NK defectors’ employment rate drops 3.8 percentage points last year amid pandemic (ministry)

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SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) – The employment rate of North Korean defectors in South Korea fell 3.8 percentage points last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the coronavirus pandemic said on Tuesday. Ministry of Unification.

The ministry released the latest data from a new master plan on settlement assistance for North Korean defectors for 2021-2023 and the implementation plan for this year.

Last year, the employment rate of North Korean defectors was 54.4%, down from 58.2% the previous year, behind that of South Korean-born citizens (60.4% %).

“This is attributed to job losses and a decrease in economic activity due to COVID-19,” the ministry said in the report.

North Korean defectors appear to be hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, a ministry official said, noting that the employment rate of citizens born in South Korea last year fell by just 1 percentage point. percentage.

In its three-year master plan, the Unification Ministry identified 24 tasks to assist defectors, including strengthening psychological support programs and building a new center with police and other ministries to reach vulnerable defectors. at risk of sexual violence, suicide and others. .

The ministry also plans to expand individualized “tailor-made” counseling services for defectors to help them find employment in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor.

The Unification Ministry drafts a master plan every three years to help North Korean defectors integrate into society.

Currently, around 33,500 North Korean defectors live in South Korea.


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