14th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group (22 October-5 November 2012)
Suggested Questions and Recommendations on the Republic of Korea
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Constitutional and Legislative Framework on Human Rights National Human Rights Institutions and Policy Measures Equality and non-discrimination Right to life, liberty and security of the person Administration of justice and the rule of law Right to privacy, marriage and family life Freedom of religion or belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly, and right to participate in public and political life 8. Right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work 9. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living, right to health, right to education 10. Minorities (Persons with disabilities, migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers) 11. Right to development and environmental issues
1 1 1 1 2 2 2
4 4 5 6 9 9 11
Annex 1) Mapping Table of Official UPR Documentation (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1, 2 and 3) Annex 2) Addendum: Response of the Republic of Korea on the Universal Periodic Review recommendations (A/HRC/8/40/Add.1)
25 October 2012
Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL) #505, Girl Scout Building, 163 Anguk-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea Tel: +82 (0)2 3478 0529 Email: email@example.com
MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society Shinjeong Bd. 5th Fl, Seocho-dong 1555-3, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea Tel: +82 (0)2 522 7284 Fax: +82 (0)2 522 7285 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peopleâ€™s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) 16, Jahamunro 9-gil, Jongno-Gu, Seoul, South Korea Tel: +82 (0)2 723 5051 Fax: +82 (0)2 6919 2004 Email: email@example.com
Background Note The Korean NGO Coalition for the 2nd Cycle of the UPR on the Republic of Korea consists of 53 Korean national NGOs. The Coalition organised a national NGOs consultation on the 2nd cycle of the UPR on 10 January 2012 in Seoul, South Korea, and as a result of the consultation, the Coalition submitted a joint submission of Korean NGOs regarding the status of fulfilment by the Republic of Korean government of its human rights obligations and commitments. The Secretariat of the Korean NGO Coalition is Advocate for Public Interest Law (APIL), MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society, and People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD). Based on the official UPR documentation (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1, 2 and 3), the Coalition identified as below the eleven key areas of human rights to bring to the attention of the member and observer States of the UN Human Rights Council. We sincerely hope the following priority concerns and views of Korean NGOs will be duly reflected in the questions and recommendations during the UPR Working Group on the Republic of Korea to be held on 25 October 2012.
1. Constitutional and Legislative Framework on Human Rights Questions What efforts have been made to implement voluntary pledges and commitments made when running for the UN Human Rights Council in 2008? Recommendations Ratify international treaties and conventions including the ILO Conventions Nos. 87, 98, 29 and 105, ICRMW, OP-ICESCR, OP-CAT, CPED and the Palermo Protocol. 2. National Human Rights Institutions and Policy Measures Questions What efforts have been made by the Government to guarantee the independence of the NHRCK, in particular the appointment process of the chairperson and commissioners? What was the reason that the National Assembly’s negative opinion on the re-appointment of the Chairperson is not fully considered by the President? Please elaborate further how the confirmation hearing by the National Assembly can guarantee competence of the chairperson. Recommendations Revise the National Human Rights Commission Act to secure the independence of the NHRCK. Revise the selection and appointment criteria of commissioners including the Chairperson in the National Human Rights Commission Act in accordance with the Paris Principles. 3. Equality and non-discrimination Questions What is the Government’s plan on enacting anti-discrimination law to prohibit both direct and indirect discrimination since there has been no visible progress on the law enactment since 2007? What efforts have been made to realise gender equality in practice as well as legislating and amending discriminative law and policies? Recommendations Enact comprehensive legislation which addresses all prohibited grounds of discrimination in concrete terms, in consultation with civil society and key stakeholders. Modify article 92 of the Military Penal Code to combat discrimination against sexual minorities. 4. Right to life, liberty and security of the person Questions What efforts have been made by the Government to abolish the death penalty? Have there been any campaigns or studies by the Government regarding the abolishment of the death penalty?
Have there been any human rights trainings provided to law enforcement personnel, particularly to prevent all forms of torture as defined in the Convention Against Torture? What is the percentage of marital rape offenders have been punished per year? Recommendations Maintain the current de facto moratorium and take concrete steps to abolish the death penalty. Conduct a campaign to raise awareness on the prohibition of corporal punishment both at home and school. Provide human rights trainings to all law enforcement personnel and study the impact of the human rights training by monitoring human rights violations committed by law enforcement officers. Revise the Military Personnel Management Act to require a judge to issue a warrant for a detention. Ensure domestic violence is properly punished and protect victims including marital rape victims. 5. Administration of justice and the rule of law Questions What measures have been taken by the Government to ensure independence of the Court of Military Commission which is subjected to the Ministry of National Defence, not the Supreme Court, and is composed of adjudicators, not judges? Recommendations Abolish the adjudicator system in the Court of Military Commission and eventually abolish Court of Military Commission during the peacetime. Establish a concrete and systematic plan to abolish the measures requiring sexual crimes to be investigated only upon complaint from victims. 6. Right to privacy, marriage and family life Questions What measures have been taken to protect personal information in both offline and online? What is the main reason of maintaining the resident registration number system in which sex, age, and birth place of individual can be easily identified? Recommendations Reconsider the resident registration system itself, including the electronic resident registration card system. Abolish the legislation that directly and indirectly requires the residential number before accessing an online service 7. Freedom of religion or belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly, and right to participate in public and political life Questions What is the reason of increase number of prosecuting suspects violating the National Security Act? Please elaborate further on specific mechanisms and plan to prevent misuse or misinterpretation of the National Security Act. In the last four years, how many applications of permission of assemblies and demonstrations are applied and among these, how many of them are rejected by the police? More than 100,000 people are currently serving in public services instead of military service according to the criteria defined in the Military Service Act. The criteria includes physical or mental deficiencies, level or quality of academic achievements, special family circumstances or being skilled in a special or unusual profession. However, this form of alternatives to military service includes four weeks of mandatory basic military training which makes it difficult for conscientious objectors. Under this circumstance, please elaborate further on the reason why alternative to military service for conscientious objectors are not introduced and how recognising conscientious objectors, who are around 600 people per year, affects to the national security threats. Recommendations Launch domestic campaigns to promote abolishment of the National Security Act and take concrete steps repeal the National Security Act.
