Most migrant-friendly city in Korea, Ansan

If you’ve never heard of Ansan, here’s one interesting feature that characterizes the city: it has the biggest foreign-born population in all of South Korea. Another fact you probably didn’t know about Ansan is that it’s the first planned South Korean city which was modeled after Canberra in Australia. The best part about it is the location: it lies southeast of Seoul in Gyeonggi-do province and is only an hour away from the capital!

Ansan Multicultural Village Map
a Vietnamese restaurant in Ansan

The city hosts over 90,000 foreigners from over 100 different countries as of 2020. While living up to its status as one of the most culturally diverse cities in South Korea, it is also a member of the International Cities program since February 2020. Most importantly, Ansan implements various policies in support of foreigners’ human rights. For instance, it manages the provision of specialized services targeting exclusively foreigners. It also provides childcare fees to the children of foreign citizens to fulfill the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

The overall population of foreign residents in Korea has been on a steady rise and is nearing 5% of the entire population. At this pace, Korea becoming a multicultural society is just around the corner. However, when it comes to the process of assimilation and integration, the cases of foreigners’ rights being violated are not so rare.

Gyeonggi Institute of Research and Policy Development for Migrants’ Human Rights

Fortunately, there are many organizations now that help foreigners to advocate for their rights. We visited one of such organizations, Gyeonggi Institute of Research and Policy Development for Migrants’ Human Rights to find more information.

What is the main goal of the organization?

Gyeonggi-do Institute of Research and Policy Development for Migrants’ Human Rights (경기도외국인인권지원센터) is the nation’s first foreign human rights policy institution dedicated to regulating and maintaining universal and equal basic rights for foreign residents and migrants. Based on public-private cooperation governance and various networking, the institute comprehensively implements “research policy development” to identify the human rights status of foreign residents and prepare improvement plans. 

The final goal is to establish a policy return system between foreigners’ human rights policy developers, enforcers and consumers, and expand the support base of foreigners’ human rights policy to civil society to contribute to the formation of a multicultural human rights-friendly community.

Interviewing the Head of the Team at the Gyeonggi Migrants’ Human Rights Center

The main activities carried out by the institute include:

  1. Research human rights counseling, anti-discrimination, and remedy for rights
  2. Provision of domestic and foreign human rights education to prevent human rights violations and spreading human rights culture
  3. Developing policies to improve human rights for foreigners
  4. Survey conductions and monitoring of foreign human rights for the development of policies for the protection of rights and interests
  5. Establishing a cooperative network between related organizations

Address: Gyeonggi-do Ansan-si Danwon-gu Hwajeong-ro 24, 4th floor

If you are curious about policies, events and other useful information about Gyeonggi-do, you can find it in 5 different languages on Gyeonggi-do’s Foreign Social Media Reporters homepage. Each week it publishes articles in Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Khmer and Thai languages. Stay up to date with Gyeonggi news!

What else you can find in Ansan?

The World Cultural Experience Center is a place where visitors can experience and learn about a variety of cultures from all over the world completely free of charge. There are various national musical instruments, dolls, attributes displayed, and even traditional costumes you can try on. The center regularly hosts cultural classes for children from 10 to up to 25 people in a game format. 

Operation hours: Mon~Sat 10:00AM~5:00PM
Address: Danwon-gu 12, 2nd floor, Ansan, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 안산시 단원구 화정로 26, 4층)

Gastronomic side of Ansan

Ansan is rightfully considered a city where multiple cultures coexist. When visiting this place, you will be amazed by the abundance of cuisines from all around the world concentrated in one district. You can find food from all the Central, South-East and East Asian countries made by the natives.

But as any Korean city, Ansan also boasts some pretty cafes with delicious desserts!

Address: Ansan-si Danwon-gu, Wongok-ro 62-6 (경기 안산시 단원구 원곡로 62-6)