January 21, 2021

Defector unemployment rates doubled in 2020. Now, a new bill is trying to help.

North Korean defector-politician Ji Seong-ho wants to refine a law rewarding firms for hiring more than five defectors

North Korean defectors living in South Korea are navigating record high levels of unemployment right now, according to a recent survey, and a prominent defector-politician is now proposing a bill to boost their job-seeking prospects.

On Tuesday, National Assembly member Ji Seong-ho proposed a bill that would layer on extra perks for businesses that employ more than five defectors. The move comes just days after the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) reported that unemployment rates among defectors surveyed more than doubled to 7.7% in 2020, which is well above South Korea’s current national unemployment rate of 3.6%.