Fully guarantee the right of assemblies and demonstrations only if reported, as stipulated in the Constitution. Take immediate measures to introduce alternate to military services for conscientious objectors. Ensure freedom of expression in the military and restrictions are only applied as provided by law. 8. Right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work Questions How many workers have been protected and benefited under the Industrial Accident Compensation Act since its amendment in 2008? For those businesses with the number of employees up to 4, how well the retirement benefit is implemented and how is it being monitored? Recommendations Subsidize the social insurance fees for low-wage, non-regular employees and expand the scope of social services universally applied to all employees, regardless of their payment of social insurance fees. Guarantee ways to support insurance fee for the newly entitled workers under the Industrial Accident Compensation Act so that all workers can benefit from the Industrial Accident Compensation Act. Setting up the standards to protect labour rights of workers who are subcontracted. 9. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living, health, education Questions How much percentage of total medical expenses that the national health insurance covers? By lowering eligibility criteria for more people of vulnerable groups including the elderly, persons with disabilities and single-parent households, how many people could benefit from this change? Recommendations Provide specific plans to lower individuals’ medical cost under the OECD average cost. Guarantee right to social security, especially for individuals who are living in under the poverty line, in practice. 10. Minorities (Persons with disabilities, migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers) Questions What measures have been made by the Government to protect rights of asylum-seekers whose refugee recognition procedures is not yet completed? Are there any time limits on the length of the detention of undocumented migrants? Please elaborate whether there have been periodic judicial review with regard to legality and necessity of the detention of migrants. Recommendations Ensure that the refugee application can be accepted at the airport. Ensure that the detention is used as a measure of last resort and provide alternatives to detention to the vulnerable individuals in particular children. Implement an accessible procedure to identify stateless persons on its territory in accordance to the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons in 1962. 11. Right to development and environmental issues Questions What kind of mechanisms have instituted to monitor human rights violation in foreign countries which the Government provides with ODA or the Republic of Korean companies invest in? Recommendations Make comprehensive legislative framework regulating human rights violations, inter alia, forced child labours, of the Republic of Korean companies abroad including their supply chains.
Annex1 : Mapping Table of Official UPR Documentation (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1, 2 and 3) 1. Constitutional and Legislative Framework on Human Rights National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) International Commitments • The Government withdrew its reservation to several 1 conventions. (para. 9) • Though enforced disappearance is not a matter of concern, further review is underway on various elements of the Convention. (para. 77) • The Government intends to examine the ratification of the ICMW, taking into account domestic laws and the nature of Korea’s labor market. (para. 78) • The Government has continued to research and hold consultations among relevant ministries and with the ILO. Challenges remain in ratifying some conventions including ILO Convention Nos. 87 and 98 and 29 and 105. (para. 79)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) International Commitments • The Republic of Korea was encouraged to sign and ratify OP-ICESCR, ICRMW, CPED, ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98, the Palermo Protocol, and so on. (para. 1)
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) International Commitments • Accession to OP-CAT is vital and an effective national mechanism to prevent torture or degrading treatment should be established. (NHRCK) (para. 1) • The Government should accede to CPED, reform the law and embrace CPED’s definitions of “enforced disappearance” (NHRCK) (para. 2) • The Government should withdraw its reservation to article 16, para. 1(g) of CEDAW not to take it for granted that a child’s surname generally follows that of the father. (para. 4)
2. National Human Rights Institutions and Policy Measures
National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) • The scope of the NHRCK investigation was widened from just governmental institutions to schools, public corporations, and the other public institutions as well. (para. 8)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) • NHRCK was downsized by 21% and several incidents put its independence at risk(CRC, CESCR, CEDAW) (para. 4) • The Government should fully implement the recommendations issued by the NHRCK and ensure the complete functional autonomy of the NHRCK from the Government (SR on FoE) (para. 4)
National Action Plan • The Government launched the second National Action
National Action Plan N/A
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) • The Government downsized the NHRCK by 21% and appointed a chairperson lacking experience and expertise in the field of human rights. Since then, the Commission has allegedly deferred its decisions on several cases of serious human rights violations (para. 29) • The Government should establish a channel for the NHRCK and civil society to cooperate with the National Human Rights Policy Council on the implementation of recommendations from the UPR and treaty bodies (para. 7) National Action Plan • The Government allegedly excluded NGOs in the creation
Paragraph 3 of Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 7 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights as of March 2012. (para. 7)
of the second National Action Plan on human rights (para. 31)
3. Equality and non-discrimination
National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) A special sub-committee for anti-discrimination was organized. Two draft bills for anti-discrimination submitted to the National Assembly but they expired with the th conclusion of the 18 National Assembly session in May 2012 (para. 45). Promoting women’s rights is embedded in key national projects. The representation of women in government committees and on the executive boards of public corporations is a regular agenda at the State Council meetings and the Women’s Policy Coordination Committee meetings. More women to be appointed to high-ranking managerial positions in the Government (para. 46). The Gender Impact Assessment and Analysis Act, embedded with gender-sensitive budgeting was enacted. The National Gender Equality Index/Indicator was introduced and National Gender Equality Report was consequently published. More efforts are being put into protecting the rights of women by the Women’s Policy Review Committee. Countermeasures against genderrelated crimes also on the agenda and the relevant policies reflect the results of discussions (para. 47). The Government distributed informational materials on the revised Civil Act, which abolished the Family Head System, and the country’s changed identity registration system, and reviewed remaining challenges with the participation of women’s rights advocacy group, and revised other laws according to the abolition of the Family Head System. (para. 48)
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• • •
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) Adoption of comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act needed, in line with the CEDAW and article 2 (4) of the NHRCK Act (CEDAW, CRC, CERD, CESCR) (para. 8). Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in formulating and implementing legislation and policy measures (CEDAW) (para. 9). Discrimination against women still present in society, in spite of the abolition of the Hoju system, including wage gap, the low percentage of women in high-ranking positions in political and public life, occupational sex segregation, and low rate of labour market participation of women. (CESCR, CEDAW) (para. 10). Recommend the incorporation of a rule of equal distribution of marital property upon divorce (CEDAW) (para. 11) Children from multicultural or migrant backgrounds or who came from the DPRK; refugee children; children with disabilities; and single mother still face discrimination (CRC) (para. 12). Current legislation and practice are inadequate in providing for universal birth registration. The lack of measures to prevent birth registration by third parties could result in children being subject to sale (CRC) (para. 13). No safeguard against statelessness exists for children born in the country of foreign parents (UNHCR) (para. 14). Revision of legislation is needed to remove all discriminatory provisions relating to the requirements for acquiring nationality (CEDAW) (para. 14) Foreign women married to Korean nationals should be allowed to acquire residency status or naturalization without being dependent on their husbands (CESCR) (para. 14).
