SEOUL, July 10 (UPI) -- Yemeni asylum seekers are struggling to make a living in South Korea as they find it difficult to keep jobs due to language barriers.
According to an interview with Yemeni asylum seekers by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, Yemenis are having trouble making a living as they find difficult to maintain employment because of communication difficulties with employers.
The South Korean government granted Yemenis the right to work while their asylum applications are being reviewed.
"The duration of their employment lasts from one day up to five days," Song Byung-gwan of the state human rights agency's Gwangju office told UPI. Song and his team interviewed a total of 144 Yemenis in Jeju from June 29-30 to examine human rights situations.
"It's urgent to offer them education in Korean language and culture," the survey report said.
Song explained that employers and Yemenis both experience difficulty in communication, which often results in Yemenis quitting under stress.
His interviews discovered Yemeni workers have trouble taking orders from customers at restaurants. Those working on fishing boats suffered from seasickness, but experienced difficulty explaining their symptoms to employers.
Some were in need of medical support while suffering from gunshot wounds and diabetes, according to Song.
According to UNHCR, some 190,000 people have been displaced amid the civil war that broke in May 2015 in Yemen.
A total of 982 Yemeni asylum seekers have applied for refugee status in South Korea, according to the Justice Ministry. As of June, 552 Yemeni asylum seekers have submitted refugee applications, in addition to 430 of those applied for reviews until the end of last year.
Most of them arrived in Jeju as their 90-day non-visa stay in Malaysia expired. Jeju allows visa-free entry to foreigners for up to 30 days. With the recent surge in the number of Yemenis, the South Korean exempted Yemen from the list of visa-free entry countries in May.
The state human rights agency has called the South Korean government to offer assistance to Yemeni asylum seekers suffering from financial hardships.
"The survey found that majority of support for Yemeni asylum seekers are coming from private agencies. We call for emergency support from the central and Jeju governments for at least two to three months during which their refugee status applications are being reviewed," the survey report said.