South Korea accused of ‘human trafficking’ with seasonal worker program

Vulnerable and poorly paid Filipinos were exploited, deceived and abused under a migrant worker program launched by South Korea to address its critical labor shortage, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation finds .

Under the program – which also recruits workers from Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia, Laos, Cambodia, Uzbekistan and Thailand – farmers and fishermen settle in South Korea for five to eight months of work with the promise of big salaries to take home.

But a dozen former workers said that deal fell short — many say they went home empty-handed, and some risked losing their land to brokers who sealed their temporary contracts.