It is now controversial that volunteers for the upcoming Winter Olympics are poorly treated by Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympics and Paralympic Games. In June 2016, the committee posted the announcement recruiting 16 thousand volunteers for the Olympics and 6,400 volunteers for the Paralympic Games in seven fields, including conference guidance, media, technology, game, ceremony, language, and operation support. 92 thousand of volunteers applied for the Olympics and most of them wanted to get experiences to pave the way for their future career through the volunteer work.
However, the selected volunteers, who had already passed through the five to one competition of document and interview screening, were deployed in unexpected area. Moreover, they were assigned to duties, which are different from they were first assigned. For instance, some people, who applied for the field of sports, cover, and ceremony, are arranged in a totally different duties, such as traffic control. In addition, others were assigned to Gangneung area even though they applied for the other areas. It seems to be difficult for the other volunteers to achieve their purposes to advance their abilities. Regarding this issue, the organizing committee announced that changing position is not possible except for some special reasons and transportation expenses would not be paid for unfair deployment.
The reason why this situation happened is that the committee did not predict the demand of volunteers well and failed to manage the training by job classification. It also seems that it recruited the group volunteers separately and did not consider them well. Lately when the committee was flooded by demands to solve the situation, it ignored the demands saying that if the volunteers deny their job, the chance to volunteer will be given to others. In addition, according to the announcement about the situation, it feels like the committee is just asking for volunteers’ understandings. There was no apology to the volunteers at all. The committee’s irresponsible administration would not be able to avoid the criticism by the public.
Most Koreans are looking forward to the second Olympic Games since the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Meanwhile, the volunteers of Olympics seem to be similar with the workers, who had been treated as slaves in the era of industrialization. Many people felt sorry for the unfair treatment of the volunteers by the committee and are worried about whether the Olympics can be held successfully. It is the time to think about the true meaning of volunteering and exploitation. In order to host the Olympics with great success, we also have to consider what we are really missing.
Youn Ju-bong firstname.lastname@example.org
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