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NHRCK submits Opinion for the 4th Universal Periodic Review(UPR) Session to the UN Human Rights Council
- Prompt legislation of the ‘Equality Act(Anti-Discrimination Law)’ is a must -
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea(Chairperson Doohwan Song, hereinafter the ‘NHRCK’ or the ‘Commission’) has submitted an independent report, which includes a portray of the current human rights situation in the Republic of Korea and recommendations for pending issues, to the UN Human Rights Council on 14 July 2022. The report was submitted as a part of the process to prepare for the 4th Universal Periodic Review(hereinafter the ‘UPR’), which is set to take place in 2023.
The UPR is a system that regularly assesses human rights situation of the UN member states and provides recommendations. Korea received the UPR in 2008, 2012 and 2017. The 4th UPR for Korea is scheduled to be held around January 2023.
The independent report, which includes the opinion of the NHRCK on pending human rights issues, serves as the basis for the UN member states participating in the UPR to formulate recommendations for the government of the Republic of Korea and to call on Korean government to implement the recommendations provided.
The Commission provided its opinions on various human rights issues in Korea in the independent report, including equality and non-discrimination, rights of freedom, human rights in military, rights of persons with disabilities, women and child, migrant rights, corporate and human rights and climate change and human rights. Out of all the opinions, the Commission put emphasis on the necessity of prompt legislation of the ‘Equality Act(Anti-Discrimination Law)’.
The NHRCK also commented on formulating measures that fundamentally prevents sexual assault and suicidal cases in military and abolishing the Article 92(6) of the ‘Military Criminal Act’ in order to safeguard equality rights for sexual minorities and their right to self-determination.
The Commission has put forward opinions on increasing budget and enforcing more legislative measures to further ensure the accessibility for persons with disabilities in public places and transportation, bridging the gap between the working conditions of laborers which significantly differ according to the employment status. The Commission also touched on the issue of ensuring the rights of the workers in newly-emerging markets in the independent report.
The other opinions the Commission presented in the independent report include formulating appropriate measures that can replace the abolished abortion law, protecting the rights for women to safely terminate pregnancy and their rights to health. The Commission also commented on seeking policies to resolve misogyny and gender conflict and preventing human rights violence on foreign detainees in immigration protection facilities. The matters of preventing human rights violation with the advent of AI era and protecting the rights of those under vulnerable situation due to climate change were also addressed as a dire issue that need to be taken care of in the report.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea will actively participate in the process of the 4th UPR, including the UPR working group meetings. The Commission will do its utmost to provide support to the UN Human Rights Council and actively coordinate relevant matters so as to expedite the process of deriving recommendations for the Government of Republic of Korea.