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HRC37 Oral Statement at Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Republic of Korea

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37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 6: Universal Periodic Review of the Republic of Korea

Oral Statement Delivered by Rosanna Ocampo on behalf of

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Mr President,

FORUM-ASIA delivers this statement together with the South Korean NGO Coalition for the 3rd Cycle of the UPR. We appreciate the government of the Republic of Korea’s efforts to engage with civil society in the UPR process. However, we regret that some of our key concerns have been ignored.

Despite deep concerns expressed by numerous states, the Republic of Korea has merely noted recommendations to abolish the death penalty[1] and the National Security Law[2]; to adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, which also addresses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity[3]; and to allow civilian alternative service for conscientious objectors to military service.[4] Furthermore, the government has not accepted recommendations to improve the human rights of migrant workers and their families, children of refugees and asylum-seekers who are individuals at risk.

We welcome the government’s support for recommendations on freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and peaceful association, including to ratify four ILO core conventions.[5] We welcome its commitment to protect human rights defenders (HRDs), and to investigate excessive use of state force against HRDs and trade union representatives. We also look forward to the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to prevent gender-based violence.[6] However, the government has yet to implement concrete measures on any of these issues.

Civil society in the Republic of Korea calls upon the government to develop a concrete and time-bound implementation plan in consultation with the National Human Rights Commission and civil society organisations. We look forward to further engagement with the government and the international community in following up on UPR recommendations.

Thank you.

[1]132.4, 132.5, 132.6, 132.70-132.89


[3]132.32, 132.35, 132.36, 132.38, 132.39, 132.40, 132.43


[5]130.2-130.5, 130.38-130.43



For a PDF version of this statement, click here.