Press Release (March 26, 2010)
A revised law on protection and resettlement support for North Korean defectors promulgated
l On March 26, a revised law on protection and resettlement support for North Korean defectors which had been passed by the National Assembly and sent to the Government on March 2 was made public.
- The revision of the law proposed by GNP lawmakers including Kim Chung-hwan, Song Yeong-sun and Lee Doo-ah had been under deliberation at a legislative subcommittee and finally concluded at the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee.
l The law is to help North Korean defectors successfully resettle in the South and protect their rights. Now there are more than 20,000 North Korean defectors in South Korea. The changes in the law are as followed:
- First, various incentives for North Korean defectors would be given. If a company hires a defector, it would be eligible for tax credits. And defectors would get special treatment when they borrow money or are financially awarded. They might enjoy lower interest rates or higher cap on the amount of prize money. Moreover, the number of defectors would be used as a measure in government agency performance evaluation, and eased requirements would be asked to be met when a defector wants to be a public worker.
- Second, support for North Korean defectors would be enhanced by the amendment. Resettlement centers would be built in many areas so that they could get accustomed to their new residence in the South with the help of professional counselors. When they rent a house with a government subsidy, contract cancellation would be restricted for 2 years. In addition, under the revised law, the government could ask agencies to submit specific information when a defector is decided to be excluded from government protection.
- Third, the establishment of a charity foundation to support North Korean defectors and preliminary schools to educate North teenagers would gain legal ground.
* The words of the revised law are more easily understandable.
l The Government would also modify the ordinances and regulations to make sure the law will have been taken effect without disruption by September 27, six months after promulgation.
Ministry of Unification