Chairperson Choi Youngae of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea met with Minister Jeong Kyeongdoo of National Defense to exchange opinion with regards to introduction of alternatives military service for conscientious objectors and its implementation direction.
Chairperson Choi emphasized that alternative service has to refer to recommendations of international human rights institution and should not be punitive to conscientious objectors.
She reminded Minister Jeong the recommendation of the UN Human Rights Committee in its Concluding Observation to recognize the right to conscientious objection and chose alternative civilian service. She also added that the international human rights institutions are paying keen attention to this issue, requesting for provision of information on implementation of recommendation. She also recommended that the duration of alternative service, in consideration of its level of difficulty and form, should not exceed one and half times the length of military service; it should not be confined to service in correctional facilities; and a third party institution should screen the application to guarantee fairness and independence of screening institution for alternative service.
Chairperson Choi and Minister Jeong agreed on the need for introduction of reasonable alternative service that balances the mandate of national security and freedom of conscience.