UNHCR Presents Its Opinion to NHRCK Expressing Support for Proposals for Equality Act
–UNHCR notes that proposals for an equality act pending in National Assembly are in line with international human rights laws and norms and global trends–
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea(NHRCK, Chairperson Doo-hwan Song) received an opinion on November 8 presented by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) that the four legislative proposals for an equality act currently pending in the National Assembly are in line with international norms on non-discrimination and provide consistent remedies for victims of discrimination in recognition of the need to address multiple and intersectional discrimination and will foster an understanding within the society on what constitutes discrimination.
UNHCR notes in its observations that the Republic of Korea received recommendations in the past from United Nations treaty bodies, including the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, on enacting a comprehensive anti-discrimination act and recalled the fact that Korea, at the UN General Assembly session in September 2015, made a commitment along with other 192 Member States to leave no one behind, “to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; that protect human rights and promote gender equality and ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential.“ In this regard, UNHCR stresses that Korea has a duty to take action on non-discrimination and equality.
UNHCR highlights that discrimination experienced by refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons raises the need for a comprehensive mechanism to ensure equality that includes indirect, direct and multiple forms of discrimination and promotes the effectiveness of the principle of non-discrimination.
The NHRCK will deliver the UNHCR opinion to the National Assembly and state agencies and continue to seek cooperation with both national and international stakeholders for the enactment of an equality act.