[4th Periodic Report] NGO Response to the List of Issues

12월 1st, 2015 | Posted by admin in 2. Documents from other NGOs

* PDF file: NGO Response to the List of Issues

Concerns and Recommendations on the Republic of Korea

NGO Submission to The UN Human Rights Committee

 

115th Session, 19 October 2015 – 6 November 2015

 

Submitted by

South Korean Human Rights Organizations Network (83 NGOs)

 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

The South Korean Human Rights Organisations Network, composed of 83 human rights NGOs in the Republic of Korea, submits its report to the UN Human Rights Committee for its review on the Republic of Korea at the 115th Session from 19 October 2015 – 6 November 2015. The Report is based on the List of Issues adopted by the Committee at the 113th Session from 16 March 2015 – 2 April 2015.

 

We note with concern that since the review of the 3rd periodic report of the Republic of Korea 2006, civil and political rights in the country have largely deteriorated.

 

The Government has been silencing dissent with arrests, prosecutions, filing suits for compensation by applying various laws such as Obstruction of Business (Article 314 of the Criminal Act), Obstruction of Performance of Official Duties (Article 136 of the Criminal Act), General Obstruction of Traffic (Article 185 of the Criminal Act), Defamation (Article 207 of the Criminal Act) and Insult (Article 311 of the Criminal Act).

 

The number of prosecutions for violations of the National Security Act has been on the rise since 2008. Also, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) systemically manipulated public opinion by tweeting and writing comments online intervening in the 2012 Presidential Election. The NIS also purchased a programme from the Italian Hacking Team, which creates suspicions on its illegal surveillance of civilians.

 

Discrimination against women, irregular workers, and migrant workers persists along with hate speech against sexual minorities. Nevertheless, the anti-discrimination act has not yet been enacted. Human rights violations in the military are also alarming, but no effort has been put in to resolve such issue. The annual number of conscientious objectors being imprisoned amounts to 600 per year and capital punishment has not been officially abolished.

 

Recommendations in the concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee from the 88th Session (CCPR/C/KOR/CO/3) have not been fully implemented. In the Government’s replies to the list of issues, we note that the Government frequently provides enactment of laws and policies on implementing recommendations, rather than an actual evaluation of implementations to see its processes and outcomes. Issues such as withdrawing reservations on Article 22, concerns on counter-terrorism related legislative measures, increase participation of women in the political, legal and economic sector, migrant workers, providing alternative services for conscientious objectors, the national security law, and protecting rights of trade unions are repeatedly recommended from other UN human rights mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures.

South Korean Human Rights Organisations Network aims to inform the Committee’s review of the Republic of Korea and that the areas of concern highlighted here will be reflected in the Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations to the Republic of Korea.

 

Constitutional and legal framework within which the Covenant is implemented (Article 2.)

 

Issue 1 Please indicate whether there has been any progress in reviewing the necessity of maintaining the reservation to article 22 of the Covenant, with a view to withdrawing it. Please also indicate whether institutional and legislative measures have been taken to ensure the full implementation of Views adopted by the Committee and provide information on measures taken to ensure full compliance with each of the Committee’s Views adopted in respect of the State party.

 

1) Withdrawing reservation on Article 22 of the ICCPR

In its first report to the Committee (CCPR/C/68/Add.1) submitted in 1992, the government of the Republic of Korea stated that the reservation to article 22 is to make it consistent with the regulations that limit public officials’ right to organize stipulated in the Constitution. Also, the Government argue that it guarantees public officials’ labour activities by enacting the Act on the Establishment and Operation of Government Employees’ Union. However, the Act limits the agents that join the trade union and contents of a collective agreement, and denies the right to collective action, and therefore, it is hard to see that it guarantees union activities by public officials.[1]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Withdraw the reservation on Article 22 of the Covenant.

 

2) Implementation of Views

As regard to the Committee’s views, the Government argues that it is reviewing various measures from law revision to compensation for victims, return of goods, cancellation of records, amnesty, etc. But, there has not been any practical measures taken after the public hearing in 2007. Numerous measures were suggested at the time such as having the view as grounds for a retrial and recognizing claims for compensation based on the views from the Committee. Despite the fact that the Government received possible measures for actual implementation of the views, it has been avoiding selecting effective measures for almost 10 years and repeating that it is still in the process of reviewing. In addition, in case of the author of the communication No. 1908/2009 was granted a legitimate visa status. However, his legitimate visa status was not automatically given after the View was made, but the author reapplied the refugee status after the View was made and then granted a legitimate visa status.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Immediately carry out practical measure required for implementing the Committee’s views including enactment of relevant laws.

 

Issue 2 Please provide information on measures taken to address the lack of provisions in the legislation providing for a clear, transparent and participatory process for the selection and appointment of members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRCK) with a view to ensuring the independence of the NHRCK and its compliance with the Paris Principles (General Assembly resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993, annex).

 

As written in the Government’s replies to the List of Issues, on the selection and appointment of a new chairperson in 2015, the NHRCK publicly made a vacancy announcement along with seeking civil society views through its official website in accordance with the newly enacted internal rules (para 3). Civil society organizations submitted their recommendations demanding for the establishment of an independent and fair candidate nomination committee through which members of the NHRCK should be selected and appointed. However, these recommendations were not reflected in the process of appointing the new chairperson. Moreover, Member of Parliament Hana Jang (a member of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy) presented an amendment bill for the NHRCK Act including provisions to create a transparent and independent selection process in 2011, but as of 2015, the bill is not even being discussed in the National Assembly.

 

For three times, in March 2014, October 2014, and March 2015, the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutes (ICC-NHRI) issued its recommendations for the NHRCK to establish an appropriate selection process for its members and guarantee the diversity of its composition. The Government failed to implement these recommendations, resulting in the NHRCK’s reaccreditation deferred three times in a row by the ICC-NHRI. The ICC-NHRI said that it would watch the selection and appointment process of the new chair of the NHRCK whose term ends in August 2015 and discuss it in the first session of 2016 when reviewing its reaccreditation.[2]

In August 2015, the President Park Geun-Hye appointed the incumbent chief judge of the Seoul Central District Court as the new chairperson of the NHRCK even though he has no experience with human rights matters which is a requirement by the NHRCK Act. The ICC-NHRI repeatedly expressed its concerns over the lack of diversity in the composition of the NHRCK commissioners.[3] As of 2015, the majority of its commissioners are legal professionals including the former chairperson who was a law professor and the new chairperson who directly moved to the NHRCK from being a judge.[4]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Amend the NHRCK Act to provide an independent budget, human resources, and operation with the aim of ensuring the independence of the NHRCK.

Ÿ   Guarantee a clear, transparent, and participatory process for selection of the NHRCK commissioners by creating an independent candidates nomination committee.

Ÿ   Guarantee the engagement and participation of civil society in selecting and appointing the NHRCK commissioners with the aim of improving institutions and practices to overcome the lack of diversity in the composition of its commissioners dominated by legal professionals, and to end the practices of selecting unqualified persons without knowledge of and experience with human rights matters for commissioners.

 

Issue 3 Please indicate whether the State party intends to adopt a legislative framework regulating the activities of all business enterprises domiciled in the State party’s territory and/or its jurisdiction with a view to ensuring they respect human rights standards in accordance with the Covenant throughout their operations. Please report on measures taken to address the possible corporate responsibility of the Korea Minting, Security Printing & ID Card Operating Corporation (KOMSCO) and Daewoo International in connection with their activities in the cotton sector in Uzbekistan, and of POSCO in connection with the steel processing plant project in Jagatsinghpur, India.

 

The government of the Republic of Korea does not have a legislative framework to ensure human rights standards in business operations; nor the 2nd National Action Plan (2012-2016) does include any plans on business and human rights. Though the State party alleges that business may be held liable under the Criminal Act or special Criminal Acts (Response to the List of Issues para. 4), it is almost impossible to access the Republic of Korea’s judicial proceedings for victims of human rights violations occurred outside of the Republic of Korea. Furthermore, the National Contact Point (NCP) of the Republic of Korea has not been effective in resolving human rights violations.

 

On 23 July 2015, the Republic of Korea’s NCP dismissed the specific instance against Daewoo International, its parent company, POSCO, and its investors, the National Pension Service and Norges Bank Investment Management, and public enterprise Korea Minting Security Printing and ID Card Operating Corporation (KOMSCO), for their use of Uzbek cotton, harvested by forced labour which violated the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The Republic of Korea’s NCP concluded that no liability is found in Daewoo International’s supply chains.[5]

 

On 20 June 2013, the Republic of Korea’s NCP had also dismissed the instance concerning POSCO’s violation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in India. The instance was made as POSCO failed to conduct an impact assessment as well as stakeholder consultation with all affected communities. Even though the project caused forced displacement of about 20,000 people. Korea’s NCP concluded that it was the Indian government’s responsibility to approve the project.[6]

 

After the decision from the Republic of Korea’s NCP, in October 2013, the government of the Republic of Korea has not responded to the joint statements by the UN Special Procedure mandate holders urging the suspension of the POSCO project in India while the alleged human rights concerns are being examined and addressed.[7]In July 2014, the government of the Republic of Korea replied to the joint allegation letter sent by the UN Special Rapporteurs made in February 2014[8] that the Republic of Korea’s NCP was in charge of human rights abuses by the Republic of Korea’s corporations outside of the country. However, the Republic of Korea’s NCP has never made any decisions regarding substantive issues nor has it taken effective measures.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Adopt the National Action Plan[9] as well as the legislative framework regulating the activities of all business enterprises domiciled in the state party’s territory and its jurisdiction to ensure human rights standards are met throughout their operations in accordance with the Covenant and UN Guiding Principles.

