ROK Government to establish comprehensive
measures to guarantee social stability of North Korean defectors
September 2, 2019
□ The Ministry of Unification and relevant government agencies held
a ‘Consultative Council on Residents Escaping from North Korea’ on
Sept. 2. Participants of the Consultative Council lamented over the
unfortunate death of the North Korean defector mother and son, and
established comprehensive measures to guarantee the social stability
of North Korean defectors.
□ The measures are focused on minimizing blind spots in welfare for
North Korean defectors by systematically connecting support systems of
relevant agencies and providing a system to search and support
defector households under critical situations.
o The ROKG will carry out a complete survey of vulnerable defector
households to actively search for defectors going through hardship due
to economic difficulties, illnesses, and/or isolation.
o The ROKG will actively search for defectors possibly
experiencing hardship and connect necessary services such as welfare,
education and employment by creating cooperative grounds between the
‘Comprehensive Support Management System for North Korean Defectors’
and the ‘Social Security Information System.’ The Government will
subsequently provide follow-up measures.
- The Ministry of Health and Welfare will expand the term and
recipients of the basic living security special support for defectors
— households with a defector family member will be eligible, and the
duration of support will be expanded to five years regardless of one’s
o The ROKG will strengthen the role of local governments and the
Korea Hana Foundation (North Korea Refugees Foundation) in supporting
- The Health and Welfare Ministry and local governments will
establish a legal basis to allow the head of regional adaptation
centers (Hana Centers) to participate in ‘Regional Social Security
Consultative Bodies,’ while the local governments share information
regarding at-risk defector households through the ‘Regional
Consultative Council for Supporting Residents Escaping from North Korea.’
- The Hana Foundation will increase budget to support vulnerable
defectors, carry out visiting counseling services, and enhance
consultations through the ‘North Korean Defector Call Center.’
□ The ROKG will further strengthen life-friendly settlement support
that has been in progress for North Korean defectors.
o The ROKG will formulate detailed criteria and procedures to
extend the protection period for at-risk North Korean defector
households under the ‘North Korean Refugees Protection and Settlement
Support Act’(currently 5 years).
o The Hana Foundation will support and nurture defector groups
working for life stability of North Korean defectors to prevent their
isolation from the society, and help possible at-risk people to be
discovered at an early stage through the North Korean defectors' community.
o The Ministry of Health and Welfare will supplement support for
North Korean defectors in the frontline welfare service delivery
system manual, and the Ministry of Unification will improve education
of defectors at Hanawon and Hana Center, and publish booklets with
necessary welfare support guidelines.
□ The ROKG will thoroughly carry out the measures to prevent such
unfortunate accidents from recurring and to allow defectors to stably
settle in as members of our society. The Government will exert utmost
efforts in preparing for medium and long term measures in cooperation
with the National Assembly.