The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) recommended that a culture and sports facility run and supported by a local government guarantee the right of participation of disabled persons and provide legitimate services so that they can use the facility without any inconveniences.
10 persons lodged a complaint with the NHRCK saying that they had difficulties using a culture and sports center operated by a local government as the facility lacks programs and services accessible for people with disabilities.
The complaints argued that they were discriminated by the center for some of the reasons as following:
△ The center’s website lacks accessibility.
△ The center does not have any sports programs for the disabled.
△ The center does not provide information in a disability-friendly way.
△ The center does not provide sign language interpreting services, etc.
The NHRCK’s investigation into the case acknowledges budgetary and structural challenges faced by the facility that hinders it from providing disability-friendly services. Fortunately, the sports center notified the commission of its efforts and plans to improve their services to better accommodate disabled persons by training their staff, equipping disability-friendly gadgets and services such as text to voice converters, signboards in braille etc.
Article 11 of the Constitution of South Korea stipulates that all citizens shall be equal before the law; there shall be no discrimination in political, economic, social or cultural life on account of sex, religion or social status. Also, the Act on the Prohibition of Discrimination of Disabled Persons, Remedy against Infringement of their Rights etc. states that any public organizations must have a website that is accessible or anyone regardless of their physical or technical conditions, and culture and sports centers run by local governments must provide legitimate disability-friendly services and respect the rights of participation for people with disabilities.
In this respect, the NHRCK finds that the culture and sport center in question abandoned its obligation as a public organization when it is supposed to set good examples for the private sector.