Ÿ   Review the operation of the NCP and take measures of reform to ensure independency, expertise, enforceability in order to offer effective remedy to the victims of the human rights violations by the Republic of Korean corporations’ activities.

 

Non-discrimination, equality between men and women, prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred and minority rights (Article 2, 3, 20, 26 and 27)

 

Issue 4 Please report on measures taken to adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that addresses discrimination in all spheres, including in the private sphere, prohibits direct, indirect and multiple discrimination, contains a comprehensive list of grounds for discrimination, including national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, and provides for effective administrative and judicial remedies.

 

In February 2013, the Commission on Presidential Transition for then-newly elected President Park Geun-Hye publicly stated that it will enact the Anti-Discrimination Act as part of its national agenda.”[10] The Government also reported in its response report for the list of issues that they created a task force for the legislation of an Anti-Discrimination Act and discussed a variety of relevant issues.[11] However, to date no progress by the Government has been publicly reported[12] and the Government has not met or held consultations with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations about discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The research conducted by the Government for the legislation was not disclosed to the public. Two anti-discrimination bills proposed in the National Assembly in 2013 were withdrawn due to organized opposition from anti-LGBTI organizations and conservative Protestants.[13]

 

In a 2013 survey conducted by the Korea Institute for Religious Freedom 31.9% of respondents found it very necessary to have anti-discrimination legislation, while 27.9% of the respondents felt that it is somewhat necessary.[14] A June 2014 needs assessment survey conducted by Chingusai, Korean Gay Men’s Human Rights Group shows that over 53% of LGBT people in South Korea consider the Anti-Discrimination Act as “the most important policy issue.”[15].

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Provide concrete details and timeframes for the adoption of a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that addresses discrimination in all spheres, including in the private sphere. An anti-discrimination legislation which prohibits direct, indirect and multiple discrimination, and contains a comprehensive list of grounds for discrimination, including national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, and provides for effective administrative and judicial remedies.

Ÿ   Ensure the full participation of all relevant stakeholders, including NGOs in the research, survey, and social discourse for the enactment of the comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.

Ÿ   Support public education campaigns to counter prejudice and negative attitudes against minorities, to promote the anti-discrimination legislation, and the principle of equality before the law.

 

Issue 5 Please clarify whether racially-motivated violence has been criminalized and report on measures taken to combat racial discrimination and hate speech, inter alia in the media and on internet, targeting in particular non-citizens. Please also report on steps taken to address the limitations of the current concept of multicultural families, including its application only to foreign women who marry a Korean men and not vice versa and exclusion from the definition of multicultural family of two migrant workers from a non-Korean background.

 

Currently, there is no law in the Republic of Korea that provides a definition for or criminalizes racial discrimination, and hate speech disseminated by the media and on the internet are not regulated other than punishments for defamation or insult under the Criminal Act.[16] Although the NHRCK recommended in 2011 that “it is necessary to understand the importance of racial harmony and establish specific action plans to form a consensus on a multicultural society, and also to review adequate improvement plans against expressions on the internet that promote racial discrimination,”[17] the Government has not taken measures against xenophobia such as implementing human rights regulations and campaigns.

 

The Multicultural Families Support Act defines multicultural families as families that are formed through marriage between a Korean national and marriage migrant (without distinction of gender), and families consisting of only migrants are excluded. Also, families are not recognized as multicultural families if the marriage migrant does not have legal residency.[18]

 

According to the 2nd Multicultural Families Support Policy of 2013, even though families consisting of only migrants fall within the category of multicultural families, this is true only if the marriage migrant has legal residency, and these families are not able to receive benefits provided under the Multicultural Families Support Act and are limited to using services provided by Multicultural Family Support Centres. Moreover, the services provided by Multicultural Family Support Centres focus on migrant women (Korean cooking, knitting, etc.), thus migrant men are not able to enjoy adequate services.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Officially denounce violence based on race and hate speech, and provide legal, institutional measures to prevent these acts.

Ÿ   Initiate a public campaign and human rights training aimed at preventing violence based on race and hate speech.

Ÿ   Include families consisting of only migrants in the definition of multicultural families, regardless of their residency, and provide substantive support for all multicultural families.

 

Issue 6 Please provide information on measures taken to combat discrimination and social stigma against unwed mothers and their children; defectors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, and persons with HIV/AIDS. Please report on measures taken to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity within the military. Please indicate whether the State party is considering harmonizing the legal treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex rape (“quasi” rape) and rape victims.

 

Prominent public officials and several government departments have openly adopted anti-LGBTI attitudes and policy, reinforcing social prejudice and intolerance towards the LGBTI community. The Minister for Education is officially opposing textbooks that encourage respect for the human rights of LGBTI persons and officially promote “immoral homosexuality.”[19]In December 2014 the Mayor of Seoul, Park Won Soon refused to proclaim the Charter of Human Rights for Seoul Citizens, which stipulated the right not to be subjected to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[20]In February 2015 the Government instituted new Sex Education guidelines, which deliberately exclude mention of “diverse sexual orientations” or the human rights of sexual minorities.[21] In an official communiqué, the Ministry of Education stated that homosexuality was “not a common issue in relation to sexual orientation” for Korean school children. The NHRCK and National Assembly buildings were used to host “conversion therapy” seminars in November 2014 and March 2015. These seminars described homosexuality as a “sinful” disposition to be suppressed or a “disease” to be cured.[22] By facilitating the dissemination of information that can lead to increased stigma, discrimination and potential violence against LGBTI persons, the Government breaches its obligations to ensure the protection of rights of LGBTI persons. In April 2015, the Ministry of Justice denied the Beyond the Rainbow Foundation’s request to register as a non-profit organisation. The Ministry concluded that advocating for the human rights of a sexual minority did not fall within the scope of activities performed by “human rights organisations”, to which it is empowered to administer legal status.[23] The Seoul City Government’s Welfare Policy Department reportedly stated in correspondence with the Foundation that the organisation’s purpose went “against traditional values.”[24]This discriminatory use of governmental authority to prevent LGBTI groups from officially registering as non-profit organizations infringes upon the freedom of assembly and association of LGBTI persons.[25] In June 2015 Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency denied the request of holding the parade of the Seoul Queer Culture Festival, the annual event for LGBTI persons in Korea.[26]

 

A gay couple held a public wedding ceremony in September 2013 and submitted a marriage licence application to Seodaemun-gu Office in December 2013, but the local government rejected the application. The lawsuit is still pending.[27] Furthermore, the government failed to give the same legal protections and benefits to the same sex couple as those granted to unmarried heterosexual couples.

 

The Criminal Act defines rape as penile-vaginal rape only. A second, lesser crime of ‘imitative rape’ under Article 297-2 refers to a person inserting a sexual organ into another person’s body part, such as a mouth or anus, or by inserting fingers into a person’s genitals or anus. ‘Imitative rape’ attracts a lesser punishment. Individuals who are assaulted by a person of the same sex are not afforded the same access to justice as victims of penile-vaginal assault.

 

Article 92-6 of Korea’s Military Criminal Act provides punishment for consensual same sex sexual conduct between men in the military.[28]Military service is mandatory for male citizens of Korea, hence the provision approaches the level of a universal sodomy ban.[29] It has been the sole provision punishing sexual acts between same-sex people in the Republic of Korea. In March 2014, 11 National Assembly members proposed a bill for the abolishment of this provision for the first time since the Military Criminal Act went into effect, however the government failed to endorse the bill.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Support public education campaigns which combat discrimination and social stigma against unwed mothers and their children; and against defectors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Ÿ   Take strong measures to combat discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, and persons with HIV/AIDS, including the enactment of an anti-discrimination legislation and hate crime laws.

Ÿ   Banning conversion therapy and adopting a legal framework for prohibiting the incitement to discrimination against LGBTI persons; providing anti-bullying campaign and a comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education which protects LGBT youth.

Ÿ   Ensure that same-sex couples are able to enjoy the same legal protections and benefits as those granted to non-married heterosexual couples in the areas of public housing, pension, and protection from the domestic violence.

Ÿ   Amend the law to ensure that LGBTI persons are afforded equal protection against domestic violence and sexual assault in terms of statutory punishment.

Ÿ   Repeal Article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act to remove discrimination against same-sex attracted men in the military.

