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National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea submitted its statement of opinions on implementation of “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” to the United Nations
□ The National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea (Chairperson Song Doo-hwan) submitted its statement of opinions to the United Nations before the 5th deliberation of Korea’s country report by UN Human Rights Committee scheduled in October 2023. The statements described the major human rights issues in Korea and recommendations.
□ The UN Human Rights Committee periodically reviews the compliance of countries that have ratified “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” (hereinafter referred to as the “Covenant”) and makes recommendations on matters for improvement. The Republic of Korea ratified the Covenant in 1990. Since then, the Korean government has regularly submitted country reports on the implementation of the Covenant to the UN Human Rights Committee for deliberation.
□ The UN Human Rights Committee will hold the 5th session of deliberation on the Republic of Korea on October 19-20, 2020, in Geneva, Switzerland. The National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Korea prepared an independent report on the current issues of civil and political rights in Korea and its opinions and submitted to the United Nations on September 12, 2023.
□ The Commission’s independent report provided opinions on a wide range of issues, including equality and non-discrimination, rights of women, children, persons with disabilities, migrants, and sexual minorities, human rights in the military, labor market, human rights to information, and human rights in companies.
To actualize the rights guaranteed by the Covenant in Korea, the Commission emphasized the need for legal measures such as the abolition of death penalty, enactment of anti-discrimination law and framework act on human rights policies.
□ Moreover, the report suggested that the current institutions including alternative service for conscientious objectors, protection system for foreigners, nonvoluntary admission to a psychiatric hospital, correction of gender identity for sexual minorities should be improved to meet the international human rights standards. It also proposed that policies should be further reinforced to address human rights violations and sexual violence in the military, ease overcrowding in correctional facilities and improve medical treatment for the prisoners and enhance women’s political participation and representation.
□ The National Human Rights Commission of the Korea is looking forward to the UN Human Rights Committee to refer to the report and identify tasks and recommendations required to promote human rights in Korea, and the 5th deliberation session to serve as an opportunity to further strengthen the implementation of the Covenant in Korea.