Seoul 11 Aug. 2017 (Yonhap)
South Korea’s foreign ministry has created an online bulletin board on its intranet to collect cases of its diplomats abusing their power over lower-ranking and lower-paid contracted staffers at overseas missions, a source said Friday.
The move comes amid mounting accusations that thousands of contract employees at the country’s embassies, consulate generals and other overseas missions have been vulnerable to varied forms of mistreatment by higher-ups apparently taking advantage of their relatively weak job security.
The web page was launched on Thursday and will stay open until Tuesday, the source told Yonhap News Agency on the condition of anonymity. Information can be provided “anonymously or not,” he added.
The working conditions of around 3,000 contracted employees working at some 160 overseas missions drew attention as a diplomat at the country’s embassy in Ethiopia was recently found to have sexually assaulted a female staff member. He was sacked later.
Local media reports shed more light on what those contacted workers are faced with at work, including being frequently asked to do things not related to their actual duties or forced to run private errands for diplomats’ family members.
The bulletin board was launched in response to Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon’s order to get to the bottom of the allegations, according to the source.