 

Issue 7 Please provide further information on measures taken: (a) to combat discrimination against women within marriage and within society, in particular against migrant wives; (b) to increase the representation of women in political and public life, including in the judiciary, the legislative local and regional (wide area) councils and executive bodies, especially in decision-making positions (please include relevant statistics); (c) to reduce the wage gap between working men and women.

 

1) Discrimination against women within marriage and within society

Even if the Korean spouse is at fault for the divorce, there are many cases in which the Immigration Office conducts investigations on the “sincerity of marriage”[30] and denies extension of visa, permanent residence, and naturalization of the marriage migrant on grounds that the couple did not cohabit. Also, if the Korean spouse happens to die soon after the marriage, there are cases where the marriage migrant is denied extension of visa on grounds that the marriage was short-lasting and is urged to return to his or her country of origin.

 

Although marriage migrants have been allowed to maintain dual citizenship since 2012[31], when the Korean spouse dies or a divorce is obtained under the grounds stated in the Article 6, Paragraph 2(3), (4) of the Nationality Act[32], the marriage migrant may not apply for dual citizenship and must select a single citizenship.

 

When marriage migrants return to their countries of origin after divorce, there are instances where they are required to submit Korean divorce documents or family relation registration documents to the court or other relevant agencies in order for the divorce to be recognized in their home countries. However, migrant women are not issued family relations registers in the Republic of Korea and this makes it difficult for them to obtain relevant documents.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   When the Korean spouse is at fault for the divorce, take measures to ensure that marriage migrant women are not disadvantaged in evaluations for extension of their visa, permanent residency, and naturalization, and that abuse of power does not occur in the evaluation process.

Ÿ   Repeal the discriminatory provision in the Nationality Act that does not allow dual citizenship for marriage migrants on grounds that the marriage has ended.

Ÿ   Provide procedures for returned marriage migrants to directly obtain divorce or family relation registration documents.

 

2) Representation of Women in Political and Public Life

In 2013, the proportion of female public officials was 42.8% for central government and 31.3% for local governments, but the proportion of female high-level officials and female executives in public institutions were only 4.4% and 11.3% respectively.

 

The Public Official Election Act establishes a 20% quota for female proportional representatives and the use of the “zipper system”, which alternates male and female candidates on the ballot, but this has shown to be ineffective as there are no sanctions for violations of these measures for proportional representatives in the National Assembly, in contrast to local councils.

 

Statistics on Female Members of Parliaments (left chart) and Local Council (right chart) (as of 2015)[33]

 

 

Executives of Public Institutions (as of 23 June 2014)[34]

 (Units : institutions, %, persons)
Number of Public Institutions Number of Executives
Total Female executives not present Female executives present Total Executives Female Executives Percentage of female executives
318 151 47.5 167 52.5 3,091 350 11.3%

 

Suggested Recommendations 

Ÿ   Manage the careers of women to increase female representation in public agencies and establish a comprehensive plan to break the “glass ceiling” through solving gender discrimination.

Ÿ   Establish legal mechanisms to effectively enforce the female parliamentarian quota system. In order to increase the effectiveness of the female politician quota system, change the following recommendation clause to a mandatory clause: “When any political party intends to recommend its members as candidates to run in the election for National Assembly members of local constituency and in the election for local council members of local constituency after their term of office expires, such political party shall work to recommend not less than 30/100 of the total number of the candidates to run in the election for nationwide constituencies from among women”

Ÿ   Implement public campaigns and education programs to raise awareness on public service and working women and to increase the ratio of female public officials.

Ÿ   Assign low-level public officials to key tasks, regardless of gender, in order to strengthen their performance and provide them with equal opportunities for promotions, eliminate disadvantages to those who go on childcare leave, and take measures to increase male participation in the Work-Family Balance Policy.

 

3) The Wage Gap between Working Men and Women

As of 2013, the hourly wage of female workers is 68.2% of that of male workers. The gender pay gap is decreasing, but the gap is still the greatest among OECD countries.[35]

 

Female regular workers receive 68.2%, male non-regular workers receive 52.7%, and female non-regular workers receive 35.9% of the wage of male regular workers. This shows that gender discrimination in the workforce disproportionately affects female non-regular workers.[36] The Government stated that non-regular workers would be switched to regular workers, but it has proposed an amendment to the Act on the Protection, Etc. of Fixed-Term and Part-Time Workers that extends the term of non-regular workers from 2 to 4 years, which would create more non-regular workers. Among 8 million female workers, 4.5 million (56.11%) are non-regular workers and 61% of female non-regular workers are low-wage earners.[37]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Repeal the revision of the Act on the Protection, Etc. of Fixed-Term and Part-Time Workers.

Ÿ   Evaluate the impact of existing policies aimed at closing the gender wage gap, and provide a comprehensive plan to by taking the results into consideration.

 

Violence against women and children, including domestic violence (Article 2, 7, and 24)

 

Issue 8 Please indicate whether steps have been taken to clarify the criminal nature of spousal rape in the legislation. Please respond to concerns that domestic violence or sexual assaults tend to be considered private family matters, and report on measures taken to prevent and combat all forms of violence against women, including on measures to encourage reporting of such cases and ensure the effective investigation, prosecution and sanctioning of perpetrators. Please also provide information on steps taken to combat effectively violence and abuse against children, including child sexual abuse, as well as violence and bullying in schools.

 

1) Measures taken to clarify the criminal nature of marital rape in the legislation

In the May 2013 decision of the Supreme Court, as in the Government’s response to the List of Issues (para. 16), the case was only recognized as rape because it involved a severe level of violence, threats, and the use of a weapon. Although the case was recognized as marital rape, the level of physical violence and threats were much severe compared to that of usual cases of rape. Also, the sentence was much lower compared to that of “aggravated rape”.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Criminalize marital rape in the law.

 

2) Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence

Considering the nature of domestic violence, the victim is often financially and emotionally dependent on the perpetrator, thus it is difficult for the victim to actively seek punishment of the perpetrator, and in many cases investigative agencies do not punish the perpetrator if the victim simply does not wish to press charges.

 

The Government stated that it has strengthened the implementation of “suspension of indictment on condition of counselling” and transfer of home protection cases (response to the List of Issues para.17), however, these are used as means for non-indictment.[38] “Suspension of indictment on condition of counselling” involves suspending the indictment of the domestic violence offender on the condition that the offender undergoes counselling, and handling domestic violence as “home protection cases” involves imposing measures such as restraining orders, community service and orders to attend a lecture, protective custody, treatment, consignment of counselling. In these cases, the light punishments allow perpetrators to perceive domestic violence as a “non-crime”.[39]

 

The punishment for sexual violence has increased with the amendment to the Act on Special Cases concerning the Punishment, Etc. of Sexual Crimes, but due to concerns of the police and investigation agencies that the amendment will cause an “increase in indiscriminate and false accusations” and give the accused excessive disadvantages. Numerous district prosecutors’ offices around the country began crackdowns for false accusations of sexual violence[40], and many cases have occurred where the victims of sexual violence were suspected of false accusations during the investigation and indicted accordingly.[41]

 

Undocumented female migrant workers avoid reporting cases of sexual harassment and sexual violence due to fear of deportation.[42] The Sexual Violence Prevention and Victims Protection Act also applies to foreigners, but these cases usually end with the undocumented female migrant being deported.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Implement a preferred-arrest policy in the investigation stage, and abolish the “suspension of indictment on condition of counselling” system in the prosecution stage.

Ÿ   Revise the Criminal Procedure Act and the Act on Special Cases concerning the Punishment, Etc. of Sexual Crimes to establish strict criteria for determining false accusations of sexual violence, and create an exception to the application of false accusation against victims of sexual violence by proceeding with the investigation and indictment for false accusations after the judicial proceedings for sexual violence have been completed.

Ÿ   Provide solutions such as granting residency for undocumented migrant worker women who are victims of sexual violence.

 

3) Stalking Crimes

Stalking can be punished as consistent harassment under the Punishment of Minor Offenses Act, but the punishment is minor considering the fear and distress experienced by the victim and is not enough to establish stalking as a social crime, as the punishment is a  fine not exceeding 100,000 KRW (approximately 100 USD). Also, this type of mild punishment may agitate the perpetrator and cause retaliatory crimes.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Enact a comprehensive law on stalking that punishes stalkers and protects stalking victims.

 

4) Regarding effective measures combating violence and abuse against children, including child sexual abuse, school violence and bullying.

Regarding sexual violence against children, the Ministry of Justice is advocating for reinforcing the legal prosecution for perpetrators. Nevertheless, the percentage of sentencing criminal punishment is still low, while the percentage of sentencing probation has increased.[43] Because of reasons such as short years of service and frequent position rotation, a number of the Prosecutor for Child (PFC) and prosecutors with proper expertise in the field is not enough.

 

Regarding child prostitution, both the clients and the agents are lightly punished.[44]No policies exist against online prostitution which is now a popular mechanism[45], and children in prostitution are treated as criminals if they were not forced to be a prostitute.

