Because many migrants here are not familiar with Korean laws, they often struggle to pursue legal action even when they experience domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, forced repatriation, or industrial accidents. Language barriers and a lack of financial support for such services make the process even more difficult.
Given their vulnerability to such crimes, however, migrants are in dire need of legal services, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. In a 2020 survey of ASEAN migrant workers, 32% of the currently employed workers reported a wide range of employment challenges and abuses related to COVID-19, including cases of forced labor, contract termination, passport confiscation, threats, harassment, and violence. Domestic violence has also been on the rise globally due to stay-at-home orders.
ASSIST digitally delivers legal services and consultations to migrant populations in various legal proceedings. Our legal branch operates primarily through pro bono lawyers and law firms in South Korea. Our current legal partners are Good Lawyers Law Firm, Duksu Law Offices, and Saegil Patient & Law Firm. They include lawyers that have worked with us previously and are well-established in the field of industrial accident law, sexual exploitation law, and immigration law.
According to UN Women, less than 40% of women who experience violence report these crimes or seek help of any kind. ASSIST offers legal services to migrants in the hope of encouraging more to take legal action against the people who cause them harm.
Identify Population with Needs
Migrants request for legal assistance from our partners using our online form. We also reach out to migrants and returnees we know to be in need of legal services.
Connect to Lawyers
Once we review their requests, we put them in touch with a lawyer at one of our partner law firms. They work pro bono, so migrants do not have to pay any fees.
Lawyers at our partner law firms provide legal consultations and representation. Since they are offering these services digitally, they can also help returnees currently living outside Korea.
A Brief Overview
of migrant workers in Korea said they simply "tolerated" unfair treatment instead of standing up for themselves
of migrant women in rural areas of Korea said they have been sexually harassed or assaulted by their coworkers/managers
in overdue wages for migrant workers in Korea last year
of returnees from ASEAN countries left their jobs because their contracts were prematurely terminated in 2020