UN High Commissioner for Refugees raises related issues in the ROK–January 7, 2008

12월 2nd, 2010 | Posted by admin in 4. UN reports on Republic of Korea

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Republic of Korea
 

We would like to bring your attention to the following excerpts, taken directly from
Treaty Body Concluding Observations and Special Procedure reports, relating to
issues of interest and concern to UNHCR with regards to Republic of Korea.
Treaty Body Concluding Observations
CRC/C/15/Add.197 32nd Session
18 March 2003
 

Non-discrimination
31. The Committee notes with concern the absence of information in the State party’s
report on racial discrimination, and the limited amount of information regarding acts
of discrimination against children from single parent families, children born out of
wedlock, children with disabilities, girls and migrant families. It is also concerned
that the Constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the grounds of
race, colour, language, political or other opinion, national or ethnic origin, disability,
birth or other status, as stated in the Convention.
32. The Committee recommends that the State party enact legislation explicitly
prohibiting discrimination in order to include all grounds enumerated in article 2 of
the Convention. In addition, the Committee recommends that the State party
undertake all necessary proactive measures to combat societal discrimination, in
particular against children from single parent families, children born out of
wedlock, children with disabilities, children of migrant workers and girls through,
inter alia, public education and awareness campaigns.
33. The Committee requests that specific information be included, in the next
periodic report, on the measures and programmes relevant to the Convention
undertaken by the State party to follow up on the Durban Declaration and
Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference against Racism, Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in 2001, taking account
of the Committee’s General Comment No. 1 on article 29, paragraph 1, of the
Convention (aims of education).
 
Alternative care
40. The Committee notes the State party’s establishment of group homes as an
alternative to the institutionalization of children separated from their families.
However, it is concerned that the establishment of group homes and the development
of the foster care system remain limited, and that private alternative care institutions
are not subject to governmental regulations or regular inspections.
41. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Continue to expand the number of group homes and the foster care
system, in particular by providing greater financial support to foster families
and increasing the counselling and support mechanisms for foster families;
(b) Ensure a periodic review of placement of children in all public and
private institutions, that takes into account the views and best interests of the
child, and, wherever possible, aims to reintegrate children into a family
environment;
(c) Increase the number of social workers and upgrade their skills and
capacity to provide assistance to children in alternative care and to
vulnerable families.
 


Children of migrant workers
 

58. The Committee is concerned that education and social welfare laws and
regulations do not include specific provisions providing for the welfare and rights of
foreign children, in particular those of undocumented migrant workers.
59. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Amend domestic laws, in particular those on education and social
welfare, to include specific provisions which ensure equal access to services
for all foreign children, including those of undocumented migrant workers;
(b) Consider ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the
Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families of 1990.
 

CAT/C/KOR/CO/2 36th Session
12. The Committee is concerned at the absence of adequate legal protection of
individuals, particularly of asylum-seekers, against deportation or removal to
locations where they might be subjected to torture.
The Committee welcomes the delegation’s oral assurances that it will study the
matter of persons removed or returned to locations where they face a real personal
risk of torture. The State party should ensure that the requirements of article 3 of
the Convention apply when deciding on the expulsion, return or extradition of each
case of non-citizens or persons of Korean nationality who may be returned to areas
outside the jurisdiction of the Republic of Korea.
18. The Committee regrets the absence of data, disaggregated by age and sex, on
complaints relating to torture and ill-treatment allegedly committed by lawenforcement
officials and on the related investigations, prosecutions and penal
and disciplinary sentences, as well as statistical data on the number of women
and children trafficked for purposes of prostitution. Information is also
requested on any compensation and rehabilitation provided to victims.
Information is further requested on the results of the studies recommended in
paragraphs 14 and 15 above.
(The State party should take all necessary steps to prevent and reduce the number
of deaths in detention facilities. Adequate provision of and access to medical care
should be provided, and suicide prevention programmes should be established in
such facilities. The Committee also recommends that the State party conduct a
comprehensive analysis of the link, if any, between the number of such deaths and
prevalence of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in detention.)
(The State party should prevent ill-treatment and abusive measures in the military.
It is encouraged to conduct systematic research into the causes of suicides in the
military and to evaluate the effectiveness of current measures and programmes,
such as the ombudsman system, to prevent such deaths. Comprehensive
programmes for the prevention of suicides in the military may include, inter alia,
awareness-raising, training and education activities for all military personnel.)
 

CERD/C/63/CO/9 63rd Session
10 December 2003
7. The Committee takes note of the view of the State party as to the homogeneity of its
population. However, it also notes the information provided in the report about ethnic
Chinese and other ethnic minorities living in the Republic of Korea. In light of the
absence of specific statistical data on the ethnic composition of society in the
Republic, the Committee recommends that the State party provide an estimate of the
ethnic composition of the population in subsequent reports, as requested in paragraph
8 of the reporting guidelines, and draws the attention of the State party to its general
recommendation VIII concerning the self-identification of members of particular
racial and ethnic groups. The Committee also suggests that the State party take into
account its general recommendation XXIX on descent-based discrimination when
gathering information on the situation of the Paekjong community.
10. The Committee remains concerned that foreign workers in the industrial trainee
programme and undocumented migrants do not fully enjoy their rights as provided by
article 5. The Committee recommends that the State party continue to take measures
to improve the situation of all migrant workers, in particular with regard to the right
to security of person and to social security and social services. The Committee also
recommends that the State party include in its next report information on the
implementation of relevant provisions of article 5 for all foreign workers, including
industrial trainees, undocumented migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.
11. The Committee is concerned about the trafficking of foreign women to the State
party for the purpose of prostitution, although it notes the State party’s efforts to
combat this phenomenon. The Committee encourages the State party to expand and
strengthen ongoing efforts to prevent trafficking and provide support and assistance
to victims, wherever possible in their own language.
  