 

Regarding violence among school students, the Ministry of Education reacts with measures such as leaving records of violence in the student’s record, installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) inside and outside of the school building and positioning school police officer (SPO). These measures, however, are not effective[46] and school violence is becoming more prevalent in lower grades[47] while cases of new types of violence such as bullying and cyber-bullying are increasing.[48] In addition, 1,000 specialized counsellors were dismissed in 2014 because of low-budget[49], and the dispute mediation system which is the only existing damage recovery policy, is not being implemented properly.

 

Regarding physical punishment in school, the enforcement ordinance of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act allows indirect physical punishment and only prohibits “punishment using tools and one’s body,” However, research shows that 45.8% of students have experienced or witnessed punishment with tools and 60% have experienced or witnessed indirect punishment such as staying down in push-up position.[50] Meanwhile, another research that classified students into different age group shows that 13.5% of elementary school students, 29.1% of middle school students and 26.5% of high school students have experienced physical punishment in school.[51]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   The court should strictly prosecute sexual violence, and the Ministry of Justice should provide effective measures to enhance the expertise of Prosecutors for Child and investigators dealing with children related cases.

Ÿ   The court should prosecute and hold accountable both child prostitution purchasers and brokers, the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Gender Equality and Family should establish measures for cyber prostitution, and children involved in prostitution should be treated as victims without exception.

Ÿ   The Ministry of Education should materialize restorative measures in regards to problems such as school violence becoming prevalent in lower grades and cyber-bullying, and the Ministry should also arrange budget for placing specialized counsellors in schools.

Ÿ   The Ministry of Education should revise the enforcement ordinance of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to prohibit any disciplinary action that cause physical and mental pain to students, and the Ministry should also monitor and regulate the prohibitions so they can be implemented effectively.

 

Counter-terrorism Measures (Article 7, 9, 10 and 14)

 

Issue 9 Please clarify whether the State party enacted counter-terrorism legislation that, inter alia, defines “terrorist acts”, regulates the interception of communications, searches, detention and deportation in strict compliance with the State party’s obligations under the Covenant, provides for legal safeguards for persons suspected of or charged with a terrorist or related crime, as well as for effective remedies.

 

As the Government mentioned in its replies to the List of Issues (paragraph 23), five drafts on counter-terrorism (including two related to the cyber terrorism) are pending in the 19th National Assembly (year 2012~2016). The drafts on counter-terrorism allows the Counter-Terrorism Bureau under the National Intelligence Service to suggest designation and dissolution of organization that has potential threats to commit a terrorist act and to collect information related to immigration, financial transaction and communication record of a suspect. In this case, basic rights of people can be easily violated by the Counter-Terrorism Bureau. Most of all, the definition of cyber-terrorism is too vague which leaves room for arbitrary interpretation.

 

Including past drafts which were automatically rejected due to the end of session, all drafts on counter-terrorism impose excessive authority to the National Intelligence Service whose main role is to collect information. The current drafts grant excessive authorities to the National Intelligence Service while not applying any democratic control mechanism. Unfortunately, the National Intelligence Service of the Republic of Korea has committed various illegal activities including illegal intervention in the 2012 Presidential Election[52] and illegal surveillance on civilians. A transparent and independent monitoring mechanism on this body is not yet established. Providing a full command on counter-terrorism activity is inappropriate. Also, if the executive power is being given to the National Intelligence Service in addition to collecting information, concerns are raised related to violations of basic rights.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Make all laws and policies related to counter-terrorism in accordance with the Covenant.

Ÿ   Domestic laws related to wiretapping, search, detention and deportation should be strictly in accordance with the Covenant.

Ÿ   Provide protection mechanisms so that counter-terrorism related laws do not limit people’s civil rights. Most of all, guarantee a democratic process and mechanism to prevent abuse of power by the National Intelligence Service, especially related to counter-terrorism.

 

Right to life and prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 2, 6, 7, 9 and 10)

 

Issue 10 Please report on measures taken, and the impact thereof, to address the high suicide rates, particularly among youth and women. Please clarify whether measures are being taken to abolish the death penalty de jure.

 

Even though the Government has not executed the death penalty since 1997, no effective measures have been taken to abolish the death penalty.  In 2010, the Minister of Justice ordered to examine the possibility of installing additional facilities for carrying out executions of the death penalty.

 

Since 1996, abolition of the death penalty bills have been proposed at the National Assembly for seven times. On 7 July 2015, 172 members of parliament, a majority of the National Assembly, proposed a special law relating to the abolition of the death penalty. The proposition is now under consideration by the Legislation and Judiciary Committee under the National Assembly. Whether the bill will be passed or not still remains uncertain as the general election (April of 2016) approaches.

 

The suicide rate has increased sharply in the years 2000s. Suicides rate reached 28 out of 100,000 people. In 2012, this figure has doubled compared to the year 2000. The Republic of Korea has the highest suicide rate among OECD countries. Most of all, in case of people in their 20s and 30s, suicide is the highest reason of death.[53]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Abolish the death penalty by amending the law that enables to sentence a person to death. Stop subsequent attempts for execution and using public opinion pools as a justification to execute the death penalty.

Ÿ   Campaign and educate the public about how death penalty is against the right to life.

Ÿ   Analyse the causes of suicide and review, with quantitative and qualitative statistics, the effectiveness of suicide police the Government has been effective in preventing suicide.

 

Issue 11 Please clarify: (a) whether torture is criminalized as an independent crime in the Criminal Code; (b) whether allegations of torture and ill-treatment are investigated by an effective and fully independent mechanism; (c) under which Criminal Act provisions persons suspected of having committed acts of torture or ill-treatment were prosecuted and the types of sanctions imposed. Please provide information on the “modern protective devices” referred to in paragraph 121 of the report (CCPR/C/KOR/4), the solitary confinement as a disciplinary punishment, and on legal safeguards to ensure that the use of “protective devices” (including manacles and head protection devices) are strictly limited to protective rather than retributive purposes; please also report on alternatives that are available before resorting to such protective devices.

 

1) Torture is criminalized as an independent crime

In the 4th periodic report to the Committee (CCPR/C/KOR/4, para. 118), the Government argues that the types of torture are prescribed as a crime in Article 124 and 125 of the Criminal Code and the Special Act on Criminal Code. In the replies to the List of Issues (para. 26), the Government says that Article 124 (illegal arrest, confinement) and Article 125 (assault, cruel treatment) of the Criminal Code are the concrete rules of punishment for torture.

 

However, the range of the Criminal Code regulations regarding torture is much narrower than that of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. While the Convention on Torture stipulates that the agent of torture is “government employees or other persons that conduct government affairs” providing a wide range for it, the Korean Criminal Code specifies that that agent of torture is “those who conduct duties regarding judgement, prosecution, police, or other duties involving the restraint of human body or those who assist such duties”, maintaining a much narrower range. Furthermore, whereas the Convention on Torture includes psychological anguish in the types of torture, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Korea only limits it to arrest, confinement, assault, or harsh treatment.[54]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Enact or amend relevant laws so that all kinds of torture in accord with the definition of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment of Punishment can be prosecuted. Make sure that the enacted or revised law will punish torture with appropriate charges in consideration of the seriousness of torture crime.

 

2) Effective and Independent Mechanism to Investigate Torture and Ill-Treatment

In the replies to the List of Issues (para. 27), the Government answered that the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) makes recommendations in accordance with the procedure and authority as provided by the NHRCK Act.

 

However, the NHRCK can only make suggestions, accusations, or recommendations of disciplinary action[55]and the investigation, prosecution, and punishment are made through the police, the Prosecutor’s Office, and the court. Therefore, the investigation of the NHRCK only cannot be considered an ‘effective mechanism’.

 

<Case>

Seoul Yangcheon Police Station Torture Case[56]

It has been revealed that police officers at Seoul Yangcheon Police Station conducted acts of torture from 2009 to 2010 that involve hitting head, stuffing mouth with towel, etc, putting plastic tape on face, and lifting arms after handcuffing the suspect behind his/her back (so-called folding wings) so as to extract confession from suspects. Seoul District High Court sentenced the chief detective of the Yangcheon Police Station to 3 years in prison and 5 years of suspension of license. Three team members from the same station were also sentenced to 1 year in prison and 3 years of suspension of license while one member was sentences to 8 months in prison with 2 years of probation and 2 years of suspension of license.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Make sure to have the domestic legal system guarantee that every argument regarding torture and unfair treatment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by an effective and fully independent mechanism.


3) Prosecution and Sanctions on persons suspected of having committed acts of torture or ill-treatment

In the replies to the List of Issues, the Government did not mention about the abovementioned Seoul Yangcheon Police Station torture case and the related contents. Rather, the Government only provided the indictment cases and punishment cases from 2011 to May 2015 in compliance with Article 124 and 125 of the Criminal Code (para. 28).

