Even though I think we should accept them as refugees, I can’t ignore the negative sides to it. A total of 519 people have registered as refugees on Jeju Island. More than 300 people arrived and asked for medical help, food, and other supplies needed for living. Several young adults are looking for jobs. They are potential threats to the residents of Jeju Island. Their religion encourages violence against women and Islamic extremists have shown animosity even towards other Muslims. They can threaten the peace and the very lives of the innocent residents of Jeju Island. According to their history, they not only harm others, they influence others to commit crimes.
There has recently been much controversy in Korea surrounding whether we should accept refugees from Yemen. Although there are various opinions, I personally believe that Korea, one of the developed countries, should accept refugees. If we accept these people, we will only be taking in 500 refugees, which is not a lot of people, and the thought of those people increasing the crime rate is just paranoia by xenophobes. Basically, the countries in Europe take in more refugees than they can, which causes problems such as unemployment, an increase in crime rates, and so on. The number of Muslims in Korea is less than 200,000, and they haven’t caused many problems. This indicates that they are assimilating into Korea well. Also, there are not a lot of Muslims. The police force and security services in Korea are very advanced, and they will be able to manage refugee problems just as they have managed problems caused by Koreans. According to statistics from the Korean Institute of Criminology, 97 to 98 percent of crimes are committed by Koreans, and serious crimes such as sex crimes and violent crimes are also mostly perpetrated by Koreans. As other advanced countries have done, Korea should accept refugees.
Yemen is said to be the most hellish country on earth because of years of civil wars. Yet there is much controversy surrounding the pros and cons of accepting the refugees who have left the country to escape the worsening war. I think that by accepting them, we can help put an end to their suffering and help to prevent human rights violations. But, what are the consequences of accepting the refugees? There are several major points to consider: the inevitable damage that may occur when the refugees are accommodated, the psychological anxiety of nearby residents, and the state budget for the refugees. It is very likely that existing residents who live near the refugees will feel uncomfortable. Because the refugees' identities are unknown and because they are foreigners, existing residents can feel a sense of heterogeneity. Also, the state should establish a budget for their settlement. They are refugees. For their education and survival, the state is forced to pay.
In addition, crime is a major issue requiring consideration. Of course, refugees should not be branded as potential criminals. However, if a serious crime is committed or an unintended accidental crime occurs, the social atmosphere and public opinion will have a negative impact on both the refugees and the residents. There may also be IS terrorists or Yemeni criminals among the refugees. Security can become very weak once out of control. As humanitarian favors can disrupt the existing peace, this is a time when we must forbear doing favors.
With the development of technology, people in developed countries are living a more affluent life. But is state-of-the-art technology accessible to all? I agree with accepting a limited number of refugees, thinking that the refugee issue is related to such technology and economic inequalities. I would like to discuss this issue by considering two perspectives: international and domestic.
From an international perspective, refugee problems are the outcome of countries' actions in the past. To understand this problem, we must understand the root causes of refugee problem. For example, the imperialist invasion of Africa saw new borders established and the inherent nature of tribes in Africa being ignored. Eventually, this hasty and selfish border-setting process led to conflicts and poverty in Africa, problems still affecting modern society. In addition, colonial rulers pushed the development of their own technology. I think this demonstrates that the existing developed countries have to take responsibility for their past actions.
When we look at this issue from a domestic point of view, the refugee issue needs to be resolved based on humanitarian grounds. Following the Korean War, the postwar Republic of Korea's growth was promoted with the humanitarian support of numerous countries. In that sense, humanitarian aid is the basic concept of world peace, and helping people displaced by civil wars is a basic obligation.
Of course, considering the current situation in Korea, such as employment concerns, it is difficult to accept refugees unconditionally. Therefore, we need to devise national measures to accommodate refugees in a limited manner, not simply reject all of them without reason.
충대포스트 The Chungdae Post
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