A United Nations committee has expressed concerns about antimigrant sentiment in South Korea and the country’s discrimination against foreign workers, warning it can lead to a national crisis. 

The UN committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination held a two-day meeting in Geneva through Tuesday to review South Korea’s implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  

Gay McDougall, the committee’s rapporteur for South Korea, said no significant progress has been made since its last review on the country. 

Speaking in front of a 16-member South Korean government delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Kang Jeong-sik, McDougall warned against discrimination against migrant workers in particular. 

She pointed out that South Korea is creating wealth with labor forces comprised of migrant workers but does not given them a fair return and stressed failure to resolve the situation will trigger a national crisis in the future. 

McDougall also touched on the issue of Yemeni asylum-seekers on Jeju Island and said antirefugee sentiment is quickly spreading in the nation and could develop into racial discrimination.