 

In the replies to the List of Issues, the Government answered that the police took disciplinary measures against 1~2 cases per year concerning the alleged acts of violence in the performance of duties between 2012 and 2015 (para. 28). However, numbers of reported cases of violence in the performance of duties are 992 (2011), 904 (2012), 1,028(2013), and 617(Jan~Jul 2014), and only 0.2%of them were actually indicted by the Prosecutor’s Office.[57]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Establish a mechanism so that suspects of torture and ill-treatment can be thoroughly and independently investigated while taking into consideration the seriousness of the crime.

Ÿ   Monitor the contents, investigation, indictment, and punishment results of torture and abuse cases every year. When the facts of suspicion have been confirmed, make sure to strictly indict and punish the responsible persons while considering the seriousness of the torture crime.

Ÿ   Conduct human rights training for law enforcement officials so as to prevent torture.

 

4) Protective Mechanisms in the Prison

88% of the disciplinary punishment is adopting the cruellest punishment, which is a solitary confinement.[58] Moreover, as the outside members included in the Disciplinary Committee that decides the types of disciplinary action are appointed or commissioned by the warden, it is hard to consider that the disciplinary punishment decision procedure is being made independently and objectively.[59]

 

The protective devices are being used for retributive rather than protective purposes. In particular, when more than two protective devices, such as manacles and head protection devices, are used at the same time in the process of sentence execution, they are used for a long time exceeding 1 day which is an excessive and unnecessary infringement of the inmates’ human rights.[60]

 

The Government stated that the law stipulates that the protective devices cannot be used for retributive purposes and that the protective devices are being used in the minimum range of necessity and they are stopped being used without delay once the grounds for the use of them extinguish. However, with the prison guard judging whether the use of protective devices should be continued or not, no legal safeguard that ensures the minimum use of the protective devices exists, leaving room for abuse.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Improve the solitary confinement-centred punishment regulations so that other punishment alternatives take priority over solitary condiment.

Ÿ   Improve the customary use of protective devices so that they can be used for protective purposes rather than retributive purposes.

Ÿ   Stop the practice of cruel and inhumane punishment. In particular, stop using two or more protective devices at the same time and the long-term use of protective devices.

Ÿ   Provide an alternative system that can be considered before using protective devices.

 

Issue 13 Please indicate what measures are taken to prevent and combat violence and abuses in the military and ensure that such allegations are effectively and impartially investigated, perpetrators are brought to justice and victims are provided with redress.

 

Over the last decade, an average of 71 soldiers committed suicide each year.[61] Suicide accounts for 58.3% out of total death cases in the military. The Ministry of National Defense reported that about 3,900 soldiers were victims of physical violence (including beating) and have been brutally treated in April 2014 only. In 2013, 17,987 beating and brutal treatment were reported.[62] It is expected to be more considering many cases of abuse go unreported.

 

From 2010 to the first half of 2014, 50 out of 3,337 beating and brutal treatment criminal cases (1.5%) perpetrators were sentenced to imprisonment. None of the 398 trials in the first half of 2014 have sentenced the accused with imprisonment.[63]

 

As for sexual assault cases, from 2010 to 2013, a total of 1,442 sex crimes were reported by the Military Prosecutor’s Office, but only 39.98% were actually formally indicted.[64] Only 15.2% of cases were sentenced to actual imprisonment by the Military Courts while in the civil court, the imprisonment rate is 34.9%. For 5 years from 2009, 160 sex offenders against female soldiers were penalized with disciplinary actions, 76.8% of these cases the penalty was not adequate.[65]

 

Although the Ministry of National Defense declared that it introduced numerous preventative measures after consecutive human rights infringements within the military in 2014[66], the effectiveness of these preventative measures is still questionable. For instance, the National Defense Help Call Centre is merely a sum of existing telephone reporting systems. While the military advertises that 14,700 counselling sessions were conducted during 2014 alone, there are only 8 phone lines and 13 counsellors in the call centre. Even after several preventative measures have been taken, some physical abuse, beating and brutal treatment cases causing suicide attempts have been reported continuously.[67] The existing mechanisms such as ‘Attention-needed soldier’ is poorly operated; 40% of soldiers who committed suicide were in fact classified as ‘attention-needed’.[68] The 2014 National Defense allocated only 0.0005% of its budget to dealing with human rights issues.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Introduce an independent National Defense Ombudsperson system for independent experts to be able to independently conduct investigations to improve the human rights situations within the military

Ÿ   Provide remedies to victims of human rights infringement within the military and thoroughly investigate all perpetrators.

 

Liberty and security of person, treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, and fair trial (Articles. 9, 10, 14 and 24)

 

Issue 14 Please clarify whether the law provides for an automatic right of any person arrested or detained on a criminal charge to be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power in order to bring the detention under judicial control. Please also indicate the length of permissible pre-trial detention.

 

The police can detain a suspect for up to 48 hours without warrant after the arrest.[69] In such cases, the suspect is not granted with an automatic right to be brought before an officer authorized to exercise judicial power. Though a suspect may request a court to review whether or not the arrest was conducted legally, this process has not been used often. The request for the review and the court’s decision have to be realized within the 48 hours of the detention.

 

When an arrest warrant for a suspect is requested within 48 hours after the arrest, the judge decides whether or not to issue the arrest warrant through an arrest warrant review. If an arrest warrant is not filed within the 48 hours following the arrest, the suspect must be released promptly.[70]

 

Soldiers may be detained in a military prison for up to 15 days as a disciplinary action according to Article 58 of the Military Personnel Act[71]; this decision is made by one’s superiors who hold the disciplinary power, and not by judges in court.[72] However, this disciplinary action of detention is de facto a criminal penalty that denies proper procedures and excludes formal trial processes. Considering it is mandatory for all Korean male citizens who are over 18-years-old to serve in the military, and in fact 90% of them do join the military,[73] half of the Korean population falls under the threat of these military arbitrary detentions. For a decade proceeding 2014, a total of 123,446 soldiers were sent to military prisons, and the number continue to increase.[74]

 

In case of juvenile court procedure under pre-trial detention, because there is no limitation on legally permissible pre-trial detention period and pre-trial detention period resulted from the first trial procedure does not count in detention period sentenced by the final verdict due to lack of “pre-trial detention period inclusion clause”, the length of time juvenile spend in juvenile detention centre in uncertainty until the appeal is accepted amounts to approximately 53 days in average.[75] Meanwhile, no public guideline for human rights protection in juvenile detention centre exists, and only 4.16% of those who were newly put in juvenile detention centre or juvenile classification review centre in 2010 experienced open treatment.[76] Furthermore, about 95% of juvenile pre-trial detainees are separately placed in 43 jails and detention centres nationwide which represents the poor implementation of Article 85 section 2 of Standard Minimum Rules.[77]

 

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) defectors are sent to and accommodated in the DPRK Defector Protection Center (former Central Joint Interrogation Center) upon their arrival in the Republic of Korea. It has been known that DPRK defectors are not given the right to an attorney in the process and that they are investigated while completely blocked from the outside world. DPRK defectors get forcibly expatriated when not classified as ‘subjects to protection’ after the investigation. After the repatriation, the DPRK defectors’ whereabouts are unknown. Furthermore, although the enforcement decree specifies the accommodation period of the DPRK defectors as maximum 6 months, the actual number and the current condition of the DPRK refugees accommodated in the centre are not known, so it is difficult to know how many people have been detained and for how long.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   To minimize the use of arrest without warrant and to abide by procedural guideline so that a suspect can be aided when arrested without warrant in order to avoid abuses and infringements of their rights. Also, to guarantee the rights of the suspects in compliance with Article 9 of the Covenant by preparing a procedure with which a suspect can automatically receive a judge’s rule on the legality of the arrest right after his or her arrest.

Ÿ   Abolish the ‘military prison’ from the available disciplinary action to soldiers in the Military Personnel Act

Ÿ   Ensure pre-trial detention against juvenile offenders is kept to bare minimum and amend Juvenile Law to include an inclusion clause for pre-trial detention.

Ÿ   Provide public guidelines for human rights protection in Juvenile detention facility and expand the guidelines for open treatment of juveniles in detention nationwide.

Ÿ   To investigate and reveal the conditions of detainment inside the DPRK Defectors Protection Center and devise a measure such as non-detainment so as to minimize infringements.

 

Issue 15-1 Please indicate whether steps have been taken to amend the Immigration Control Act with a view to establishing legal limits on the duration of detention of persons subjected to deportation orders, including asylum-seeking children. Please also explain how the judicial review of such detention by the Minister of Justice satisfies the standards required under article 9 of the Covenant.

 

No measures have been taken by the Government to amend the Immigration Control Act (ICA) for the purpose of setting limits on the duration of detention. The amended ICA (29 December 2009) states that detentions, when exceeding three months, are to be reviewed by the Minister of Justice.[78] However in practice, the amendment is only an administrative formality. Apart from one particular case in which the Ministry of Justice was unable to approve the extension due to late submission of paperwork,[79] no cases of discharge from detention have been witnessed for the past five years, since the amendment of the ICA.

