- Press Releases
“Act on Consular Assistance for the Protection of Overseas Korean Nationals” Enacted and Proclaimed
1. “The Act on Consular Assistance for the Protection of Overseas Korean Nationals” was proclaimed on January 15, 2019. The Act stipulates the full range of matters pertaining to consular assistance offered by the state to overseas Korean nationals in order to protect their lives, bodies and properties and thereby to promote their safe residency, stays and visits abroad. Pursuant to its addendum, the Act will be brought into force on January 16, 2021, two years after its proclamation.
2. The better protection of overseas Korean nationals being one of the government’s top-priority policy tasks, while the bill was under deliberation at the National Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took an active part in the deliberation process in order for the different conditions of different countries regarding consular assistance to be properly reflected in the bill.
3. With the Act laying out details regarding the Constitution-stipulated duty to protect overseas Korean nationals, the Korean nationals involved in incidents or accidents abroad are expected to be provided with legally-based, more systematic and better consular assistance.
4. Over the two-year grace period until the entry into force of the Act, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to seek ways for its effective enforcement: The Ministry will prepare the enforcement decree and rules as well as relevant guidelines; expand workforce, budget and other forms of infrastructure in consultation with other related government agencies; and carry out outreach activities on the Act toward the public, set up education-related cooperative network with interested universities at home to cultivate consular experts, and build the capacity of consular officers at overseas missions.
* unofficial translation