LEGAL & MENTAL/GENERAL HEALTH RELIEF CLINICS FOR MIGRANT AND RETURNEES
WHO WE ARE
ASSIST provides legal and mental/general health relief clinics for migrant and returnee populations in South Korea, Bangladesh, Japan, China, Thailand, Nepal, and the Philippines. We aim to create a joint legal and psychological support system for migrants experiencing domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, forced/voluntary repatriation, and industrial accidents.
According to a survey conducted by the National Human Rights Commission in South Korea, around 81.1% of migrant women experienced physical and verbal abuse, while 27.9% of migrant women were sexually assaulted (2017). Additionally, 305 migrant workers lost their lives from 2016 to 2018, and 18.4 migrant workers face severe injuries or deaths daily (2019).
With legal, mental health, and general health branches, ASSIST connects migrants to necessary medical and legal support at no cost. We provide online support groups by training migrants to become EAP-certified counselors. Through partnerships with migrant centers, hospitals, and lawyers, ASSIST builds a strong community and platform for accessibility.
Worachai loved Thailand, his home country, but he struggled to provide for his family with the job he had there. He made the difficult decision to leave his home and loved ones to take a higher-paying job at an auto parts factory in Korea.
After months of preparation, he finally arrived in Korea in the summer of 2018, excited to start a new chapter in his life. He quickly realized, however, that something was off. Other workers at the factory were missing fingers or hands, and he received no instructions or guidelines regarding safety — to him, the factory only seemed interested in producing as many auto parts as possible.
On his fifth day at work, he lost four fingers to a stamping machine, leaving only his thumb. He spent two months recovering in the hospital, during which no money was being sent back to his family. As soon as he was discharged, he went back to work, but he was now being paid only half of what he used to receive. The money he received from the Korean government was nowhere enough to compensate for the loss.
The accident has affected much more than his ability to work. With only one hand, even the basic mundane tasks are difficult; he can’t lift heavy things, and he can’t play many sports. He worries that he may not even be able to pick up his future children when he goes back home.