 

  ICCPR Criminal Procedure Act (Republic of Korea) The Immigration Control Act (Republic of Korea)
Commencement of a Detention Requested by the Administrative Agency Requested by the Criminal Investigative Agency Requested by the Immigration officer
Deciding Body of  Detention Detention is made after the Judge’s review of ‘the Necessity of Detention’ Detention is made after the Judge’s review of ‘the Necessity of Detention’ to decide whether to issue a detention warrant or not. Detention is decided by the Head of the Immigration Office (No Review for the Need for Detention once Deportation Order is Issued)
Extension of Detention period Requested by the Administrative Agency (No Automatic Extension) Requested by the Administrative Agency (No Automatic Extension):  Request for the Extension of Period of Detention De Facto Automatic Extension

(Prior Approval by the Minister of Justice Deformalized)

Decision Making Body of Extension of Detention period Extension of period is decided after Judge’s review of ‘the Necessity of Extension of Detention’ Extension of period is decided after Judge’s Review of ‘the Necessity of the Extension of Period of Detention’ Minister of Justice (No Review for the Necessity for Extension of Detention Period. Only the Grounds for the Delay of the Execution of the Deportation Order is explained.)
Maximum Period of Detention Legislation Required During Investigation: Maximum 30 days, During Trial : 14 months N/A
Method of Objection Objection can be made to judges upon request. Objection can be made to judges upon request: Review on Legality of Detention Guarantee the Opportunities to Object against the Minister of Justice: Objection for Protection

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Amend Article 63 (1) of the ICA to provide limit to any detention period

Ÿ   Commence detention via an independent review mechanism so that the detention of foreigners would comply with Article 9 of the Covenant, and introduce a system of regular judicial reviews for the legitimacy of detention.

 

Issue 15-2 Please also comment on reports that the State party also detains asylum-seeking children, including unaccompanied children, without periodic and timely review of detention and in inappropriate facilities, and report on measures taken to provide for non-custodial alternatives to such detention and to ensure that detention is used only as a measure of last resort and for a period of time as short as possible.

 

From January 2012 to June 2015, 113 children were detained, among which were the cases of one three-year-old boy detained for thirty days, and a two-year-old girl for eighty-one days.[80] These children were detained in violation of the ICA standards which supposed to be a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. However, detention of children has been set as a common practice, and then exceptionally allowing discharge. The Immigration Office tries to reconcile this issue not by offering non-detention alternatives or allowing detention as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, but by assigning public officials to the detainees.[81]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Legalize an exception free principle of non-detainment of children

Ÿ   Provide alternatives to detention for children

 

Issue 16 With reference to the Committee’s previous recommendation (CCPR/C/KOR/CO/3, para. 14), please clarify whether authorities can still limit counsel’s participation during interrogation, and, if so, explain the grounds thereof and the compatibility of such limitation with the State party’s obligations under article 9. Please also comment on information that foreigners (other than asylum seekers) detained in the deportation room at the Incheon International Airport are denied the right to counsel.

 

1) Counsel’s Participation during Interrogation

In the replies to the List of Issues, the Government stated that a suspect’s right to access to an attorney is strictly guaranteed during interrogation in compliance with Article 243-2 (paragraph 1) of the Criminal Procedure Act and Article 9-2 (paragraph 1) of the Prosecution Case Administration Regulations. The Government also stated that the participation of an attorney is limited only when it is presumed to induce substantial encumbrance to the investigation such as interruption of interrogation and disclosure of investigation secrets, hence such limitations are in accordance with the State party’s obligations under Article 9 of the Convention.

 

However, because the conditions for ‘interruption of interrogation’ or ‘concerns about inducing substantial encumbrance to the investigation’ are unclear and the investigation procedure depends mostly on extracting confessions by interrogating suspects, it is possible to limit the counsel’s participation by insisting that making suggestions regarding testimonies is an interruption of interrogation.

 

Moreover, the Criminal Procedure Act specifies ‘The defense counsel who participates in the interrogation may make a statement on his/her opinion after the interrogation process.  Provided, that the counsel may raise an objection to any unfair interrogation manner even in the middle of the interrogation and may also make a statement, with the approval from the prosecutor or the senior judicial police officer’ (Article 243-2 (3)). As such, the counsel can raise an objection to unfair interrogation manner, but a suspect’s rights to make suggestions or statements on the investigation agency’s overall interrogation contents in the middle of the interrogation are not guaranteed.

 

In addition, Article 9-2 (4) of the ‘Prosecution Case Administration Regulations[82], Article 16-2 of the Judicial Police Officer Management Work Regulations’[83], and Article 18-2 of the ‘Special Judicial Police Officer Management Work Regulations’, it is prescribed that the ‘participation’ of a counsel may be limited when the counsel answers on behalf of the suspect during interrogation, makes the suspect change his/her answer or testimony, or records the contents of interrogation.

 

In addition, the Government has requested the Korean Bar Association to punish an attorney that participated in the investigation on the grounds that the said attorney advised the suspect to make a false testimony and assisted in practicing the suspect’s right to refuse to make statements.

 

<Case> The Ministry of Justice’s Request for Disciplinary Action on Human Rights Lawyers[84]

In late 2014, the Ministry of Justice requested disciplinary actions on human rights lawyers. Among them, attorney In-suk Kim was accused of advising a suspect who participated in a rally asking for truth regarding the sinking of Sewol ferry to practice the right to remain silent in the investigation, and attorney Kyung-wook Jang was accused of persuading the suspect of a spy case to make a false testimony.

 

Regarding this, the Korean Bar Association rejected the disciplinary action request stating that it cannot be considered that attorney Jang urged the suspect to make a false testimony and that the right to remain silent is a right granted to suspects by the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Act, hence attorney Kim’s advising the suspect to practice the right to remain silent cannot be considered to be violating his duty.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   To guarantee the counsel’s right to participate in the investigation so that he/she can fully advice his/her client whether or not to practice the right to remain silent, whether or not to answer individual questions, contents of the answers, among others.

Ÿ   To conduct regular investigations on the cases in which investigation agencies excludes the counsel’s right to participate in the investigation and provide education on “the right to access  a lawyer cannot be limited with whatever basis be that guarantee of national security, maintenance of orders, or public welfare” to law-enforcement officials.

Ÿ   To clearly specify in the Criminal Procedure Act, etc that the right to access to a lawyer cannot be limited with whatever basis even if it was  guarantee of national security, maintenance of  orders, public welfare, and etc. Amend Article 9-2 (1) of the Prosecution Case Administration Regulations and Article 18-2 (1) of the Special Judicial Police Officer Management Work Regulations.

Ÿ   To delete Article 9-2 (4) of the Prosecution Case Administration Regulations, Article 16-2 (4) of the Judicial Police Officer Management Work Regulations, and Article 18-2 (4) of the Special Judicial Police Officer Management Work Regulations.

 

2) Information that Foreigners (other than asylum seekers) detained in the deportation room at the Incheon International Airport and denied the right to counsel

Since the ruling that detention in the deportation room is unconstitutional, the Immigration Office publicly claims to operate an open facility which guarantees free mobility within the airport facilities.

However, in reality, the operations of deportation rooms does not allow mobility; instead, foreigners who are denied entrance to the Republic of Korea are asked to fill out an application form for the use of the deportation room, which means agreeing to be detained, or else being forced to bare the cost of one’s food, clothing and shelter outside the deportation room. Apart from seeing visitors such as attorneys, detainees are denied mobility outside the detention room; still at this point while the report is being prepared (August 2015), such detainees  have been locked up for more than six months.

As such, at present point the deportation room is clearly operated as a detention facility, not only rendering the poorest conditions of living space, but also denying the right to health and access to health care for the detainees (apart from obtaining an approval for temporary landing), for whom not even a basic check-up would be allowed unless in an emergency situation and at one’s own expense.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Provide legal grounds for the operation of the deportation rooms and improve the conditions for detained foreigners, especially refugees whom are expected to be detained long term as they wait for their application process.

Ÿ   Guarantee attorney counsel upon application for all foreigners denied entrance or detained in the deportation room.

 

Issue 17 Please report on measures taken to address overcrowding in correctional facilities, to improve conditions of detention in immigration detention facilities and to facilitate access of prisoners to adequate medical care outside detention facilities. Please provide information on the guideline enacted by the Ministry of Justice in February 2010, requesting correctional facilities to collect convoy fuel costs and highway toll fees in advance from persons in custody who need to appear in court for civil, administrative, or family litigations, and on its impact on individuals’ access to justice.

