‘Koreans living in Japan‘ is a vague word glueing very different groups together under the same umbrella term. Based on their affiliation to North/South Korea and the timing of diaspora (whether it happened before/after the Japanese imperial rule during the World War 2 ear), each sub-group goes by a different name, sharing little similarities. Stark division between them is once again solidified by education system; North Koreans in Japan attend a special ethnic school that resembles ones that are in North Korea. Markus Bell, after visiting one North Korean school in Japan, wrote an extensive report on multiple threats those schools face, with some background information about the concerned ethnic group, as the financial help from their home country has been significantly reduced and also funding from the Japanese government was recently cut off.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + Migration & Immigration
Gary Sauer-Thompson pulls no punches in his assessment of the latest crisis at Papua New Guinea's Manus Island asylum seeker detention centre. It is part of the so-called Pacific Solution. In a post for his blog Public Opinion, it's getting real ugly, he calls it a
concentration camp… designed to be cruel and that asylum seekers are going to suffer. The Conservative base [in Australia] demands that the asylum seekers live a bare life–a life exposed to death.
Geoffrey Fattig of Jeollamite blog shares his brutally honest opinion on reverse and latent racism in South Korea, urging fellow native English teachers who under-appreciate a fairly good working condition to stop whining. Some of the highlights of his post are:
On the whole, though, Korea is a pretty easy place to teach English, and playing that foreign card has brought far more advantages than not over the seven years I’ve been in the country. I would add though, that being a tall white guy probably has a lot to do with it.
Offbeat China explains why young Chinese want to migrate to first tier cities in spite of the polluted environment and expensive property price.
The Spring Festival, or lunar new year, is China's most important holiday for family reunions. According to The Ministry of Transportation, around 258 million train trips are estimated to be made during this year's Spring Festival, which runs from January 16 to February 24.
China's news website iFeng.com shows images of people sleeping on the ground of the train stations while waiting for the train. Most of them are migrant workers who can't afford a hotel.
jmc strategies blogs about the issue of Haitian statelessness in the Dominican Republic, specifically addressing anti-Haitian sentiment, questionable labour and living conditions, and forced repatriations, while offering solutions to the impasse.
January 12 was set as the 2014 No Pants Subway Ride Day. The annual fun day originated from New York 13 years ago and entered Hong Kong in 2013. Yesterday was the second annual gathering in this city.
To mark the end of the “official” Christmas season in Puerto Rico, we share some links to the online magazine La Respuesta, which focuses on gathering the experience of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States, about some thoughts regarding Puerto Rican Christmas traditions by two authors living in the diaspora.
Yessenia Flores Díaz, in her post “Preparando para las Navidades en la Casa de Abuela,” remembers her Christmastime experiences during her childhood while growing up in Brooklyn, New York, when visiting her grandmother's apartment:
You can only imagine the energy inside my abuelita’s tiny two-bedroom apartment during this time of year, the beginning of Advent, when she received her offspring and their offspring and their offspring’s offspring. My family is huge and to give you an idea, my dad is number 17 of 19 children born to Felix and Regina Flores (en paz descanse) in rural Puerto Rico [...]. Yes, you read that correctly. It is not a typo. I come from a large, loving family.
Dorian Ortega, in her post “My Acculturatd Chrismas: An Introduction to Acculturated Stress and Cultural Buffers,” explains the ways that Puerto Rican immigrants have dealt with acculturated stress provoked by suddenly having to live in a culture quite different from theirs. One of thos ways is by holing on to their Christmas traditions:
Puerto Ricans have immigrated to the U.S. for over 60 years and for the first time in this century, outnumber the population in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans continue to rank highest among Latina/os for mental illnesses and have experienced their share of acculturative stressors. However, studies show that a strong cultural identity and adaptability serve as great protective buffers. My family, like many others, have found ways to hold on to our traditions brought by our ancestors and adapted them for the generations raised in a country with both similar and conflicting values. The holidays have served as a way to relate to one another and bring peace, which helps in times of distress.
The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development has published a policy briefer that tackled the extent of human trafficking in Southeast Asia.
Many Southeast Asian countries are at the bottom of a lot of the world's supply chains, including for food, garments, and technology. Yet few countries in the region have adequate laws for addressing corporate responsibility for human trafficking, including in their supply chains.