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Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) Enact a law prohibiting indirect as well as direct discrimination. (para. 9). 2 Need to modify article 92-5 of the Military Penal Code to combat discrimination against sexual minorities and to promote education and public awareness. (para. 13). No visible progress on enacting anti-discrimination legislation since 2007. (para. 35). Unwed mothers forced to relinquish their children. Laws to compel fathers to pay child support are still not enforced. The Single-Parent Family Welfare Act and the National Basic Livelihood Security Act should be amended (para. 36). Enact the Migrant Children Rights Protection Act since only partially protected medical services of children of undocumented migrant workers (para. 38). Abolish the spouse reference system as it reinforced the inequality between the Korean husband and migrant wife. Divorced women face statelessness problem. (para. 39) Risks faced particularly by women migrant workers include recruitment into the sex industry. The role of the E-6 visa and E-6 broker agencies should be subjected to scrutiny (para. 41)
4. Right to life, liberty and security of the person National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2)
Right to life • The Act on Suicide Prevention and Promotion of LifeRespecting Culture was enacted. The Act stipulates the responsibilities of the state and introduces measures to prevent suicide, ultimately aiming to protect people’s lives and foster a culture that respects life. (para. 20) • The Government has suspended the execution of capital punishment since 1998. With the respect to the ruling by the Constitutional Court of Korea in which CCK upheld the capital punishment, the Government will review the need to revise the penal provisions which acknowledge death penalty as statutory sentencing. (para. 71) Legislative enactment of torture as a criminal offense • In addition to criminal investigations and legal proceedings, the Human Rights Violation Report Center of the Ministry of Justice, the Human Rights Protection Director’s Office of the National Policy Agency, the NHRCK, and the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission can investigate any allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officers. In 2010, the NHRCK, after its investigation into an allegation of assault by policy officers, requested the Public Prosecutor General to launch a criminal investigation, which resulted in the arrest and prosecution of four police officers. (para. 40) • All acts that can be construed as torture are prosecuted by the Criminal Act and special criminal laws. The Special Sub-Committee on Amendment of Criminal Act will examine whether Article 125 of the Criminal Act needs to be amended to reflect the definition of torture of Article 1 of CAT. (para. 41) Human Rights Violations in the military N/A
Right to life • The Government abstained from the vote on General Assembly resolution 65/206 on a moratorium on the death penalty (para. 15).
Legislative enactment of torture as a criminal offense N/A
Human Rights Violations in the military N/A
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) Right to life • A change in the Government’s attitude and genuine effort are required to abolish capital punishment. (para. 14) • No official moratorium on executions. The Constitutional Court stated that capital punishment is not unconstitutional. (para. 42) • The Government keeps using the results of public opinion polls, usually conducted right after disturbing crime cases aired in the media, for an excuse to not abolish the death penalty (para. 42). • The Government should conduct a national campaign against and abolish the death penalty. (para. 42) Legislative enactment of torture as a criminal offense • The Government should take measures to prevent torture by police officers. (para. 15) • Domestic law is not in line with article 1 of CAT and violence and cruel treatment perpetrated by the police or the prosecutor’s office continued to take place. (para. 43).
Human Rights Violations in the military • Although many soldiers suffered from beating and brutal treatment in the military, perpetrators were not properly punished. (para. 44) • In 2009, the Korean Presidential Commission on Suspicious Deaths in the Military decided that the Government was responsible for the deaths of five young Jehovah’s
Child abuse and domestic violence • The amendments of the Special Act on Punishment of Crimes of Domestic Violation and Other grant emergency intervention authority to judicial public officers in order to ensure speedy protection of victims and allow victims to directly request protections to the court. The amended Act of the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims and Others gives police officers the authority to enter and investigate the crime scene to protect victims. (para. 50) • Child Abuse is a crime punishable by the Criminal Act and the Child Welfare Act. (para. 56)
Child abuse and domestic violence • The low rate of reported domestic violence cases did not correspond with the actual numbers. (CEDAW) (para. 18).
Sexual crimes against children and juveniles • The amended Act on the Protection of Children and Juveniles from Sexual Abuse suspends the statute of limitations for sexual abuse against children and juveniles until the victim reaches legal age of majority, and recognizes boys and male juveniles as victims of rape, and enables to punish intercourse or sexual indecent assault committed against children with disabilities even if assault or intimidation is not accompanied, and provides free legal assistance to children and juvenile victims of sexual abuse in criminal proceedings. (paras. 15, 16) Prohibition of corporal punishment against children and promotion of non-violent forms of discipline • The amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act prohibits the use of corporal punishment including the infliction of physical pain using tools or body parts in school. The
Sexual crimes against children and juveniles N/A
Witnesses who were forcibly conscripted in the army. (para. 44) • From 2007 to 2010, over 43,066 soldiers had been sent to military prison by their commanders. The Government should revise the Military Personnel Management act to require a judge to issue a warrant for detention. (para. 45) • From 2009 to 2010, 173 out of 336 sexual crime cases in the military were not indicted. (para. 51) • The Government should provide institutional aid to victims of crimes in the military. (para 51). Child abuse and domestic violence • Solutions for child mistreatment, including neglect or psychological abuse are needed. Measures should be taken to improve the reporting rate of child abuse. (para. 16) • Reporting rate needs to be increased and more female investigators should be hired for investigation. (para. 17) • As of 2010, 65.8% of children and adolescents had been victims of child abuse including mental abuse by their parents, and 16.7% of households had been affected by domestic violence between wife and husband. In 59.3% of the cases in which a victim reported the domestic violence to the police, the police failed to take action. (para. 47) • Polices should be given powers to prosecute a perpetrator of domestic violence independent of the victim. (para. 47) Sexual crimes against children and juveniles N/A
Prohibition of corporal punishment against children and promotion of non-violent forms of discipline • Prohibiting corporal punishment; and reviewing its education policy causing high levels of stress to children. (CRC) (para. 6) • The amendment of legislation and regulations to prohibit
Prohibition of corporal punishment against children and promotion of non-violent forms of discipline • Corporal punishment is lawful in the home and alternative care settings. Awareness-raising campaign to teachers and parents against corporal punishment is recommended. (para. 46)
Green Mileage Program to evaluate satisfaction level of students was introduced and more opportunities for counseling and therapy became available for students. (para. 60) • Excessive corporal punishment against children committed by parents or guardians at home my constitute as child abuse pursuant to the Child Welfare Act, or domestic violence subject to the Special Act of the Punishment Crimes of Domestic Violence and Others and the Act on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victim and Other. (para. 61) Prosecution of marital rape • Marital rape can be prosecuted under the Criminal Act, because the victim of rape is defined “woman”. Two cases were recognized in Courts’ rulings aggravated rape charges against husbands and the rulings have been upheld. (para. 49)
Protection of children and women from exploitation • Amendments of the Act on Management of Marriage Brokerage Agency require international marriage brokerage agencies to provide personal information of service users and to offer translation and interpretation services, and prohibit and criminalize certain acts that may lead to trafficking. (para. 53) • Foreign women, who are acknowledged as victims of trafficking for sex trade, are entitled to the same protection and support as local victims. (para. 55)
Sexual crimes subjected to investigation and prosecution only by complaints filed by victims • Any sexual crimes against children, juveniles under the age of 19, and persons with disabilities are subject to investigation and prosecution without requirement of complaints filed by victims. (para. 75). Victims of military sexual slavery
corporal punishment is needed (CRC) (para. 17).
Prosecution of marital rape • Marital rape is not criminalized in legislation but only in case law (CEDAW, para. 18).
