The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) was established in 1953. It is the only Presbyterian Church in Korea which ordains women as elders and ministers. Actively participating in social and political programs, the church proclaims and upholds the causes of social justice, human rights, and freedom. PROK and Global Ministries formally became partners in 1983, and Global Ministries supports many of its programs.
As of June 2006, roughly 360,000 migrant workers were projected to be working in South Korea, accounting for 1.5 percent of South Korea's entire workforce. Migrant workers come from countries including Mongolia, Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Peru. In 2003, a legal act meant to protect the human rights of the migrant workforce was put into place. However, many area migrant workers still face serious human rights violations and have very few options for protection and the obtainment of reparations for these abuses. Some such issues include the withholding of wages, physical and sexual harassment, and the denial of the right to organize in unions.
The Seongnam Migrant Worker's House was established to help South Korean migrant workers deal with these problems, as well as industrial accidents, violence, and fraud. It offers them various kinds of services including labor and medical counseling, shelter, educational activities, and Korean language classes. Organization for international marriage and family issues, computer education, and faith and worship counseling are also available.
The Seongnam Migrant Worker's House is in need of funding to support the important work it does to provide social rights and opportunities for South Korea's migrant workers.
- Gifts of $100.00 will provide counseling on international marriage and family issues affecting migrants working in South Korea.
- Gifts of $500.00 will provide legal fees to help one migrant at Sungnam Migrant Worker's House to seek a legal remedy to the withholding of their wages.
- Gifts of $1,500.00 will provide medical and labor counseling to migrants for a one month period.
- Gifts of $4,000.00 will provide Computer Training for one class of migrants to help the migrants develop more and better-paying career options.
Update: August 2018
The Seongnam Migrant Center is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea (PROK) which serves as a resource office and shelter for documented and undocumented migrants as well as domestic abuse survivors.
Today, the Seongnam Migrant Center offers day services and it provides a live-in shelter. The office for day services is open six days a week and provides visits with social workers, counseling resources, language training, job help, and more. The shelter provides space for individuals or families to stay for up to one year, except in emergency situations where a longer stay would be needed.
Unique to the center, the staff of social workers is able to speak a number of languages. This means that each migrant individual or family is able to work with a social worker who speaks their language. The center also has the ability to work directly with government officials, including embassies, to advocate for and serve the migrant population.
As an example of the individuals supported by the Seongnam Migrant Center, they shared a recent story. In the Korean immigration system, all individuals are required to work within the industry designated on his/her immigration paperwork. One man received a designation as a factory worker on his immigration documents. However, he sustained a hand injury that has made him unable to work in factories. The Seongnam Migrant Center has provided him with housing at their shelter, as staff are advocating for him and providing a network of support for him during this difficult time.