The primer also provides country-specific recommendations on how to best address the human trafficking issue in the region
Sa Law from left21 wrote a piece on Nelson Mandela and his lesson for Hong Kong, a city where migrant workers are living in apartheid.
Due to their long working hours for six days a week, they lack the chance to socialize and mingle with the rest of Hong Kong society as others; they also generally lack ability to speak, read and write Chinese. Thus, they end up spatially and linguistically separated from the majority of Hong Kong people; and despite forming a large community of 320,000 workers, they are never considered part of the greater Hong Kong community, and their demands for equality or better rights are often greeted with deep outrage, as if they do not know their place.
Catherine Falk studied how Chinese and Laotian Hmong diaspora groups maximized the YouTube to preserve and popularize their culture, in particular the playing of qeej, an iconic Hmong reed mouth organ.
Madrid native David Sigüenza [es] watched a recent episode [es] of Spanish program “Madrileños por el Mundo,” focusing on Chilean capital Santiago, “hoping to see a representation of the reality of this city, where many young Spanish people have found themselves living due to the crisis faced by our country.”
“Madrileños por el Mundo” shows the lives of Madrileños (people from Madrid) living in other countries. However, David says that the stories about life in Santiago portrayed by the program were unrepresentative of the reality of “the exiled Madrileños in Santiago.”
For example, the program included the story of a Spanish woman married to a lawyer; “Her life consisted of going to the golf club, then to the shops, afterwards to the gym and to look after her children – a typical day for anyone, right?” writes David.
The reality here is much more difficult than [this story], the reality is about people who earn a little more than 1000 Euros a month [a low salary earned by countless Spaniards] but who are better off here in Santiago than filling up unemployment lists in Spain. It's about people who fight to live with dignity and get ahead with the hope of one day returning to their country. It's about people who save month after month to be able to afford a plane ticket that will take them to see their loved ones who are more than 10,000 km and a month's wage away.
The complete entry can be found in his blog [es].
Haiti Chery reports that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ (IACHR) preliminary findings basically state that the “Dominican Constitutional Court Ruling TC168.13 is discriminatory and violates the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent.”
The Cuban Interest Section, the country's diplomatic mission in Washington, has temporarily reestablished its consular services until 17 February 2014. The decision comes after M&T Bank Corporation indicated they would postpone closing the Cuban diplomatic mission's accounts in the United States.
The official announcement by the Cuban Interest Section is an indication that the country “will continue efforts to identify a new bank to take over the operation of its accounts and, to the extent that this is achieved, will be capable of permanently normalizing consular services.”
According to the website Café Fuerte, “it is estimated that some 80,000 people travel to Cuba from the United States during the December holiday period.”
Last July 12, M&T Bank Corporation informed the Cuban Interest Section in Washington that it would no longer offer banking services to foreign diplomatic misions. As a result, the Cuban Interest Section and the Cuban Permanent Mission to the United Nations found themselves, in short order, having to terminate the relationship and initiate the search for a new financial institution with which to conduct their banking activities.
This situation had prompted the Cuban Interest Section to suspend its consular services until further notice.
Indrajit Samarajiva refutes the notion that Sri Lankan talents invariably end up migrating in a foreign nation resulting in brain drain. In fact talent is there among:
Not only professionals but also many innovative village youth who would be National assets elsewhere, unseen and unrecognized in Sri Lanka. The issue is that their talent is not visible in the corrupt system till they leave Sri Lanka.
Radovan Krejcir, an alleged Czech crime boss living in South Africa, was arrested on Friday, November 22, 2013, in Johannesburg on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder, although there are rumors on social media that other charges, such as money laundering and conspiracy, will be added to the list.
Krejcir, who has been a hot topic on social networks since his arrest on Friday, was already charged by Czech authorities, where he was sentenced to 11 years in prison in absentia for money laundering. He fled to South Africa before trial and is still wanted in the Czech Republic for several crimes, including tax fraud. South African authorities have been planning to have him extradited to the Czech Republic.
Krejcir is now claiming that he was tortured and treated cruelly by South African police since he has been in their custody. Many on social media are calling the case a disgrace and Krejcir “an embarrassment” to the country, asking that he be deported immediately. Twitter user Nqaba Ndlovu living in Nelspruit, South Africa, says:
If all else fails, withdraw Radovan Krejcir's SA passport/ID and send him back where he came from. The whole thing is a circus.
