Migrant Precarity and Human Rights Advocacy for Marriage Migrants in South Korea

Author: Daisy Kim


Since 2006, marriage migrants and their so-called multicultural families have been the recipients of considerable public resources and attention in the Republic of Korea. Thus, it could be said that marriage migrants constitute a relatively privileged group of migrants in South Korea. Yet significant human rights abuses, including domestic and sexual violence, widespread discrimination, and poverty, indicate that marriage migrants continue to face various forms of legal, social, and institutional precarity. By evaluating the specific trajectories by which human rights activists and organizations mobilize in the name of migrant rights, this paper argues that human rights-based activism has not been an effective means of mobilizing resistance to migrant precarity because of its failure to address precarity as a multi-layered and multi-sited reality. In consequence, marriage migrants in South Korea have turned to alternative methods for mobilizing resistance to precarity.

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© Meredith L. Weiss