During a meeting held by the Justice Ministry, officials reached a consensus to apply stricter standards for support provided to multicultural families, the ministry said.
It added the government currently offers benefits to multicultural families without considering income, wealth, and the length of their stay, among other factors.
The meeting at the Gwacheon Government Complex last week was attended by working-level officials across ministries including the Education Ministry, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Employment and Labor and Transport Ministry.
“There has been consistent criticism that some support programs offered to multicultural families are excessive compared to those generally provided to citizens, causing reverse discrimination,” the Justice Ministry said.
“Multicultural families could become subject to social stigma as social minorities in need of government support. It could also deepen conflict between immigrants and citizens who claim reverse discrimination.”
A number of support measures for multicultural families have sparked controversy in recent years, including slots reserved for national housing, priority in entering state-run kindergartens and special university admissions.
The meeting also touched on the vague definition of a multicultural family under the current law.
The ministry said it will gather opinions on the matter until the end of this year and officially report this to the committee tasked with policies for foreigners under the Office for Government Policy Coordination.
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)