Under a policy aimed at creating a Seoul where foreigners can live a happy life, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has hired four contract-based foreign civil servants who will start work on July 1.
The civil servants are Jasmin Lee from the Philippines, who became a Korean citizen through marriage; PHAM THI QUYNH HOA of Vietnam, who won the second prize in a Korean essay writing competition; Jin Hong, an ethnic Han woman from China, who completed master’s and doctorate programs at Yonsei University Graduate School; and Chuluuntsetseg, a Mongolian woman married to a Korean man.
The four civil servants will effectively serve as spokespersons for more than 360,000 foreign residents who have settled in Seoul as their second hometown.
Since all four of them can speak Korean fluently, they are expected to assist with the development of policies for multicultural families, the management of foreign communities, the operation of a communications program between Korean nationals and foreigners, and the adoption of foreigners’ ideas in city administration and onsite surveys, as well as providing counseling for multicultural families and playing a bridging role in communication between Koreans and foreigners.
According to a census of foreign residents issued by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, the number of foreigners residing in Seoul as of 2011 amounted to over 360,000, or 3.6 percent of the City’s population, representing a gain of 30,000 people since 2010.
Back in 2007, the Seoul Metropolitan Government established the Seoul Global Center, Korea’s first general foreigner assistance facility. Since then, the City has provided diverse services, including the establishment of world-class foreign schools and the designation of Global Zones in areas with large foreign populations, as part of its far-reaching efforts to establish an undisputed global city.