DILI, 07 july 2023 (TATOLI)– The President of the Korean Labor Association (KLA), Lee Jae Kwon, said five illegal Timorese workers in South Korea would be deported back to Timor-Leste, adding that there would be “zero tolerance” for illegal workers currently working in South Korea.
Lee Jae Kwon said South Korean laws are very strict and do not allow illegal workers in South Korea, especially those who are running out of the work system.
“Five Timorese workers have been arrested and are now under the control of the South Korean authorities. They are not allowed to move freely and wait for the completion of the judicial process to be sent back to Timor-Leste,” Lee Jae Kwon told TATOLI at a farewell ceremony for 35 Timorese workers at Timor Lodge, Comoro, this friday.
South Korea also fully respects human rights. Therefore, the authorities do not consider it a serious crime.
“We understand that even Timorese workers work illegally, but they make a very big contribution to the economic development in South Korea. However, Korean law does not allow illegal workers from Timor-Leste or from other countries to access it,” he said.
Illegal migrant workers in South Korea are mostly from three countries: Indonesia, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.
According to Mr. Lee, the KLA recorded more than 1,000 illegal workers from Timor-Leste in all parts of South Korea.
In other part, Director of Exterior Employers Timor-Leste, Filomeno Soares, said that Timor-Leste and South Korea had a mutual agreement before sending Timor-Leste workers to work in South Korea.
“We advise all Timorese workers to work according to South Korean procedures and regulations. You are not allowed to escape from the working system,’’ the director said.
He added that those who leave the system and are considered illegal workers will receive consequences when the authorities arrest them and Deport them to Timor-Leste.
“Illegal workers will not get a chance to apply for other jobs in South Korea,” he said.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor : Nelia B.