Video by Cho You-bin, Oh Jung-meen
Following the recent tragic deaths of migrant workers, civic groups are calling on the government and municipalities to take action to improve the poor living conditions facing farm workers.
In December, a Cambodian migrant worker in her 30s was found dead in a makeshift vinyl greenhouse home at a farm in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province.
Initial autopsy results showed the direct cause of her death to be liver disease, but it was revealed that she had been living in a sandwich panel construction built inside a vinyl greenhouse with a broken heating system which experts say could have worsened her condition.
The day she died was when the temperature dropped as low as to minus 20 degrees Celsius in the village.
And not long after her death, another Cambodian man was found dead in a greenhouse dorm earlier in February. The cause of his death is yet to be known.
In response, the Ministry of Justice announced Tuesday that employers and provincial governments hiring seasonal migrant workers this year will be banned from using vinyl greenhouses as living quarters for their employees.
Meanwhile, farm owners are resisting, arguing that the measures will tear down their already hard-hit business, as they are heavily dependent on foreign workforce due to labor shortages.
According to government data, more than 30 percent of the farm businesses using migrant workforce failed to meet minimum requirements for living standards for their foreign employees.