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Press Releases

Revision of the ‘North Korean Refugees Protection And Settlement Support Act’ to include utilization of closed public school sites


□ Proposed by Won Hye-young of the Democratic Party of Korea (a member of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee) on September 2, 2016

The proposition of the partial revision of the North Korean Refugees Protection And Settlement Support Act was passed during the general meeting of the National Assembly on February 20, 2018. The Cabinet meeting passed the revision bill on March 6, 2018, which will be proclaimed and entered into force next week.

□ The revised law will allow alternative schools for North Korean defectors to use shared properties owned by local government agencies as their own school facilities in the future.

o The Unification Ministry, Education Ministry, and Korea Hana Foundation have been providing financial assistance for 9 alternative schools for North Korean defectors. However, the properties are leased by private parties, burdening the schools with the lease payments and responsibilities to improve the educational facilities.

※ △ 4 approved alternative schools (Hangyeore Middle and High School, Yeomyung School, Heavenly Dream School, Nehemiah Korea Daum School) △ 5 non-approved alternative schools (Nehemiah Korea Daum School, Banseok School, Wooridul School, The Great Vision School, Haesol School)

o As this proposal for the revision was passed, the 4 approved alternative schools that have been providing education for North Korean defectors can now use the sites of closed public schools to build new facilities after consulting with local government agencies. Non-approved alternative schools may receive the benefits in the future when they are approved according to the revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

□ There is a total of 3,102 young North Korean defectors living in South Korea, of which 82% of them (2,538 students) currently attend general elementary, middle, and high schools, and 18% (564 students) attend alternative schools.

o The Unification Ministry will keep providing assistance for young North Korean defectors to live in a better environment and look forward to reunification.