 

1) Overcrowding in Correctional Facilities

As a response to the List of Issues with regards to overcrowding in detention centres, the Government has presented solutions such as constructing three new correctional facilities. However, this cannot be a fundamental solution as there are testimonies from the detainees that many of these facilities have been left unused due to the shortage of prison officers. The Administration and Treatment of Correctional Institution Inmates Act does not have regulations on the optimal cell space per prisoner, and the ‘Guidelines on detainment classification, transfer, and documentation’ established by the Ministry of Justice only sets a standard on the maximum capacity of correctional facilities[85]. Even that, the available space for each inmate is too small compared to the standards set for handicapped facilities[86], police station jails[87], and residential facilities[88]. Furthermore, the above standard is not well enforced and, as of 2010, the ratio of maximum capacity inmates to the actual number of inmates at correctional facilities was 111%; at some individual facilities, namely the Busan Detention Center, the ratio reaches 161.5%[89].

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Include provision on the optimal cell space allowed per prisoner in the Administration and Treatment of Correctional Institution Inmates Act as a measure to solve overcrowding in correctional facilities

Ÿ   Improve practices that accommodate prisoners beyond the maximum space capacity of correctional facilities

 

2) Living Conditions in Immigration Detention Facilities

In 2007, the fire at the Yeosu Immigration Detention Center that resulted in 10 deaths and 17 injuries is an example of poor treatment and living conditions of detainees in immigration detention facilities. Despite this incident, there hasn’t been any measure taken to improve the conditions in immigration detention facilities.

 

In 2013-2014, the Korean Bar Association has conducted the first non-governmental and independent investigation on the conditions of immigration detention shelters. The investigation has found that the treatment of detainees in immigration detention facilities is far worse compared to that of correctional facilities. It has also confirmed there hasn’t been a systematic measure to improve the situation. Few examples of the poor conditions in immigration detention facilities include the following: the arbitrary management of solitary confinements which are particularly punitive in their nature; the lack of a protection system for gender/sexual minorities; a restriction on the communication with the outside world; the poor quality goods provided by detention shelters; the shortage of detention personnel and the lack of adequate training and education offered to commissioned staff members of the facilities; the infringement on the right to health caused by inadequate diet and exercise.[90]

 

In addition, the Government claims that professional medical staffs reside within the protection shelters (para.189), but in reality there is only one general practitioner assigned to each facility. Moreover, even if detainees seek external medical treatment, the detainees have to bear the entire expense of treatment and the visits have to first be approved by the residing general practitioner. It is also extremely difficult for detainees to receive psychological treatment.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Implement measures allowing detainees to receive medical treatment by professional medical specialists, including psychological treatment

Ÿ   Conduct an independent monitoring on immigration detention facilities and improve the their conditions based on the monitoring’s suggested recommendations

 

3) Prisoners’ Access to Adequate Medical Care Outside Detention Facilities

Prisoner’s access to adequate medical care outside detention facilities is not being guaranteed. The Administration and Treatment of Correctional Institution Inmates Act only allows prisoners to receive external medical treatment when granted permission from a warden (Article 37 and 38) and in practice, medical treatment within the facility is the default treatment method and external treatment is allowed only when inmates bear the treatment fees. This particularly affects impoverished prisoners, as they are not able to get specialized treatment for serious diseases. From 2004 to July 2013, 85 out of the 227 inmates (37.4%) who died in correctional facilities were found to have died because their application for suspension of execution (detention) for treatment purposes had been denied or because the evaluation process took too long.[91]

 

The Government claims that the remote medical treatment systems have been established as of June 2015. Providing remote medical treatment system can be a temporary measure and it should be a step to eventually provide face-to-face treatment.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Reform the practice that only allows external treatment when inmates bear the treatment fees in order to guarantee prisoners’ access to adequate medical care outside detention facilities.

Ÿ   Provide specific plan with detailed timeline to provide face-to-face medical treatment for prisoners.

 

4) Collection of Expenses for Civil Trials and Court Appearance of Inmates

The ‘Guideline on collection of expenses of civil trials and court appearance of inmates’ enacted by the Ministry of Justice in February 2010 undermines the inmates’ right of access to courts. The Ministry of Justice released the public information in February 2011, which marks one year in which the collection of expenses for appearance in court and civil trials has been introduced. According to the disclosed public information, the number of civil trials and court appearances of inmates was approximately 1,400 and the costs charged to the inmates were 55 million KRW (approximately USD 45,540) in total, which amounts to 40,000 KRW for every court appearance. Within the same period, the number of inmates with less than 10,000 KRW worth of money kept in custody was 5,800, which is approximately 10% of the whole inmate population.[92] In its response to the List of Issues with regards to collection of expenses for civil trials and court appearance of inmates (para. 45), the Government claims collecting expense for appearance in court only applies to civil, administrative and family litigations where the appearance of any party is not obligatory. Even when the detainee does not pay the charged expense, the authority allows the detainee to appear in court and later set-off with the money in custody. Nevertheless, the inmates who cannot afford to designate an attorney to handle the cases can only proceed with the lawsuits by themselves, and since they are unable to appear in court, the lawsuits cannot progress. Therefore, the policy has the effect of making inmates hesitant to file a civil suit or administrative litigation regarding violations of their human rights or unfair treatment by the correctional facility. Furthermore, there are even cases in which the correctional facilities intentionally move inmates, who have filed lawsuits, to another correctional facility far away from the court in order to make them bear higher expenses to appear in court. Such action puts an indirect pressure on inmates to withdraw their cases.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Abolish the ‘Guideline on collection of expenses of civil trials and court appearance of inmates’ that infringes upon the inmates’ right of access to courts

 

5) Detained Transgender Inmates

Correctional facilities in Korea do not provide any guideline or regulation concerning the treatment of transgender inmates. Transgender inmates detained in correctional institutions are not receiving any treatment appropriate to their sexual orientation, and they are being denied to bring underclothes suitable to their gender and restricted from putting make-ups on. Not only that, transgender inmates are subject to unfair punishment when they take actions based on their gender identity[93]. The Administration and Treatment of Correctional Institution Inmates Act specifies that suitable medical services should be provided with regards to the detainees’ health and medical conditions (Article 30). However, there is no medical treatment and service provided in relation to transgender inmates.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Provide a well-defined guideline concerning the treatment of transgender inmates and implement measures that can honour the inmates’ sexual orientation by improving their access to medical treatment within the correctional facilities.

 

Issue 18 Please clarify whether the legal definition of “trafficking” in the Criminal Code prohibits all forms of trafficking and effectively protects victims. Please indicate what steps are being taken to address the restrictions imposed on foreign migrants under the Employment Permit System (EPS), including changing jobs only with employer’s permission, that are reportedly exposing them to forced labour, exploitation and abuse. Please report on measures taken: (a) to improve the identification of victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, in particular migrant workers, disabled Korean men, and persons arrested for prostitution; (b) to investigate allegations of government complicity in trafficking, including those reported in 2013 by the media and NGOs, and prosecute those responsible; (c) to investigate promptly and effectively cases indicative of forced labour and exploitation of migrant agricultural workers and fishermen on South Korean-flagged fishing vessels, including intimidation, physical and sexual harassment and violence, excessive working hours without weekly rest days, underpayment, inhumane treatment and inadequate accommodation and food; (d) to ensure that entertainment visas (E-6) and international marriage brokers do not serve as a cover for trafficking migrant women into forced prostitution or forced labour. Please provide information on the number of investigations and prosecutions initiated into cases of trafficking and on the actual criminal convictions under the revised Criminal Code, as well as on remedies awarded to victims. Please also report on the progress with the investigation initiated in March 2014 into allegations of forced labour of hundreds of Korean men, including some with disabilities, on salt farms.

 

1) Criminal Code’s Definition of Trafficking

The definition of human trafficking in the Palermo Protocol defines the purpose and means of exploitation as well as the mode of transportation. However, the definition of human trafficking under the Criminal Code[94] merely enumerates the purpose of the exploitation, and not about means and the mode of transportation; it only states that “individuals who trade humans shall be prosecuted” without providing specific means and mode of transportation. Furthermore, the Court’s reading of this clause is bound to the crime of trading women, which was deleted due to the new legislation of the crime of human trafficking. The Court demands a proof of the use of force and of the compensational relationship between the buyer and the seller in order for the crime of trading someone to be established[95]; thus, the acts of human trafficking under the Palermo Protocol cannot be punished according to the Korean Criminal Code.

 

For example, according to the article about human trafficking in the amended Criminal Code, if the victim consents to the intended exploitation such as forced labour, then the case cannot be recognized as trafficking. The Court does not recognize trading without physical and actual control over the victim such as the trafficker for Shin-ahn salt farm case would not be charged with the crime of human trafficking.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Amend the definition of human trafficking in the Criminal Code to be consistent with the definition of human trafficking under the Palermo protocol.

 

2) Restrictions imposed on foreign migrants under the Employment Permit System (EPS)

Migrant workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS) are prohibited to change their working places in principle. Transfer to another business sites occurs only if their employer allows, or if the reason for the transfer falls within the conditions listed in the Employment, Etc. Of Foreign Workers Act.[96] With few exceptions, the number of job transfer is limited to three times during three years; the application must be made within a month from the termination of the contract with the previous employer; and the application must be approved by the Government administrative agency within three months.[97]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Revise the law to allow migrant workers under the Employment Permit System to change their working place freely without the permission of the employer.