CERD/C/KOR/CO/14 71th session
17 August 2007
10. Notwithstanding the assurances provided by the delegation concerning the direct
applicability of article 1 of the Convention pursuant to the provision of article 6,
paragraph 1, of the Constitution, the Committee notes the absence of a definition of
racial discrimination in the law of the State party. The Committee further notes that
article 11, paragraph 1, of the Constitution, on equality and non-discrimination,
includes none of the prohibited grounds of discrimination referred to in article 1,
paragraph 1, of the Convention. (Article 1)
The Committee recommends that the State party bring its internal law in line with
the Convention by including a definition of racial discrimination in keeping with
that contained in article 1 of the Convention. The Committee further recommends
that the State party consider reviewing the definition of discrimination set out in
article 11, paragraph 1, of the Constitution with a
11. While welcoming the recent adoption of the Act on the Treatment of Foreigners in
Korea, aimed at eliminating discrimination against persons of foreign origin and
facilitate their integration in Korean society, the Committee remains concerned about
the persistence of widespread societal discrimination against foreigners, including
migrant workers and children born from inter-ethnic unions, in all areas of life,
including employment, marriage, housing, education and inter-personal
relationships. (Articles 2 and 5)
The Committee requests that the State party provide an English translation
of the Act on the Treatment of Foreigners in Korea, as well as detailed
information on its implementation. The Committee also recommends that
the State party, in accordance with articles 2 and 5 of the Convention, adopt
further measures, including legislation, to prohibit and eliminate all forms
of discrimination against foreigners, including migrant workers and
children born from inter-ethnic unions, and to guarantee the equal and
effective enjoyment by persons of different ethnic or national origin of the
rights set out in article 5 of the Convention (equality before the law).
12. The Committee notes with concern that the emphasis placed on the ethnic
homogeneity of the State party may represent an obstacle to the promotion of
understanding, tolerance and friendship among the different ethnic and national
groups living on its territory. In this regard, while appreciating the explanation
provided by the delegation that references to concepts such as “pure blood” and
“mixed-bloods” in paragraphs 43 to 46 of the report are to be intended as a mere
description of a terminology still in use in the State party, the Committee is
nonetheless concerned that such terminology, and the idea of racial superiority that it
may entail, continues to be widespread in the Korean society. (Articles 2 and 7)
The Committee requests that the State party provide in its next periodic
report disaggregated statistical data on the number of persons born from
inter-ethnic unions living on the territory of the State party. The Committee
recommends that the State party adopt appropriate measures in the fields of
teaching, education, culture and information, to recognise the multi-ethnic
character of contemporary Korean society and overcome the image of Korea
as an ethnically homogeneous country, which no longer correspond to the
actual situation existing in the State party. In this regard, the Committee
recommends that the State party to include in curricula and textbooks for
primary and secondary schools information about the history and culture of
the different ethnic and national groups living on its territory, as well as
human rights awareness programmes aimed to promote understanding,
tolerance and friendship among all racial, ethnic and national groups.
13. While taking note of discussions currently underway in the State party with regard
to the adoption of a proposed Discrimination Prohibition Act, the Committee
reiterates the concern expressed in paragraph 9 of its previous concluding
observations that the existing legislation of the State party does not respond fully to
the requirements of article 4 of the Convention. (obligation to adopt measures to
eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, discrimination and criminalize such acts).
The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general
recommendations no. 7 (1985) and no. 15 (1993) concerning the
implementation of article 4 of the Convention, and recommends that the
State party adopt specific legislative measures to prohibit and punish racially
motivated criminal offences in accordance with article 4 of the Convention.
In this regard, the Committee encourages the State party to move
expeditiously towards the drafting and the adoption of a Discrimination
Prohibition Act.
14. While taking note of the explanations provided by the delegation that as
international treaties to which the Republic of Korea is a party automatically become
the law of the land, non-citizens enjoy, in practice, most of the rights and freedoms set
out in the Constitution on an equal basis with citizens, the Committee remains
concerned that strictly in accordance with article 10 of the Constitution, only citizens
are equal before the law and are entitled to exercise the rights set out in Chapter II of
the Constitution. (Article 5)
The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general
recommendation no. 30 (2004) on non-citizens, and recommends that the
State party take all appropriate legislative and other measures to guarantee
equality between citizens and non-citizens in the enjoyment of the rights set
forth in the Convention to the extent recognized under international law.
15. While appreciating the information provided by the delegation that the
Immigration Control Act is currently being reviewed in order to strengthen the
protection of refugees and asylum seekers, the Committee notes with concern that
only a limited number of asylum seekers have been recognized as refugees since the
entry into force of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees due to a complex
procedure and long delays in the decision-making process on asylum claims. (Article
5)
The Committee recommends that the Korean legislation on refugees and
asylum seekers be reviewed in accordance with the Convention relating to
the Status of Refugees and other recognized international standards. In
particular, the Committee recommends that the refugee status determination
process be carried out in a fair and expeditious manner, that asylum seekers
and persons granted humanitarian protection be allowed to work, and that
comprehensive measures be adopted in order to facilitate the integration of
refugees in Korean society.
 

- End of excerpts -
Protection Operations and Legal Advice Section
Division of International Protection Services
UNHCR
7 January 2008
 

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