Protection of children and women from exploitation • The increasing number of working children, insufficient legal provisions regulating irregular labour practices and children being employed as entertainers and sex objects (CRC) (para. 19). • A large number of women and children continue to be trafficked, but the rate of prosecution and conviction of traffickers are still low. The screening procedure of entertainment companies which recruit foreign women and monitoring mechanism need to be enhanced. Measures to ensure effective implementation of the Marriage Brokerage Control Act need to be taken. (CESCR, CRC, CERDAW) (para. 20). • All legislation should be fully harmonized with the provisions of the OP-CRC-AC (CRC) (para. 21). Sexual crimes subjected to investigation and prosecution only by complaints filed by victims • The Criminal Code provision requires sexual violence victims to file a complaint to have their cases prosecuted. The limited number of women police officers available to deal with cases of sexual and domestic violence. (CEDAW) (para. 18) Victims of military sexual slavery
Prosecution of marital rape • Marital rape is recognized by inferior courts but there is an emerging demand to clarify the criminal nature of marital rape through legislation. (para. 17) • In 2010, marital rape accounted for 10.4% of sexual abuse cases. The Government should amend legislation to protect marital rape victims and punish the offenders. (para. 49) Protection of children and women from exploitation • The prostitution of minors is not diminishing. (para. 50). • Provisions in several laws regarding child prostitution should be reviewed and harmonized so that consistent sentences can be applied. (para. 50) • Enactment of a comprehensive definition of human trafficking in line with the Palermo Protocol is needed. (para. 50)
Sexual crimes subjected to investigation and prosecution only by complaints filed by victims • The Government should consider repealing the categorization of offences subject to complaint by victims. (para. 17)
Victims of military sexual slavery
Landmine Victims N/A
Landmine Victims N/A
• The Constitutional Court of Korea ruled in 2011 that the non-action of the State to compensate Korean women drafted for military sexual slavery during World War II was unconstitutional. Proper legal compensation to sexual slavery victims and a settlement on the dispute resolution procedure are needed. (para. 52) Landmine Victims • No official statistics or investigation made on the victims to landmines. Legislation for landmine victims should be enacted. (para. 53)
5. Administration of justice and the rule of law National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2)
Military Court N/A
Military Court N/A
Human rights education for law enforcement officers • The Government incorporates human rights education sessions into the orientation for newly-recruited government officials in the mandatory job training courses. (para. 70)
Human rights education for law enforcement officers N/A
Protection of child’s rights in juvenile justice system • In the case of sexual crimes against children aged less than 13, it has become mandatory to seek professional opinions on statements of victims. (para. 57)
Protection of child’s rights in juvenile justice system • In spite of increasing rate of delinquency and juvenile crime, the Government focuses on increasing punitive measures rather than addressing the root causes. The Government needs to bring the system of juvenile justice fully in line with the Convention (CRC) (para. 22). • Child-friendly procedural rules need to be further developed. All child victims and/or witnesses should be provided with the protection required by the Convention (CRC) (para. 23).
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) Military Court • Military personnel and civilian workers in the military are not guaranteed the right to fair trial. The Government should abolish the military court during peacetime. (para. 54) Human rights education for law enforcement officers • Human rights education is recommended for all military personnel. No records could be found regarding whether law enforcement officials had been provided human rights education relevant to child abuse and domestic violence cases. (para. 32) Protection of child’s rights in juvenile justice system N/A
6. Right to privacy, marriage and family life National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2)
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3)
Protection of personal information • The Personal Information Protection Act created the Personal Information Protection Commission which can issue corrective and improvement measures to central administrative bodies, local governments and constitutional institutions, and established the Personal Information Dispute Mediation Committee for dispute resolution concerning personal information, and enabled for civil organizations to file class action suits regarding personal information. (para. 21) • The Government has implemented various measures, including discouraging use of resident registration numbers as a means of identification and penalizing illegitimate use of the numbers. (para. 43) • Amended Act on Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection etc has restricted for telecommunication service providers, including internet service providers, to collect and to utilize of customers’ resident registration numbers. And even when permitted to do so, alternative methods of identification are required to be offered to customers. (para. 44)
Protection of personal information N/A
Protection of personal information • Regarding the problem of invasion of privacy, the Government should abolish or improve the resident registration number system. (para. 18) • Resident registration system needs to be reconsidered. (para. 57) • The use of collected DNA should be strictly limited. (para. 57)
Adoption • N/A
Adoption • The System for inter-country adoptions should be reviewed and legislation be reformed, including defining a clear mandate, and ensuring child’s view are given due weight, and guarantee that adoption be carried out only with the consent of birth parent(s). (CRC) (para. 24)
Separated Family Reunion • N/A
Separated Family Reunion • Family reunion process of separated Korean families and inter-Korean dialogue should be resumed. (SR on DPRK, para. 25)
Adoption • About 85% to 90% of reported domestic and international adoption and all secret domestic adoption are alleged to be from unwed mothers. Non-recording of adoption left open the possibility of child-selling. (para. 55) • Failures to regulate abuses in adoption processes and to protect social and economic rights were key push-factors in the high rates of adoption. (para. 56) • Government should work in cooperation with civil society in deciding how the Korea Central Adoption Resources Agency should operate and be organized. (para. 56) Separated Family Reunion • N/A
7. Freedom of religion or belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly, and right to participate in public and political life National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) Conscientious Objectors • It is difficult to introduce alternative services for conscientious objectors to military draft, considering the prevailing security threats on the Korean peninsula, the challenge in securing military personnel if alternative services are introduced and the widely-shared criticism based on the fairness of military obligation (para. 74) • The Government plans to continue thoroughly reviewing and researching on introducing alternative military services to conscientious objectors and the agenda is incorporated into the second NAP. (para. 74) National Security Act(NSA) • The Government has made efforts to ensure the application of the NSA to be scrupulous without any arbitrary interpretation or potential misuse. (para. 72) • The Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court have upheld the legitimacy of the NSA (para. 72) • Individual cases will continue to be examined case-bycase, comprehensively taking into account the severity, nature and impact of their alleged threat on national security (para. 72) Freedom of Expression, association and peaceful assembly • Make efforts to make sure the freedom of association and assembly is enjoyed in a peaceful and legitimate manner. Outdoor assemblies at night which was formerly prohibited by Article 10 of the Assembly and Demonstration Act was ruled as unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in September 2009 and became invalid at the end of June 2010. (para. 37) • Not legislations specifically guarantee freedom of expression and freedom assembly of students but they are not restricted by any law either. All ordinances by local offices of education stipulate that the freedom of expression of students shall be guaranteed. (para. 38) • The right of government official was recognised in 2005, limitations remain on the grounds of positions or nature of jobs. The Government plans to consider withdrawing the reservation to Article 22 of the ICCPR. (para. 39)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) Conscientious Objectors • Provide effective remedies to conscientious objectors including expunging their criminal records and providing adequate compensation (HRC) (para. 27) • Adopt legislative measures guaranteeing the right of conscientious objection (HRC) (para. 27)
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) Conscientious Objectors • Introduce alternative service for conscientious objectors have been hold since December 2008 and the Constitutional Court refused to recognize the right to conscientious objection by its decision of August 30, 2011 (para. 59)
