National Human Rights Commission of Korea
According to Amnesty International's 2011, the main human rights issues in South Korea involve the government's usage of vaguely-worded national security, defamation and other laws to harass and suppress its critics. The main areas of concern are: national security & defamation laws, migrants' rights, conscientious objectors, the death penalty, and freedom of assembly.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK)'s mandate is to investigate human rights violations perpetrated by central and local governments or detention and protection centers and to provide remedies to the victims. The NHRCK is authorized to conduct on-site investigations of these facilities. The Commission also has jurisdiction over discrimination by private entities and organizations on the basis of sex, religion, disability, age, social status, nationality, race, appearance, marital status, pregnancy, family status, skin color, idealogy, political orientation, sexual orientation, medical history, etc.
The Commission also has the authority to conduct an investigation on its own initiative if there is reason to believe that human rights violations or discrimination have occurred and the cases are considered crucial for the promotion and protection of human rights. Sexual harassment in the public sector is also within the jurisdiction of the Commission.
The NHRCK (국가인권위원회) was established as a governmental agency in 2001 pursuant to South Korea’s National Human Rights Commission Act (passed earlier in the same year). Full information on the NHRCK’s mandate & functions can be found on their website, but of particular interest is their commitment to following up on discrimination and human rights violation cases within Korea. The site is accessible in English and Korean; and it features a comprehensive section on filing complaints with the commission.
The “Complaint Guide” is offered in 9 languages: Korea, Chinese, English, Hindustani, Mongolian, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Nepali.
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Last Updated on 2013-06-26
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