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The World for All National Human Rights Commission of Korea is always with you
The World for All National Human Rights Commission of Korea is always with you

Chairperson’s statement on the need to protect subcontract workers

  • 2018-12-21
  • 2100



The National Human Rights Commission of Korea would like to express its deepest condolences to late Kim Younggyun, a 24 year-old contract worker who was victimized by the accident at Taean Power Plant on November 11th. The NHRCK urges the government and National Assembly to identify the actual situation of risk outsourcing and to promptly prepare legal and institutional mechanisms to protect people.

The common characteristics of recent major labour incidents is that victims are ‘in-house subcontractors’ and ‘young people.’ What’s even more regrettable is the fact that a rookie, who have just taken his first step, was in charge of checking the conveyors at dawn time alone although conveyors are classified as hazardous or dangerous machines pursuant to the Article 28.6 of the Enforcement Decree of the Industrial Safety and Health Act.


However, in our society, the so-called “risk outsourcing” phenomenon is increasing which is to outsource the obligation of users to prevent safety accidents and serious disasters to reduce labor cost. As a result, workers in subcontracting, dispatching and special employment are exposed to danger as well as to unstable employment.


Life and safety are the most basic and core values of human rights and “safe and healthy working conditions” are universal and fundamental rights that every worker should enjoy under the UN human rights conventions and international labor standards.


Despite NHRCK’s investigation on the status of high-risk occupation, policy recommendations in 2015. and related legislation proposals at the National Assembly, many subcontract workers are still not guaranteed the basic human rights such as life and safety. All the members of society should gather strength together so that this unfortunate sacrifice will not be repeated again.

The NHRCK would like to emphasize again that all members of our society need to recognize that the life and safety of workers is the most fundamental right to be guaranteed in provision of labor. The NHRCK will strive to create a society where workers feel safe to work.


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