National Security Act(NSA) • Recommend to abolish article 7 of the NSA (SR on FoE) (para. 32)
National Security Act(NSA) • The NSA was being abused and the number of those detained for violating the NSA had increased almost fourfold in the last four years (para. 60)
Freedom of Expression, association and peaceful assembly • Note the increase restriction of individuals’ right to freedom of opinion and expression. (SR on FoE) (para. 28) • Ensure the right of all individuals to freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration, as a collective exercise of the right to freedom of expression, by refraining from any de facto practices of prior approval in violation of article 21 of the Constitution, and that allegations of excessive use of force by law enforcement officials be effectively investigated and that the persons responsible be held accountable. Remove defamation as a criminal offence from the Criminal Act. (SR on FoE) (para. 28) • The Korea Communication Standards Committee (KCSC) should be transferred to an independent body (SR on FoE) (para. 29) • Repeal the prohibition of seditious books (SR on FoE) (para. 30)
Freedom of Expression, association and peaceful assembly • The Korea Communication Standards Commission(KCSC) vaguely defined standards and wide discretionary power to determine what information should be deleted on the internet (para. 61) • Restrictions had been place on freedom of peaceful assembly through the Assembly and Demonstration Act and the Criminal Code. Special concerns are given to restrictions on the freedom of peaceful protest regarding the construction of a naval base in Gangjeong village in Jeju Island. (para. 62) • Foreign civil society members have been prevented from carrying out advocacy activities in the country and made to leave the country (para. 63) • Denial of freedom of association to foreign migrant workers and discrimination regarding their right to form trade unions (para. 64)
• Promote and protect media diversity and pluralism (SR on FoE) (para. 31)
• The right of low-level Government employees, police officers and military officers to form and join labour unions are not recognized (para. 65) • The Ministry of National Defense made a list of seditious books and arbitrary infringed the right of military personnel to participate in political life. (para. 66, 67) • The freedom of political expression of civil servants had been restricted (para. 68)
8. Right to work and to just and favourable conditions of work National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) • Amendments to Act on Prohibition of Age Discrimination in Employment and Aged Employment Promotion took effect in March 2009. The amendments prohibit agebased discrimination without justifiable reason in employment. (para. 13) • In September 2011, the Comprehensive Policy for Nonregular Workers was launched to address discrimination against non-regular workers. The Policy also puts emphasis on strengthening social safety net and welfare for low-waged workers. (para. 27) • The Industrial Accident Compensation Act was amended to allow certain categories of workers to be eligible for industrial accident insurance at their discretion. (para. 27)
• • •
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) Civil servants should be able to join a trade union and to strike in conformity with the comments made by the ILO Committee of Experts (CESCR) (para. 35) Take all appropriate measures to ensure minimum wage, provide adequate standard of living to workers and their families, extend applicability of minimum wage legislation (CESCR) (para. 36) Note that 34.9% of total workforce was made up of nonregular workers. Protect non-regular workers from unfair dismissal, unfair income, lack of social insurance and bad working condition (CESCR) (para 37) Adopt and implement legislation that criminalise sexual harassment in the workplace and set up mechanisms to monitor such implementation (CESCR, CEDAW) (para. 38) Labour inspections should focus on the immigration status of workers (CESCR) (para. 39) Review the employment permit system and uphold the High Court’s decision to grant legal status to the Migrants’ Trade Union (CESCR) (para. 40)
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) • Employment rate of women in general is low and the maternity leave system is very under-used and Revise relevant laws to require the insurer to establish the causal relationship between the work and the accident or damage (para. 70, 71) • Recognise the status of the Migrant Trade Union as a legal union and remove obstacles to migrant workers forming and participating in trade unions (para. 72) • Eliminate restrictions on labour mobility of migrant workers (para. 72)
9. Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living, right to health, right to education National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) Right to Social Security • The Social Service Act was amended and it is expected to enhance human rights protection in the entire sector of social services and promote human rights and welfare of
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) Right to Social Security • Current financial resource allocations for the implementation of the social sectors as a proportion of available resources remained low. Note 8.2% of the total
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) Right to Social Security • Note increase of non-regular workers and the working poor and the worsening of social and economic security (para. 73)
recipients of social services. (para. 24) • To ensure affordable and stable housing, a project to supply 1.5 million units of government rental apartments from 2009 to 2018 was planned in September 2008. (para. 29) • Rationalised the minimum cost of living by reflecting living conditions and price changes (para. 31)
Right to Health • The Mental Health Act was amended in March 2008, aiming to prevent potential human rights violations at mental health institutions. (para. 12) • Medical care assistance is strengthened for the disadvantaged. (para. 30) • Expanding coverage of the National Health Insurance to guarantee the right to health. It has increased efforts to promote the right to health through greater support for preventive measures. (para. 32, 33)
Right to Education • Ensure the right to education for all children with special attention given to students from low-income households or those with disabilities by tailoring financial aid programs (para. 26) • Revamped alternative education programs and supports for those students who dropouts failing to adapt to regular schools by offering assistance for training for teachers and curriculum development. (para. 26)
population were excluded from the national basic livelihood security system. (CESCR) (para. 41) • Conclude the review expeditiously and guarantee access to the system for persons that have not completed a minimum period of stable living. Allocate sufficient funds for the full implementation of its poverty eradication strategy (CESCR) (para. 41) • Alternative or complementary policies to the national pension system be envisaged (CESCR) (para. 42) • Adopt strategy to address homelessness and ensure an adequate standard of living for the homeless (CESCR) (para. 43) • Forced eviction should be used only as a measure of last resort and avoid recourse to violence such as that seen in the Yongsan incident. (CESCR, SRs) (para. 44) Right to Health • Disadvantaged and marginalised individuals did not have and marginalised individuals did not have adequate access to medical services privately run hospitals, which constitute 90% of all hospitals. Also, the national health insurance only covers around 65% of total medical expenses(CESCR) (para. 45) • Recommend to increase to a significant level the funding allocated to health and establish a system of public care facilities (CRC) (para. 45) • Urged to undertake research on suicide risk factors among children, measures for the development of a child mental health-care policy (CRC) (para. 46) • Concern the legislative prohibition on abortion (CRC) (para. 47) • Concern that companies commercialising bottled water were used groundwater resources that local communities needed for drinking and farming (CESCR) (para. 48) Right to Education • Concern at the highly competitive conditions prevalent in the education system and exacerbation of pre-existing socio-economic asymmetries arising from the financial cost of private tutoring (CRC) (para. 49) • Implement the decision by the Constitutional Court on the limitation of the operating hours of privately run cramming schools (CESCR) (para. 50) • Increasing severity and frequency of bullying, particularly
• More than a million people who were in need of benefits were not entitled to receive public assistance due to strict qualification standards (para. 74) • Lack of access to social insurance of non-regular workers (para. 75) • 45% of the ageing population suffered from poverty and the suicide rate among the aging population was one of the highest in the world. The qualification for the basic old-age pension was restrictive (para. 76) • Only 58.9%of all paid workers were insured against unemployment and among those who lost their jobs, only 11% could get unemployment benefit. (para. 77)
Right to Health • National Health Insurance covers only 62.2% of total medical insurance. Recommend to build more public hospitals so that it can be more than 30% of total hospitals. (para. 78) • Adopt all possible measures to reduce computer games addiction (para. 79) • Concern on the high rate of teenage pregnancies and lack of adequate social assistance for pregnant girls and the practice of soliciting pregnant girls to drop out of school (para. 80)
