Feb. 19 (UPI) -- An Angolan family has been stranded at a South Korean airport for 54 days while being unable to apply for asylum.
The Lulendos have been living in a rest area of Incheon International Airport and washing up in the restrooms as they seek entry into Korea, Yonhap reported Tuesday.
Their status is in limbo until the South Korean government permits them to apply for refugee status. During the wait period leading up to a final decision, the family could earn temporary residency. But without a way to file for asylum, they must remain in Incheon, according to the report.
During a rally at the airport on Tuesday, South Korean activists said they are condemning the government decision to ban the family from applying for refugee status. The activists of "Joint Action for Refugees" said they are calling on Seoul to allow the family to go through immigration and stay in the country.
The Lulendos include a father, mother and four children.
The family of six landed at the South Korean airport on Dec. 28, 2018, and came on tourist visas, according to Yonhap.
The Lulendos carry Angolan passports, but have said they are originally from either the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the smaller Republic of Congo. Upon arrival, they were rejected from qualifying for refugee status. South Korean authorities have cited a legal code that states applications can be denied if there is reason to believe applicants "harm the social order of the Republic of Korea," according to Yonhap.
South Korean activists said the Lulendos are in a "desperate" situation. The parents subsist on one meal a day while the children eat two meals because of "insufficient funds."
The Angolan family is seeking asylum as another South Korea-based refugee is seeking protection for his father.
Iranian teen "Kim Min-hyeok" said Tuesday he wants his father recognized as a vulnerable person, local paper Hankyoreh reported Tuesday.
Kim, who converted to Christianity and adopted a Korean name during his stay in Korea, said his father was also registered with his church, and the action could be sufficient for him to face persecution in Iran, according to the report.
Korea is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.