Yemeni asylum-seekers on Jeju Island. Arrival of such a large group of people in a short period of time is an unprecedented situation for Jeju Island and for Korea, and we commend the Korean authorities and the people of Jeju for the efforts they have made to assist the Yemenis, who are fleeing from one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
“Korea is one of the few countries in the Asian region who has signed the 1951 Refugee Convention and the only country which has a separate and dedicated law on refugees, under which any person seeking asylum in Korea will have their case carefully considered.
“UNHCR remains at the disposal of the Korean government to provide technical advice and support on the processing of this and other refugee groups in Korea. It is UNHCR’s firm position that no Yemeni should be forcibly returned to his or her country at this time, due to the extreme nature of the humanitarian emergency in that country, which has resulted in violence, breakdown of civil order, widespread displacement and the looming threat of famine.”
이곳은 제가 지난해 말 방문했던 방글라데시 쿠투팔롱 난민촌입니다. 세계 최대 규모의 난민촌인 이곳에는 여전히 수십 만 명의 로힝야 난민들이 기약없는 귀환을 기다리며 살아가고 있습니다. 오늘은 세계 난민의 날입니다. 전 세계에서 6850만명의 사람들이 집을 잃었다고 합니다. 이 중 1620만 명은 2017년 한 해동안 집을 잃었습니다. 오늘 #난민과함께 해주세요. 이들에 대한 이해와 연대로 이들에게 희망이 되어주세요. This is the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, which I visited late last year. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees continue to live in this largest refugee camp in the world today with little hopes of early return. Today is World Refugee Day. Globally, some 68.5 million people are displaced, with 16.2 million people being forced to flee in year 2017 alone. Please stand #WithRefugees today in understanding and solidarity.
Since the breakout of civil war in Yemen in 2015, an approximate number of over 280,000 refugees have fled the country. Referred to as the year’s “worst humanitarian crisis” by the UN, the war resulted in some refugees fleeing first to Malaysia then moving onto Jeju Island when their stay period expired. While Yemeni nationals had been eligible to stay on Jeju Island for up to 30 days without a visa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prohibited a visa-free entry from Yemen on June 1.
Approximately 500 Yemeni refugees are now on Jeju Island. The government has announced their plans to offer those who have applied for refugee status temporary jobs and free medical care, but a fierce debate about the acceptance of refugees is yet ongoing. Islamophobia doubled with fear of decreased job opportunities in the country have led more than 220,000 people to sign for a Blue House citizens’ petition calling for the deportation of the refugees.