Right to Education • Freedom of expression and assembly of students are ignored. Even though some Students Rights Ordinances overcome shortcomings, revisions of the Enforcement Decree of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act resulted in its invalidation. (para. 81) • University tuition fees were the second highest in the world and private tutoring and education is widespread and consistent. (para. 82)
against children of foreign origin (CRC) (para. 51) • Recommend to facilitate children’s active participation in decision making process both within and outside schools (CRC) (para. 52)
• Suicide rate among youth was one of the highest in the world (para. 83)
10. Minorities (Persons with disabilities, migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers) National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) Migrants • The amendments to the Immigration Control Act(Nov. 2012). For those detained over three months, approval by the Minister of Justice is required every three months for the extension of detention. (para. 17) • Additional amendments to the Immigration Contorl Act (Jan. 2012). Officials now have discretion not to report the illegality of immigration status of migrants to whom they provide assistance and services. (para. 18) • In December 2008, the Government formulated the first Framework Policy on Immigration (2008–2012) in order to execute national policies for migrants in a comprehensive manner. With the first Framework to be completed this year, the Government is currently designing the second Framework (2013–2017), which will focus on providing expanded comprehensive services, including welfare, health care, counselling, childcare, education, employment, information, to facilitate social integration of marriage migrant women into the society and support education of their children. (para.62) • Create Joint Multicultural Family Policy Council(2009) that formulated the 2010-12 Framework Policy for Multicultural Families. In 2011, it amended the Support for Multicultural Families Act to improve protection and support for victims of domestic violence, assistance for medical care and health services, and provision of information on living and education. (para.63) • Opened a counselling center for migrant workers, which offers counselling services in ten different languages in 2011. (para. 67) • Women migrant workers are also entitled to the same maternity protection as Korean workers, including prohibition of termination for pregnancy and delivery,
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) Migrants • Review the employment permit system and uphold the High Court’s decision to grant legal status to the Migrants’ Trade Union (CESCR) (para. 40)
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) Migrants • Formulate policies on the prevention of discrimination and violence against migrant women, the promotion of maternity protection, and guarantee the right to education and health of the child. (para. 10) • Recognise the status of the Migrant Trade Union as a legal union and remove obstacles to migrant workers forming and participating in trade unions (para. 72) • Eliminate restrictions on labour mobility of migrant workers (para. 72)
and guarantee of maternity leave and childcare leave pay. (para. 68) Refugees and asylum-seekers • The Refugee Act was took effect in July 2013 which include an independent legislation dedicated to procedures of refugee status determination. (para. 25)
Persons with Disabilities • In 2008, the Special Act on the Preferential Purchase of Products Manufactured by Persons with Severe Disabilities was enacted to promote sale of goods produced by rehabilitation facilities for people with disabilities for the growth of their income. (para. 34) • In 2010, the Disability Pension Act was enacted to support people with severe disabilities who are unable to support themselves financially. (para. 34) • In 2011, the Act on the Promotion of Activities of Persons with Disabilities was enacted to provide mobility
Refugees and asylum-seekers • The adoption of a new Refugee Act, which will enter into force on 1 July 2013, was a significant step in the development of the country’s asylum system. (UHNCR) (para.55) • Ensure unhindered access to the territory and to the asylum system, in particular at ports of entry and immigration detention centres and continue the ongoing efforts in improving the quality and procedural fairness of the asylum determination process (UNHCR) (para. 56) • Refrain from the detention of children in a refugee, asylum-seeking or unaccompanied situation and introduce a mechanism to allow for systematic identification at the earliest possible stage of refugee and asylum-seeking children entering the country who may have been recruited or used in hostilities abroad. (CRC) (para. 57) • Note that free primary and secondary education (up to middle school) had been made available for all children irrespective of the legal status of the parents. Ensure effective access to education for all children (UNHCR) (para. 58) • Promote the local integration of refugees, asylumseekers, and humanitarian status holders by extending multicultural programmes to them. (UNHCR) (para. 59) • Government did not provide any livelihood support during the asylum process and many asylum-seekers and humanitarian status holders were forced to work in the informal sector (UNHCR) (para. 60) Persons with Disabilities • Note that Government assistance for children with disabilities was only provided to low-income households and did not cover physical therapy and vocational training. It urged more effective implementation of the Act for the Special Education of Persons with Disabilities. (CRC) (para. 33)
Refugees and asylum-seekers • The Refugee Act, which will be effective starting in 2013, includes “abridged” or “accelerated” procedures provision for certain cases of refugee status application, which is very broad, making it likely to be subject to abuse. While the Act gives the Minister of Justice the discretionary powers to grant basic livelihood support or work permit to each refugee status applicant, it fails to provide that at least one of the two should necessarily be granted. (para. 85) • Absence of a domestic mechanism to ensure nonrefoulement and urged the Government to stop deporting asylum-seekers whose refugee recognition procedures are not yet completed to places of high risk of persecution. (para. 62)
Persons with Disabilities • More than half of the schools with children with disabilities often had overcrowded classes, a shortage of qualified teachers and lack of appropriate facilities and support. (para. 82)
assistance service. With the Act, home-visit bathing or care services are also provided. (para. 34) • In 2011, the Act on Welfare Support for Children with Disabilities was enacted as a legal framework for comprehensive support for children with disabilities. (para. 34) • The Government revised the Mandatory Hiring of Persons with Disabilities Program effective from 2010, which encourages employment of persons with severe disabilities by reflecting the number of persons with severe disabilities hired to equal the doubled number of persons with non-severe disabilities. (para. 35)
11. Right to development and environmental issues National Report (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/1) • The Government joined the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in 2010 and enacted the Framework Act on International Development Cooperation in the same year to ensure the better effectiveness and efficiency of its ODA. In effect, the 2011-2015 Mid-term Policy devised in accordance with the Framework Act places priority on the contribution to achieving MDGs as a part of the six long-term strategic objectives and principles, and further states that human rights shall be taken into account when planning and executing assistance projects. (para.10)
Compilation of UN Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/2) • If possible, surpass the internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for international assistance by 2015. (CRC) (para. 61) • Note that there is no comprehensive legislative framework regulating the prevention and mitigation of adverse human rights impacts of companies’ activities. Take measures to ensure that its companies cooperate with foreign Governments carrying out processes of free, prior and informed consent where projects affect indigenous peoples or impact assessments on human/child rights; and ensure that prior to the negotiation and conclusion of free trade agreements, human rights assessments including child rights are conducted and measures adopted to prevent violations. (CRC) (para. 62)
Summary of Stakeholders’ Information (A/HRC/WG.6/14/KOR/3) • The business sector’s impact particularly on children’s rights, including the alleged importation of products made with forced child labour and the effect on local populations of the acquisition of large portions of land in various countries to meet the Republic of Korea’s food security concerns. Alleged human rights violations by several Korean companies abroad and referred to the need for urgent reform of the Korean extractive industry. (para. 88) • The NHRCK has been passive in dealing with issues related to Korean companies’ human rights abuse overseas reported. There are severe performance problems of the National Contact Point (para. 89)
A General Assembly
Distr. GENERAL A/HRC/8/40/Add.1 25 August 2008
Original: ENGLISH HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Eighth session Agenda item 6
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review Republic of Korea Addendum Response of the Republic of Korea on the Universal Periodic Review recommendations *
The present document was not edited before being sent to the United Nations translation services.
