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‘Approach to Multiculturalism Could Change Korea’s Fate’

‘Approach to Multiculturalism Could Change Korea’s Fate’

Posted June. 19, 2009 04:56,   


Ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Chin Young leads the National Assembly’s multicultural forum. His long-time interest in multicultural issues stems from the demographic characteristics of his electoral district, the Yongsan and Itaewon districts of Seoul.

Chin has chaired the advisory committee of the Korea Multicultural Center since its founding in December last year.

The following is excerpts from a Dong-A Ilbo interview with the lawmaker.

-- Why did you create the multicultural forum in the National Assembly?

Chin: Lawmakers interested in multicultural issues held forums on their own but the sessions have failed to bring tangible results. There have been calls on the National Assembly to readjust laws and systems to ensure integrated handling of multicultural policies.

-- Why should Korea be more interested in multicultural issues?

Chin: How a country takes advantage of multicultural phenomena could change its fate. Accepting multicultural families as our true neighbors can also provide us with an alternative to addressing the low birthrate and rapidly aging society.

-- How far have Korea’s multicultural policies come?

Chin: The government has provided support for multicultural families from various angles, but has only recently begun to implement policies with the notion of Korea as multicultural society. Compared to other advanced countries, Korea is just a toddler when it comes to multicultural issues. We have a long way to go.

-- What is the primary goal of the National Assembly multicultural forum?

Chin: It is to enact a basic law on multiculturalism. We need to provide a legal groundwork for establishing a control tower for multicultural policies and a system for the delivery of support measures.

-- Which ministry should bear the main responsibility for multicultural policies?

Chin: The Justice Ministry, which has overseen the policies, has approached the issue from a regulatory perspective. There is criticism, however, that such an approach is inappropriate at a time when the focus has shifted to supporting and integrating multicultural families. An inter-ministerial turf war is the last thing we need on this matter.