The goal of the study is to inquire into the problem of the stateless Koreans in the CIS, especially in Ukraine and the Rostov Oblast in the southern Russian region. According to a recent report, the number of the stateless Koreans is 50,000 persons, ...
The goal of the study is to inquire into the problem of the stateless Koreans in the CIS, especially in Ukraine and the Rostov Oblast in the southern Russian region. According to a recent report, the number of the stateless Koreans is 50,000 persons, about 10 percent of the Soviet Koreans living in the CIS. These stateless Koreans have been subject to harsh discrimination in education of their children, their employment, and benefits of medical care.
Statelessness of the Soviet Koreans results from various factors, but the phenomenon is mainly due to fact that the Soviet Koreans, who struggled with ethnic and linguistic difficulties in Central Asia following the breakdown of the USSR in December, 1991, migrated to Ukraine or to the southern Russian region.
Research method of the study consists not only of a literature review of existing documents, related articles or relevant studies, but of field survey, interviews with related people and participant observation.
Among research sites of the study are the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine and the Rostov oblast, where the stateless Koreans are concentrated. The regions mentioned above are advantageous for a comparative study in that they belong to different countries, but are located not far away from each other.
This research, first of all, shows that the stateless Soviet Koreans are involved not only in de jure stateless, but in de facto stateless. It means that the Soviet Koreans became stateless because they could not claim or declare their nationality due to their fear for prosecution or for banishment from their current resident nation, in addition to the fact they are legally stateless.
Second, this research suggests that the Korean government needs to diversify its policies for the stateless Soviet Koreans. That is, the Korean government needs to make enormous efforts to cooperate with such international organization as UNHCR as in the case of the stateless Crimean Tatars. UNHCR played a crucial role in seeking the cooperation of the Uzbek government in granting necessary permission to the stateless Crimean Tatars from Uzbekistan, the former resident nation of the Crimean Tatars.
Finally, this study shows that the solution of statelessness of the Soviet Koreans requires governmental economic efforts in addition to legal ones, since the stateless Koreans in Ukraine, for example, need to pay about $60 for the labor permission, which is a preliminary step for the Soviet Koreans to obtain the right to stay in Ukraine, before acquisition of Ukrainian nationality. The fee for the labor permission is not a small amount for the stateless Koreans, who could barely support their families or themselves.
Therefore, this study shows that the Korean government should formulate various policies for self-reliance of the stateless Soviet Koreans as an important step to solve the problematic statelessness of its former Soviet brethren.