On July 4 (Monday), the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) held the first general meeting of the Foreign Residents Council for receiving policy suggestions at Taepyeong Hall, of the new Seoul City Hall. Roughly 100 people participated in the meeting, including all members of the Foreign Residents Council, Uhm Kyusook, Deputy Minister for Gender Equality and Family, Lee Hae-eung, Foreign Honorary Deputy Mayor, the audience, and others.
The Foreign Residents Council of Seoul was established in December 2015 as a permanent advisory group comprised of foreign residents who can participate in the policy-making process related to foreigners in Seoul. Beginning in January of this year, the three subcommittees (human rights and cultural diversity, living environment improvement, and competence reinforcement) have begun regularly gathering the opinions of foreign residents and have developed a total of 16 foreign resident policies.
At the general meeting, a total of 16 policies related to foreign residents were proposed, including 6 policy proposal presentations. The presentation session lasted for about 40 minutes, and featured the following themes: Writing names in both English and Korean on the certificate of alien registration (Oh Miae ); Foreign long-term residents are also citizens of Seoul (Ahn Soon-hwa); Measures for promoting and increasing separate waste discharge (Doo Eon-moon); Establishing support facilities for adopters (Kim Dong-ja); Native language education for children of marriage immigrants (Myangbayar); Promoting the Seoul Friendship Fair as a global festival (Moon Hyeon-taek).
Prior to making policy suggestions, the lecturer Yoo Kyung-sun gave a lecture titled “Foreign Residents and the National Assembly” to encourage the active participation of foreign residents in legislative activities and increase the understanding of the role of the National Assembly. The SMG plans to listen to the policy suggestions made by the participants, and offer an opportunity to share opinions and increase mutual goodwill by inviting foreign residents, communities, and organizations.