OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society


OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 9 , No. 2

[ Article ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 45-77
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Jul 2019
Received 12 Nov 2018 Revised 09 May 2019 Accepted 17 Jun 2019

The Current Situation of Korean-Chinese Children and the Challenges to Their Right to Education
Hounjoung Kim ; Ji Eun Han
Konkuk University, South Korea
Konkuk University, South Korea

Funding Information ▼


Many Korean-Chinese are staying in Korea for economic reasons, and unlike other foreign unskilled workers, their children are allowed to accompany them. The right to education is a premise of human dignity and other fundamental rights; it is desirable to recognize at least the right to the necessary conditions for receiving compulsory education for the Korean-Chinese children living in Korea. In addition, pursuant to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Korean government has an obligation to guarantee all children free elementary education and public education. The current legislation lacks a basis for the obligations of the state or parents with foreign nationality to provide compulsory education to their children. Also, as the current legislation lacks specificity in the contents of the law, implementation of the policy is left to the discretion of the state. Efforts should be made to ensure that as many Korean-Chinese children as possible enjoy practical educational rights. Although it is important for the judiciary to actively consider the right to education in the Constitution and in international treaties, legislative efforts are also important. As cases in foreign countries suggest, cooperation between the private sector and the government should be considered.

Keywords: Korean-Chinese, the right to education, immigrant children, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, education and Korean nationality


This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2015-S1A3A2-046431).

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Biographical Note

Hounjoung Kim’s (Ph.D.) major research focus includes the legal status of foreigners from the perspective of the Constitution, constitutional guarantees of their fundamental or human rights, and constitutional history. E-mail:

Ji Eun Han received her Ph.D. from Sungkyunkwan University. She is concerned with the following research questions: how social welfare system would contribute to diversity, co-existence, and minority empowerment, and how to develop cultural competence in society. E-mail: