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High number of Thai migrant worker deaths in South Korea

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: AFP

Hundreds of Thais in South Korea have died in the past 5 years, many from “unknown causes,” according to data reported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The majority of recorded deaths are migrants, who are less likely to report abuse or have access to healthcare.

The report from Reuters prompted the United Nations to look into the cases as well as the safety of Thai migrants in South Korea. A specialist on labour migration at the UN International Labour Organisation, Nilim Baruah, says the reported data is “concerning and requires attention and investigation.”

“Undocumented migrant workers are the least protected and their health and safety are a concern.”

At least 522 Thais have died in South Korea since 2015, according to data obtained by Reuters from the Thai embassy in Seoul through a freedom of information request. 84% of the deaths are undocumented Thai migrants.

Reuters says 40% of the recorded deaths are due to “unknown causes.” The other 60% were reported as health-related incidents, accidents and suicides.

The undocumented migrants in South Korea are often overworked, unable to access healthcare and unlikely to report exploitation due to fears of deportation, according to current and former migrant workers, campaigners and Thai officials. Reporters found that migrants often work in dirty and sometimes dangerous working conditions for little pay.

Click HERE to read the full report from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    jerry

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Shame on both the Korean government to allow this to happen, and the Thai authorities failure to protect their citizens working abroad. You are both disgraceful. Asians need to put human life before MONEY ….greed and crimes against humanity go hand in hand. The weak and poor are abused in horrendous ways. RISE UP AND LET THE WORLD KNOW THE TRUTH.

    • Avatar

      Niko

      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      Skorea has one of the highest suicide rates due to overwork so it doesn´t suprise that it is even worse for others that are not citizens.

      I know that the Philippines has a pretty effective system to protect their workers abroad, i readed about this a few years ago because Indonesia had a similar problem and they wanted to either to be protected the workers or have them repatiated.

      I´m surprised that others including Thailand aparently, didn´t take notice of this situation.

      • Avatar

        Philippe Beeckmans-Cop

        Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 4:33 am

        wake-up my friend
        Have been many times in the Philippines .. always smiling people … till I saw them awaiting for their flight in Manila … destination: Middle-East
        No one was smiling, I had the impression they were going to jail … and most probably …

    • Avatar

      Fong

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 1:31 am

      Shame? LoL, they don’t even treat their own people well. Do you really think they will even bat an eye when mistreating others. Korea, Japan and China are horrendous on their poor and elderly. What you see in movies or TV isn’t their true nature. Asians in particular are one of the cruelest cultures still around.

  2. Avatar

    Niko

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Skorea has one of the highest suicide rates due to overwork so it doesn´t suprise that it is even worse for others that are not citizens.

    I know that the Philippines has a pretty effective system to protect their workers abroad, i readed about this a few years ago because Indonesia had a similar problem and they wanted to either to be protected the workers or have them repatiated.

    I´m surprised that others including Thailand aparently, didn´t take notice of this situation.

  3. Avatar

    brian mc

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    seeing they are picking cabbages or lettuces, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 4:45 am

      ??? Now you’re just planting seeds of mistrust. Prepare to reap what you sow.

      • Avatar

        brian mc

        Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:34 am

        it would certainly be a turnip for the books.

        i wonder who leek’d this information, probably a swede. hay, what do i know about crops?… barley anything, but i hops yas all dont mind. ill just wheat for your responses

  4. Avatar

    Ameila Leary

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Shame on the Korean government for allowing it to happen, and also on the Thai authorities. Also S.korea is acting same like his friend China, who did atrocities on the outsiders in their country. But this is not shocking as Thai doesn’t care about the people inside the country, so why the people outside the country are also upset. The Thai administration just behaves as its master gives the orders, and the Thai King has little interest in the citizens of Thai Territory, he only wants to enjoy the powers.

  5. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Most of us here are sooooo lucky not to put up with this shit……..Poor bastards just trying to create a half decent life for themselves and familiy……RIP

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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