Enact legislation for birth registration of undocumented children residing in South Korea

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The number of undocumented children residing in South Korea has been constantly increasing. As of 2018, it is estimated at about 20,000.

The current law of South Korea, however, has not properly responded to this changing situation. It provides no possibility for the undocumented children to be registered at birth. Without birth registration, the children are effectively deprived of basic rights which they are entitled to by international human rights law, such as the right to education and the right to health. 

A bill for universal birth registration has been proposed several times in the legislature, but failed to pass.

Legislative efforts by civil society organizations were unsucessful due to strong antipathy amongst the public towards undocumented children and lack of interest within the legislature. Another bill for universal birth registration has recently been proposed, with the view of being passed by the legislature this time.

Against this background, UBR(Universal Birth Registration) Network Korea is planning to launch a campaign to raise public awareness about difficulties faced by undocumented children.

The campaign is titled ‘I am Sorry’, and to be joined by 15 civil society organizations, 12 MPs, and celebrities. The main goal of the campaign is to mobilize public support for the recently proposed bill and to petition the Parliament to legislate for universal birth registration.

The campaign aims to collect at least 20,000 signatures for the petition, at home and abroad, through both online and offline platforms. 

 We feel a great sense of responsibility and are sorry for the reality that unregistered children in Korea are facing. We’d like to ensure their basic right to be registered at birth.Many people joined to support this campaign such as Won Hye-young (Member of Parliament), NGO practitioners, artists, journalists, representatives of immigrant children as well as Universal Birth Registration Network Korea.

Sign our petition for this campaign and demand the government of the Republic of Korea legislate for universal birth registration.