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o National Human Rights Commission of Korea signed an MOU with Gwangju Trauma Center on May 17. The two institutions agreed on the need for establishment of a system for remedy for victims of state violence and further cooperation.
o Article 14 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment prescribes state’s responsibility on remedy and rehabilitation for survivors of torture. However, government of the Republic of Korea does not have a system for remedy and rehabilitation at national level for victims of human rights infringements by public authority.
o Hence, NHRCK, as an institution in charge of investigation and remedy for human rights infringements by public authority, concluded that there is a need to establish a system to provide remedy for victims of state violence and signed an MOU with Gwangju Trauma Center.
o Gwangju Trauma Center is the first institution in charge of remedy for victims of torture and state violence. It set sail in October 2012 as a pilot project on mental health by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Since 2016, it has been operated directly by the Gwangju city. So far, 11,853 people received service through 15 remedy and rehabilitation programs.
o With signing of the MOU, the two institutions will cooperate in areas of supporting psychotherapy for victims of state violence, pro bono activities to establish a remedy community, and exchange of staff members and human rights education.
o NHRCK has been making efforts to encourage the government to implement the Convention against Torture by making recommendation on accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, hosting related international symposiums, and conducting surveys on victims of torture. Signing an MOU with Gwangju Trauma Center is a part of such efforts.
o NHRCK hopes that the MOU serves as an opportunity to establish a system at national level for remedy and rehabilitation for victims of public authority.