Refugee Status

Indicator Description

  • A. Definition

    Status of refugee applicants and recognized refugees in South Korea

  • B. How to measure

    Refugee: an alien who is unable or unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of his/her country of nationality owing to the well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, or membership to a particular social group or political opinion
    Refugee Applicant: A person who is a foreigner in the Republic of Korea pursuant to Article 76(2) of the Immigration Control Act and who makes a request to the Minister of Justice to be recognized as a refugee
    A person who is recognized as a refugee (hereinafter referred to as a ‘recognized refugee’): an alien who is recognized as a refugee pursuant to Article 76(2) of the Immigration Control Act

  • C. Features and Sources

    Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Periodicity
    Right to Freedom Fundamental Freedom Freedom of movement Objective/Result Ministry of Justice Korea Immigration Service Statistics 1960 1 year
  • D. Interpretation

    national authorities, refugees may feel the threat of life unless neighboring countries or advanced countries help them in humanitarian terms. In particular, since Korea itself has experienced a history of refugees through colonialism and the Korean War, we cannot ignore the demands of the international community. Although Korea has consistently accepted refugees in the past, since the enactment of the Refugee Act in 2013 as the international status as a human rights country increased, the number of refugee applicants reached 1,574 in 2013, and rose to 5,711 in 2015. According to the status of refugee applicants by nationality, there are many applicants in the order of Pakistan, Egypt, China, Syria and Nigeria. In addition, the number of applicants from Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Egypt is rapidly increasing due to the continuing civil war in Middle Eastern countries. Moreover, the status of recognition of refugees shows that the number people who were recognized as a refugee has increased steadily. In 2015, 105 people were recognized as refugees, and interestingly, 22 Myanmar nationals entered Korea as refugees who desire to resettle for the first time since the implementation of the Refugee Law in December. In terms of refugees’ nationality, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are listed in order.

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