A/HRC/8/40/Add.1 Page 2 I. SUMMARY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA RESPONSE TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS
Response of the Republic of Korea
To work on the implementation and dissemination of observations of treaty bodies (Brazil);
To ratify the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities without reservations (Brazil);
Reservation to only Art. 25 (e) of the Convention is being considered.
To strengthen efforts to uphold the Act on the Foreign Workers Employment in order to ensure the effective protection of the rights of foreign workers in the country (Indonesia);
To take concrete measures with a view to abolishing the “Security Law” (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea);
Republic of Korea reaffirmed that the National Security Law should not be misused or interpreted arbitrarily. a
While expressing concern at the Security Surveillance Law, which restricts freedoms of former political prisoners and of prisoners of conscience to adopt measures to address the situation (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea);
Republic of Korea will further review its response to this recommendation.
To adopt relevant measures for legislative and criminal justice improvements in relation to concerns expressed by the Committee against Torture in relation to allegations of torture in detention facilities and improper definition of torture in the Criminal Code, and by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation to limitations on freedom of expression and assembly of students (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea);
‘Torture’ is broadly defined in domestic law to punish all acts of torture. b
To accede to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrants Workers and Members of Their Families (Algeria, Philippines, Egypt, Mexico, Peru), to withdraw reservations to other treaties restricting the protection of migrant workers and their families (Mexico) and to ratify the Palermo Protocol (Peru);
The Amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of March 2008 established the provision guaranteeing human rights of students stipulated in the Constitution and international human rights treaties. Republic of Korea welcomes the intention and sprit of this recommendation to protect migrant workers and their family members, but does not accept at this stage the recommended accession to the ICRMW which is now in conflict with some key domestic laws. c In the meantime, Republic of Korea will do its best to protect human rights including their health and safety and employment rights under current national laws covering human rights and welfare for foreigners in the Republic of Korea. Republic of Korea will positively consider ratifying the Palermo Protocol.
To take measures to protect and fulfill the rights of all women migrant workers and to ensure that they are not subjected to discriminatory practices (Algeria);
A/HRC/8/40/Add.1 Page 3
Response of the Republic of Korea
That the guarantee provided for the freedom of association and assembly be enshrined into law (Algeria);
To enact a crime of torture as defined in Article 1 of the Convention against Torture (Canada);
â€œTortureâ€? is broadly defined in domestic law to punish all acts of torture. b
To provide human rights training to law enforcement personnel and that measures are taken to ensure that the human rights of migrants are protected at all times (Canada);
That all allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officers be investigated (Canada);
To review its resident registration system to safeguard the right to privacy and limit the uses of registration numbers to those strictly necessary for the provision of public services (Canada);
That marital rape, child abuse and domestic violence be criminalized, perpetrators are prosecuted and sanctioned, human rights training be provided for officials dealing with instances of domestic violence and child abuse, and that child-sensitive procedures be adopted during criminal proceedings involving children (Canada);
To place special emphasis on women and children when formulating policies to protect the rights of migrant workers (Canada);
To sign the international Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (France);
Republic of Koreaâ€™s position will be made on this recommendation following the study of the scope of domestic laws to be revised, which is currently under way.
To recognize the right of conscientious objection by law, to decriminalize refusal of active military service and to remove any current prohibition from employment in Government or public organizations, in line with the recommendation by the Human Rights Committee (Slovenia);
Alternative service programs for conscientious objectors are currently being studied.
To include a gender perspective into the UPR followup process in a systematic and continuous manner (Slovenia);
Noting that sexual crime is categorized as an offence that is subjected to investigation only upon complaint from the victim, it was recommended that this legal provisions be reviewed, along with other relevant provisions, in order to enhance protection of victims (Slovenia);
The relevant provisions will be reviewed.
A/HRC/8/40/Add.1 Page 4
Response of the Republic of Korea
To maintain the current de facto moratorium (Belgium, Italy) and to progress towards the abolition of the death penalty (Belgium, Italy, Mexico) and to pass the special bill to abolish the death penalty into law in the new National Assembly that starts on 1 June 2008 (Netherlands, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);
This issue requires a broad consensus at the national level. Various aspects should be considered in a comprehensive manner, such as criminal justice, social conditions and public opinion.
As recommended by CEDAW, that a definition on discrimination against women in compliance with Article 1 of CEDAW be adopted and that the fight against trafficking in foreign women be intensified (Belgium);
To further strengthen measures against torture and illtreatment, including accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture in the near future, and that it establish an effective national preventive mechanism (Czech Republic);
Inter-Ministerial consultations on the accession to the OP-CAT is currently underway.
That discrimination on basis of sexual orientation also be included in the draft antidiscrimination bill (Czech Republic);
It is interpreted that discrimination is prohibited by the Constitution, human rights treaties and relevant domestic laws. The National Human Rights Commissions conducts its activities against discriminatory practices.
That the National Security Act be brought in line with international standards regarding clarity of criminal law, and that active steps be taken to introduce alternatives to military service for conscientious objectors (United Kingdom);
Republic of Korea reaffirmed that the National Security Law should not be misused or interpreted arbitrarily. a Alternative service programs for conscientious objectors are currently being studied.
The withdrawal of the reservation on Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights within a specific timeframe (United Kingdom);
Tripartite consultations and inter-ministerial consultations are needed. It needs further reviews on the trade union pluralism and labour rights of public officials. d
To ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (United Kingdom);
Inter-Ministerial consultations on the accession to the OP-CAT are currently underway.
Recommended that the Government and the Permanent Commission on Law and Justice of the National Assembly comply with the obligations of United Nations reference texts and immediately work to finalize the legislative procedure underway with a view to the abolition in law of the death penalty (Luxembourg);
This issue requires a broad consensus at the national level. Various aspects should be considered in a comprehensive manner, such as criminal justice, social conditions and public opinion.