— Nqaba Ndlovu (@NqabaNdlovu) November 24, 2013
During the week of November 18, 2013, Oslo police and state property owner Statsbygg dismantled a Roma camp, acting on court orders. The Roma settlement was located on public recreational grounds at Sognsvann, Norway. An Oslo appeals court ordered this eviction, agreeing with Statsbygg that the settlers had surpassed the legal two nights in a row that people are allowed to camp there. Some of the Roma campers now plan to leave Norway entirely, while others plan to appeal the eviction. Norwegian site NewsinEnglish.no says:
A support group for the Roma folk told news bureau NTB that they plan to appeal the eviction to Norway’s Supreme Court, but the court order is now enforceable and the campers left voluntarily. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that only one man protested, but he also ended up leaving the area.
After a wave of discriminatory statements against Roma communities in France made by French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls, Slovakian and Romanian Roma in England are now getting the same message from authorities and neighbors.
According to an article in the Guardian, Sheffield locals in an area with a high level of Roma settlements created patrols in an attempt to calm the tensions between the Roma community and other local citizens, an effort that seems to be making things worse. As the article explains:
“In an interview with BBC Radio Sheffield the former home secretary [now Sheffield MP David Blunkett] also accused the government of “burying their head in the sand” over the scale of Roma settlement in the UK and said the Roma community had to make more of an effort to fit in with British culture: “We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming community, the Roma community, because there's going to be an explosion otherwise. We all know that.”[...]
Nobody knows for sure how many Roma people have come to Sheffield since Slovakia joined the EU in 2004. The council's best guess is that 1,500 eastern European Roma children now live in the city as a whole, with around 500 in the small Page Hall area. Miroslav Sandor, a Roma community worker in Page Hall, gives a much higher estimate. He thinks there may be 600-900 large families in the city, mostly concentrated in Page Hall.
Marco Loglio, a long-term Shenzhen expat from Italy, attempted to apply for Chinese Communist Party Membership to help protect the environment and conserve the culture. But he found out that has to give up his or her nationality and become a Chinese national first. Nanfang Daily has the story.
With unemployment and economic concern growing in the European Union, Hungary is among some of the EU member states being criticized by its Union neighbors for more lenient laws passed in 2011 for attaining Hungarian citizenship. Charles Richardson explains why on Crikey's blogs:
Hungary has been giving some grief to its neighbors with a new law that allows people to claim Hungarian citizenship if they have (a) a direct ancestor who was a Hungarian citizen and (b) a basic knowledge of the Hungarian language. Apparently the latter requirement is being leniently interpreted.[...]
Two things make this more controversial than it might sound. One is that substantial chunks of Hungary’s neighbors were, at times in the last century, Hungarian territory. That means that a lot of Serbs, Slovaks, Romanians and Ukrainians are potential claimants, and it may make some of those neighbors worry about whether Hungary’s leaders have really given up the dream of recreating the “Great Hungary” that existed prior to 1920.[...]
The BBC reports that more than half a million people have taken advantage of the new law since it came into effect at the beginning of 2011, with about 100,000 from Serbia alone.
The blog Repeating Islands republished two letters to the editor of the New York Times that paint two very different pictures on the situation regarding the recent decision of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Dominican Republic to strip citizenship from all descendants of immigrants who entered the country extralegally, retroactive to 1929. The first letter is from Aníbal de Castro, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Washington, who considers the Dominican Republic unduly pressured by the international community:
The Dominican Republic has a legitimate interest in regulating immigration and having clear rules for acquisition of citizenship. It should not be pressured by outside actors and other countries to implement measures contrary to its own Constitution and that would be unacceptable to most other nations facing similar immigration pressures.
The second letter is signed jointly by authors Mark Kurlansky, Junot Díaz, Edwidge Danticat, and Julia Álvarez, who dispel the assurances of the ambassador that no one will be negatively affected by the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling:
The ruling will make it challenging for them to study; to work in the formal sector of the economy; to get insurance; to pay into their pension fund; to get married legally; to open bank accounts; and even to leave the country that now rejects them if they cannot obtain or renew their passport. It is an instantly created underclass set up for abuse.
