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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 creation of a special team on violence and sexual violence in sports

  • 2019-01-29
  • 2648


Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, I stand here with a devastated feeling.

The special structure of violence and sexual violence in the sports field, in which damage is not exposed to the outside world, by controlling every part of daily life of an individual, has not changed at all even though it was already revealed in the surveys conducted by the NHRCK more than a decade ago.

The severity of violence and sexual violence in sports should no longer be overlooked. It is a crucial time to establish a fundamental and comprehensive improvement measure, rather than a temporary plan.

Violence and sexual violence in sports sector are characterized by its persistent occurrences within a system rather than one-time or accidental occurrence. A performance-oriented culture, such as a medal or prize, is an excuse for violence, leading to sexual violence. It is difficult for the victim to resist even the obvious violence and sexual violence, and there are customs and structure where it is difficult to inform third parties of the violence, which makes violence be passed on and continue.

In fact, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea presented the policy recommendation for the protection and promotion of the human rights of student athletes in December 2007 and, in reflection of the recommendation, the KBS program on the report on human rights in sports and sexual violence was broadcasted in January 2008. Since then, sexual violence has become a serious social issue.

The NHRCK announced the Comprehensive Measure on Human Rights of Student Athlete in November 2008, along with the results of surveys conducted for middle and high school student athletes. And as a result, the Guideline on Human Rights in Sports was established and recommended.

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee also showed the movement of change such as establishing a team of protection of rights and interests, opening a sports human rights portal to accept reports but it did not work properly.

If the Guideline on Human Rights in Sports was implemented properly, the situation may not have been as gloomy as it is now. Not only the government and the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee who have neglected the implementation of the recommendation, but also the NHRCK which has failed to properly monitor the implementation of the recommendations is responsible for the situation. No more similar damage should occur now.

Therefore, the NHRCK decided to establish a special investigation team on human rights in sports. Officials from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Ministry of Gender Equality and Family will join the team. The special investigation team will independently undertake special investigation, case investigation and system improvement for one year.

The core task of the team is to clarify the actual situation of damage and establish a fundamental and comprehensive improvement plan. We will create system that will be responsible for the implementation of the improvement plan. In addition to the cases that have been already revealed, the team will investigate any case received properly and immediately and conduct ex-officio investigation when needed, and provide remedy including punishment of perpetrators. Detailed tasks of the team are as follows.

First, we will carry out the fact-finding survey on the largest scale ever, including surveys in skating and judo where problems have occurred recently. The primary purpose of the survey is to reveal the actual facts, but the ultimate goal is to devise an improvement measure. The team will reflect the opinion of experts and athletes as much as possible.

Second, damage reception and counselling will be systematized so that it can be linked to various forms of reception of sexual violence and harassment at the national level. Similar to the way in which sexual violence cases received at the Sunflower Center are handled in direct relation with the police, we will establish a new report reception system by linking related cases with the special investigation team.

Third, if the victim wants to take legal action by taking courage in the actual investigation process, we will promptly investigate and take remedial action, and actively promote legal support for the punishment of the perpetrator.

Fourth, we will ensure that an independent and permanent national surveillance system is established. We have to improve the current system where the victims who have endured the damage alone for a long time finally took the courage only to see nothing changed and be frustrated. We will establish a national system to which the victims can rely on with faith and that effectively and systematically works.

The government has a responsibility to create a training environment free from violence and sexual violence, which the government has failed to meet.

We will start by identifying the exact situation, improve the comprehensive and systematic system, and make mid- to long- term plans to fully settle the national surveillance system by step by step but as soon as possible.

The government should fully support the work of the Special Investigation Team and devise a separate pan-governmental measure in a timely manner.

We will make things right.


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