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NHRCK Unveils 2008 Business Plan

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) finalized its six major tasks for 2008 including protection of the human rights of the disabled, poor, and children.

The NHRCK made protecting human rights of people with disabilities including mental disabilities a core task in order to more substantially fulfill its mission of rectifying disability-based discrimination in 2008, the first year of enforcement of the Act on Prohibition of Discrimination against People with Disabilities and Relief. The NHRCK intends to improve the human rights conditions of persons with disabilities who are suffering in the dead zone of human rights, including people with mental disabilities. Towards such end, it plans to host presentations and debates on said act, conduct on-site investigations and counseling tours targeting welfare facilities for the disabled, conduct fact-finding investigations, and wage appropriate campaigns.

For the last three years, the NHRCK pursued protection of migrants’ human rights as one of its core tasks. This year, it will increase the efficacy of relief for foreigners by stepping up on-site and fact-finding investigations, strengthen monitoring of legislation and policymaking on migrants’ human rights, and promote domestic and overseas cooperation, education, and public relations activities for the protection of their human rights under the goal of establishing a human rights protection system for them in accordance with international human rights treaties.

In order to protect the human rights of vulnerable social groups including children, youths, and the elderly, the NHRCK will improve children’s human rights at school and home, promote domestic implementation of covenants on children’s rights, step up public relations and educational activities, and thus ensure that the human rights status of children and youths meets international standards. It will also strive to improve elderly people’s human rights conditions, guaranteeing their right to health and investigating conditions of welfare facilities for the elderly.

Out of concern that the deepening social polarization may compromise the quality of life and living conditions of the impoverished, the NHRCK plans to improve working conditions at places of business with less than five employees, establish an institutional mechanism to ensure minimum housing standards for the poor, and guarantee labor and housing rights of the poor by such means as devising ways to better the human rights of the homeless so that they may lead humane lives.

In addition, the NHRCK intends to examine the existing unsatisfactory personal information protection system, ascertain international trends to improve legislation on information-related human rights, and formulate a personal information protection act covering both the public and private sectors from a long-term perspective to establish an adequate personal information protection system.

The NHRCK will also redouble its research efforts to ameliorate human rights conditions in North Korea. In the interests of peace and co-existence on the Korean peninsula, it will analyze domestic and overseas human rights trends and formulate policy tasks to improve human rights conditions in North Korea, and also address human rights issues of not only North Korean defectors, but also South Korean prisoners of war and abductees.

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