That the issue of improvement of womenâ€™s rights be considered as one of the main priorities in the Governmentâ€™s human rights policies (Italy);
A/HRC/8/40/Add.1 Page 5
Response of the Republic of Korea
To urgently amend relevant legislation to expressly prohibit corporal punishment in schools and at home and implement educational measures promoting positive and non-violent forms of discipline (Italy);
Republic of Korea will continue to review appropriate measures including complementing the relevant act and decree. e
To implement the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, and ensure that the refugee recognition procedures be improved in line with international refugee law (Romania);
To carry out public campaigns to make the provisions of the new legislation eliminating the Family Head System and establishing equal rights in the marriage more effective (Mexico);
To strengthen legislation regarding domestic violence and to take measures to ensure access of migrants to services including access to the justice system (Mexico);
Amending the National Security Law to prevent abusive interpretation by the law (United States of America).
Republic of Korea reaffirmed that the National Security Law should not be misused or interpreted arbitrarily.
_________________________ Notes a
The Government reaffirms that the National Security Law should not be misused or interpreted arbitrarily. The Constitutional Court has presented strict criteria of interpretation for the law so as to prevent abuse and arbitrary interpretation of the law and to ascertain the constitutionality of its application. The Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutorsâ€™ Office are also making efforts to apply the law prudently in accordance with the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and other courts.
Although there are no provisions in domestic law that provide a direct definition of the act of torture, there are many provisions that prohibit torture. The term 'torture' is defined broadly in domestic law to punish all acts of torture, including acts that do not inflict even "severe pain or damage." Therefore, most acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment are deemed to be acts of torture under domestic law. Acts of torture such as cruel acts by official workers are punishable by Article 123 (Abuse of Authority), Article 124 (Unlawful Arrest and Unlawful Confinement), Article 125 (Violence and Cruel Act) of Criminal Act, Article 4.2 of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Crimes, Article 62 of the Military Criminal Act and Article 19 of the National Intelligence Service Act.
Of all the various provisions of the Convention - those on allowing migrant workers to be accompanied by their family members (Article 44), prescribing the conditions under which a migrant worker is authorized to engage in work on his/her own account (Article 52 Paragraph 4), according each child of a migrant worker the right to registration of birth and to a nationality (Article 29) and taking measures to ensure that an irregular situation does not persist (Article 69 Paragraph 1) - are in conflict with various domestic laws such as the Immigration Control Act, the Korean Nationality Act, the Act on Foreign Workers' Employment, etc. The government will accord careful consideration to whether to ratify the Convention, and will continue to take various measures to prevent infringements upon the human rights of foreign workers and guarantee their rights and interests. d
Some measures, such as allowing trade union pluralism and expanding the scope of public officials eligible to join a trade union etc., need to be taken before withdrawing the reservation on Article 22. Regarding the full implementation of union pluralism, the government is seeking ways to improve the situation through a process of tripartite consensus. In the belief that stabilizing industrial relations is of paramount importance for social
A/HRC/8/40/Add.1 Page 6 integration and sustainable national development, the tripartite representatives meeting agreed to postpone the implementation of union pluralism for three years until 1 January 2010. During the grace period, the Tripartite Commission will set up a framework to engage in intensive discussions on measures to minimize confusion in the event that enterprise-level multiple unions are allowed, and come up with specific implementation measures. As for public officials, with the entering into force of the Act on Establishment, Operation of Public Officials' Trade Unions in 2006, their basic labor rights, such as the right to organize and right to collective bargaining, have been guaranteed to public officials below the Deputy Director level (Grade 5). e
Corporal punishment against children in school is banned under the Enforcement Decree of the Primary and Secondary Education Act, except in circumstances in which it is inevitable for educational purposes. The Government exerts every effort to prevent abuse of corporal punishment against children in schools through various measures such as expanding education for primary and middle school teachers on the rights of children and prohibiting the re-appointment of teachers who have been dismissed due to acts of corporal punishment. In addition, my government has been endeavoring to develop alternative disciplinary measures. The Government will continue to review and complement the relevant act and decree regarding corporal punishment.
II. RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS NOT SUFFICIENTLY ADDRESSED IN THE UPR SESSION 1. Pakistan raised a question with respect to whether the Employment Permit is used to discriminate against migrant workers of countries who have not signed an MOU with the Republic of Korea. In accordance with Article 6 of the Labour Standards Act, employers should not discriminate against workers in their working conditions on the grounds of their nationality. Foreign workers who have entered and are working in the Republic of Korea are not subjected to discriminatory treatment in terms of working conditions, even in case that they are not from countries that have signed an MOU with the Republic of Korea. 2. Japan posed a question as to what measures have been taken to address the violation of human rights on the Internet, such as a person’s privacy and harmful information including discriminatory expressions and child pornography. While protecting the full freedom of expression on the Internet, the Government’s policies have been mainly directed at protecting the individual’s privacy and personal data. Through the amendment of the Telecommunication Network Act, the Government adopts the basic principles and regulations on procedural matters including collecting and use of personal data and the obligation to delete personal data in accordance with international standards. All websites handling personal information are required to have secure Internet servers to protect the personal data of their clients. With regard to the Resident Registration Number system, major legal forms do not require the Resident Registration Numbers. However, limited confirmation of identity of users has been conducted to tackle the negative effects including defamation and verbal abuse occurring on the Internet. In addition, the Government has provided training on the protection of personal information to service users and providers, and remedies for the victims through the receipt of complaints and personal information dispute mediation. The Internet service providers can take temporary measures voluntarily or on the request of the victims of infringement of privacy or defamation. 3. Colombia posed a question relating to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK)’s role in facilitating human rights education for companies and the media. In the Republic of Korea, the Commission enjoys full independence from the Government in its activities. Human rights education for businesses and media constitutes one of the major areas of the Commission’s work together with education focused on law enforcement officers and students. Human rights education for businessmen and journalists ranges from the development
A/HRC/8/40/Add.1 Page 7 and provision of educational programs or material, special lectures by human rights experts, exploring best practices through international conferences and media monitoring. The education for business sectors puts an emphasis on corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investment. The media education covers the representation of minorities in the media, monitoring the media in the field of the disabled, migrants, women, elders, and sexual minorities, and, encouraging the press to deal with human rights-related issues and to produce projects to instill human rights-friendly media. 4. The Netherlands and France raised a question regarding what measures the Korean Government is taking to make sure that vulnerable groups in society, including gays and lesbians, receive equal treatment. Article 11 of the Constitution stipulates that there shall be no discrimination in political, economic, social or cultural life on account of sex, religion or social status. It is interpreted that sex, religion or social status are enumerative ones, thus discrimination based on other grounds stipulated in international human rights instruments is also prohibited. Furthermore, a variety of laws have relevant provisions preventing discrimination. In this regard, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea has carried out activities such as investigating any discriminatory practices when receiving complaints against discriminatory acts including sexual orientation and recommending that relevant authorities provide remedy. The Government submitted to the 17th National Assembly, in December 2007, a draft Anti-Discrimination Act that prohibits ungrounded discrimination in all areas of life and will continue to take into consideration opinions of Member States when pursuing a new draft Act. -----