The pursuit of state status and the shift toward international norms: South Korea's evolution as a host country for refugees

Hans Schattle, Jennifer McCann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article illustrates how South Korea is gradually transforming its policies and practices directed toward a growing population of refugees, humanitarian status holders and asylum seekers. Given many deeply rooted dynamics at the intersection of law and society, South Korea has experienced a difficult trajectory, with a high rejection rate, minimal social welfare provisions and elements of discrimination that have caused alienation and distrust among asylum seekers and refugees regarding their host country. However, rising pressure from civil society has prompted legal and administrative reforms set to place the country on a different path more closely aligned with international human rights norms. The government is also beginning to shift its approach away from an overwhelming emphasis on securitization by working out the challenges of helping the country's refugees chart their respective courses toward membership and participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-337
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this