480 Andrew Wolman
After years of intense discussion and consultations between lawmakers, the
government, local civil society organizations and the local office of the United
Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (“UNHCR”), the National Assembly of
the Republic of Korea
passed the Law on the Status and Treatment of Refugees
Although the Refugee Act has been generally praised by observers, there has
been little critical analysis of its provisions or consideration of whether it will
truly be successful in bringing Korea into compliance with its obligations under
and assessing whether the law will lead to the effective fulfillment of Korea’s
refugee policy in Korea in Part two, Part three will provide an overview of the new
an evaluation of the Refugee Act’s compliance with international norms in four key
2. A Brief History of Korean Refugee Policy
1 The Republic of Korea will be referred to as ‘Korea’ for the sake of brevity.
2 Law No. 11298 (proclaimed Feb. 10, 2012, enforced July 1, 2013).
3 Chul Hyo Kim, A Step Forward to Refugee Protection? South Korea’s New Refugee Act, 2 OxfOrd MOnitOr Of
fOrced MigratiOn 8 (2012).