This is an island. No way out. So these two nations, who have been doing a live rendition of a Russian novel for 500 years, are going to have to work it out.
Contrary to many of the opinions expressed in this post, Changing Perspectives weighs in on the decision by the Dominican Republic to deny citizenship to subsequent generations of illegal immigrants, most of whom are Haitian.
On 0ctober 30, 87 people trying to reach the Mediterranean sea died after being abandoned in the Sahara Desert when their drivers left them stranded to seek for help. The harrowing story of one the survivors, 14-year-old Shafa, highlights the plight of many migrants trying to reach Europe and the obstacles they face. In an article entitled “dying at the gates of Europe”, Philippe Rekacewicz, a french cartographer, illustrates with a series of map the story of the migrants struggle from Africa to Europe [fr]:
A series of maps shared by Goodnet show how more than 200 countries deal with social issues including freedom of the press, maternity leave, and attitudes towards foreigners.
Anesa Kajtazovic, currently a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, was born in Bihać, Bosnia, then a part of the former Yugoslavia. Anesa and her parents and sisters fled the war-torn Balkan country in 1992 and settled in the US state of Iowa. After a few years in politics, Kajtazovic is now running for a seat in the US Congress [ba], and after kicking of her campaign in the summer of 2013, has started receiving endorsements from labor unions and celebrities alike.
It seems her past experiences as an immigrant child of parents who worked to build a future for their family in a new country is making quite the difference in her relationships with voters. Bleedingheartland.com says:
The United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 431 and 1149 decided to support Kajtazovic because “she understands better than anyone the concerns of Iowa's working families,” and “She shares the experience of arriving to Iowa as an immigrant with many of our members.”
Kajtazovic was the youngest woman ever to be elected to Iowa's state legislature and, if elected to Congress, she will be the first Bosnian-born member of Congress. She calls herself proof of the “American Dream”, but Kajtazovic, who runs an active Facebook fan page sharing both professional and some personal moments, seldom forgets that she has friends, family and support both in the US and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In the past year or two, her professional successes have become a regular fixture on Bosnian news sites, and her homeland seems to be following her career in the US with great interest and celebration.
A debate about why some Kazakhstanis stay in their country while others choose to emigrate has unfolded online. It started after Daniyar posted his “What Is Keeping You in Kazakhstan?” [ru] on yvizion.kz. The blogger identified seven main reasons why he preferred to stay in the country:
#1. Великая история…
#2. Гражданин РК…
#3. Женщины… Я люблю наших женщин…
#6. Президент РК. Огромное спасибо, нашему президенту Назарбаеву Нурсултану Абишевичу.
#7. Любовь… к родине…
1. [The country's] great history…
2. [Being] a citizen of [Kazakhstan]…
3. Women… I love our women…
4. [The country's] nature…
6. President of [Kazakhstan]. Lots of thanks to our dear president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
7. Love… for Motherland…
The blog has so far drawn more than 110 comments, with most comments following the line of “East or West, Home is Best”.
The discussion has prompted another blogger, Artyom Volkov, to look at the issue from an opposite angle. In his “What Is Driving You to Leave Kazakhstan?” [ru], Volkov named five problems leading young people to want to try their luck abroad:
1. Низкое качество высшего образования…
2. Фальшивая демократия…
3. Страх перед будущим…
4. Проблемы с трудоустройством…
1. Low quality of higher education…
2. Fake democracy…
3. [Uncertain] future…
4. Difficulties with finding jobs…
5. Environmental [problems].
Producers Johann Pérez Viera and Pedro Camacho put together this footage and Skype calls with the five participants to create a “collective portrait that explores distance, identity and everyday life as a Venezuelan immigrant”.
The documentary is available (with English subtitles) online until November 15, 2013.
Sixty asylum-seekers went on hunger strike yesterday in a southeast Hungarian detention camp for asylum-seekers, atlatszo.hu investigative journalism site's blog reported in their Blog Action Day post [hu] on human rights. The Office of Immigration and Nationality confirmed that the strike was started by five Malian citizens who were joined by 55 others requesting their replacement in an open camp. As of July 2013, Hungary places the undocumented asylum-seekers in detention camps. The five initiators continue the hunger strike.