MIPEX and Korea: Assessment and Lessons

Korea, historically a country of one-nation, has been transforming rapidly into a multinational or multicultural country. And it has been facing new challenges including how to facilitate the integration of foreign residents into Korean society, among others. This paper aims to assess objectively the level which Korea has achieved in the integration efforts as of August 1, 2012, utilizing Migrant Integration Policy Index III (MIPEX III) co-developed by British Council and Migration Policy Group. Specifically, this paper consists of two parts: First, it presents the results of MIPEX evaluation of South Korea as of August 2012. Second, it notes some of the observations that we have made in the assessment.
For the seven policy areas and out of 100 points, Korea comes out most favorable for integration in labor market mobility (81) and fares well in long-term residence (62) and political participation (60). The migrant policies of Korea are assessed as approximately halfway favorable for integration in education (56) and anti-discrimination (54). Korea falls short of the halfway score (45) in access to nationality. The overall score of the MIPEX III assessment of Korea is 60, relatively favorable for integration as it is above the halfway point as well as the average of the EU countries, approximately by 10 points.
We conclude the paper by proposing ways to improve conceptual clarity and measurement strategy. We also propose ways to measure the implementation aspect of migrant integration policies.
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