 

3) Improve the identification of victims of trafficking among vulnerable population

There is no system to identify victims of human trafficking as defined in the Palermo Protocol. With the lacking of such systems, no protection is available for the victims. Due to the absence of these systems, migrant victims are rather subjected to deportation orders for violation of Immigration control law; they are detained, deported, and deprived of chances to access to remedy.

 

In 2014, two Vietnamese fishing crews who suffered from physical and verbal violence submitted a request to the Immigration Office in order to change their working place; however, the Immigration Office deported the crew for absconding from their designated working place. In 2015, migrant women, who entered the country with entertainment visa were sexually exploited in night clubs, were investigated as criminals and witnesses after a police raid. Although the women should be protected as the victims of human trafficking without prosecution according to the Palermo Protocol, the women were even detained as witnesses during the investigation of the owner of the club.

Lacking identification indicators for human trafficking victims, crew members from fishing vessels in 2011 and 2012, Korean disabled men at the salt farm and migrant workers in the agricultural industry in 2014, were neither identified nor protected as victims of human trafficking after they were trafficked.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Establish clear guidelines for identifying human trafficking victims and distribute them to all government agencies. Conduct training to relevant officers especially to immigration officers and police officers on regular basis.

 

4) Investigation of forced labour and exploitation of migrant agricultural workers, and fishermen

No measures were put in place since 2013 when the NHRCK conducted an investigation of human rights situation of migrant workers in the agricultural industry. Migrant workers working in the agricultural industry not only suffer excessive working hours with low wages; they are exposed to different human right abuses such as abusive and violent languages, physical and sexual violence.[98]

Most of the employers reject migrant workers’ request to improve their wages, holidays or accommodations. Furthermore, in case the workers ask for transfer to a different business site, the employers threaten to report the employees to the police or immigration officers so that the workers would be deported.[99] The Government has failed to take any measures regarding article 63 of the Labour Standards Act, which exempts workers in agricultural industry from the limitation of the working hours.[100]

 

In 2011, the Indonesian fishing crews, who were employed in a Republic of Korean-flagged fishing vessel operated in New Zealand, ran away from the site due to unpaid wages, sexual and physical violence, harsh working conditions, and discrimination. However, none of the offenders who committed the sexual and physical violence were prosecuted; no punishment was given to the fishing company; only a light penalty was imposed on the managing agency for forging documents.

No measures was taken after the research was published from the National Human Rights Committee of Korea in 2013 that foreign fishing crews working inshore fishing vessels suffer from  human rights violations which amounts to the human trafficking. These conditions incite the violence, non-payment of the wages, deposit money that prevents crews from leaving the working place, confiscation of passports and bank books.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Amend the Labor Standards Act article 63 to be applicable to migrant workers in the agriculture industry.

Ÿ   Revise laws and policies to improve the structural problems suffered by migrant workers working in a fishing vessel such as non-payment of wage, sexual and physical violence, and harsh working conditions.

 

5) Entertainment visas (E-6) and International Marriage Brokers

Knowing that the Filipino female migrants who entered the Republic of Korea with E-6-2 visas become victims of human trafficking, the Ministry of Justice has taken no measure to stop or regulate these abuses of visa regulations. Though the Ministry of Justice stated that the screening process for the issuing of E-6 visa has been strengthened and the number of women entering the Republic of Korea with entertainment visa has decreased in its 4th periodic report paragraph 142, in fact, the number of Filipino women entering Korea with E-6-2 visa has increased.

 

Many women who entered Korea without the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) from the Philippines Oversea Employment Administration became victims of human trafficking; the Ministry of Justice’s issuance of visas without OEC leads to different incidents of human trafficking.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Strengthen the actual screening procedure in issuance of E-6-2 visas by issuing the visas to only those who have Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

Ÿ   Conduct regular monitoring of the entertainment visas (E-6) and marriage migrant visas (F-6) in order to prevent abuse, forced prostitution, and forced labour. Provide specific measures to prevent the abuse of the (F-6) and (E-6) visas.

Ÿ   Provide the appropriate measures to support the right to stay and the right to work for the victims of human trafficking.

 

6) Number of Investigations and Prosecutions

The statistics presented by the government related to overall prostitution; it does not include the specific statistics regarding the human trafficking article enacted in the amendment of the Criminal Code in 2013 for the implementation of the Palermo Protocol. Due to the absence of detailed definitions in the new human trafficking article, the article has been cited only in few cases, which then leads to indictment and conviction. After the establishment of the article only 6 cases were sentenced with indictment.[101]

Among the cases above, the suspects convicted are people who sold and bought and paid money for prostitution with women with mental disabilities. It is clear that punishment is based on the women trafficking clause which was present before the revised clause. This means that the revised human trafficking clause is not able to enforce the prosecution of illegal acts of human trafficking according to the definition laid in the code.

 

7) Forced Labour in Salt Farm

As of August 2015, merely 6 cases were actually sentenced to the perpetrators of the salt farm slave cases in 2014 out of 20 cases.[102] Most of the cases were sentenced to suspension of execution; furthermore, none of the cases were prosecuted and punished under the human trafficking act.

 

In the crime of kidnapping or abduction, which is similar to the crime of human trafficking, the crime is not realized if the judgment and consent of the person is present. The precedent states that the crime of kidnapping or abduction cannot be established when the mentally disabled victims are considered to follow the perpetrators voluntarily.[103]

 

The exploitation of disabled persons in the salt farms in the remote islands has been a chronic problem without Government’s fundamental measures to regulate it. A research conducted in April 2015, after a year from the incident shows that among the 63 people who were assisted after the rescue, only 13 were located and 20 were found to have returned to the island.[104]

 

Right to privacy and family life (Article 17)

 

Issue 19 Please respond to reports that mandatory HIV tests are conducted on foreigners, prisoners, and soldiers, as well as to reports indicating an increase in the number of cases where hospitals perform such tests on their patients without obtaining their prior consent. Please explain how such actions are compatible with the State party’s obligations under the Covenant.

 

1) Mandatory HIV tests

The Government conducts blood tests on soldiers[105] and prisoners. The conductor obtains prior consent from prisoners before taking their blood samples. Among those foreigners who stay more than 90 days in the Republic of Korea and register as foreign language instructor should submit HIV test results to the Government. (Reply to the List of Issues para. 55).

 

In March 2015, the Government amended Administration and Treatment of Correctional Institution Inmates Act which enforce persons who are admitted to prison for the first time are required to have health tests[106]. The Medical Instruction for Prisoners by the Ministry Justice Article 3, Paragraph 5[107] includes HIV tests in the health tests of prisoners, which resulted in compulsory HIV test on prisoners.

 

Besides the cases of foreign language instructor (E2 Visa, Teaching Visa), from 1 April 2014, the Government requested E7 Visa (Specially Designated Activities) applicants to submit medical report that includes an HIV test result.[108]In addition, F2 Visa (Long-Term Residency) applicants also should submit the medical report that includes HIV test, venereal disease (VD) and mental disorders.[109] The HIV tests on foreigners are arbitrary and discriminatory because they can be used as a way to regulate immigration and residency without any other legal bases.

 

2) HIV test without prior consent

According to the Enforcement Decree of the Medical Service Act, all medical tests should be conducted after obtaining prior consent. However, several cases have been reported that some HIV tests are conducted without prior consent. Also, cases are reported that HIV infection related information is circulated among medical professionals without obtaining consents from patients.

 

<Case>

In 2012, Doctor A conducted the HIV test on patient B while doing blood test without obtaining prior consent from patient B. The test showed that B has HIV positive. Therefore, Doctor A delayed B’s surgery to conduct exact an HIV test. Doctor A told that patient B is HIV positive to the doctor in another hospital where B visited to have surgery. Doctor A received a guilty verdict as being suspected of violating the Prevention of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Act. However, Doctor A was acquitted on appeal and the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling which decided that Dr. A is not guilty.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Immediately abolish compulsory HIV tests on foreigners, soldiers and prisoners.

Ÿ   When HIV tests are needed to be conducted, health personnel should fully explain about the test to the patient and obtain the patient’s consent. This should be prescribed in legislation.

 

Issue 20 Please provide information on current legislation and practices governing the monitoring, surveillance and interception, analysis, use and storage of private communications (including internet, telephone, and email and fax communications) and data; on the existing legal safeguards against arbitrary interference with the privacy of individuals; and on their respect in practice. Please explain how the following activities are compatible with article 17 of the Covenant: (a) “base station” investigation by police whereby call history of every mobile phone within the range of assemblies is allegedly intercepted in order to find out the identity of participants; (b) release of user information by internet service providers, including names, IDs, resident registration numbers and addresses, to intelligence or investigation agencies allegedly without any restrictions; (c) retention of users’ communication data by providers of telephone, telecommunication and internet services for 6, 12, and 3 months, respectively; (d) operation of a program that allegedly enables teachers to control students’ mobile phones, check their location information, control usable functions and browse data. Please also clarify whether the State party adopted amendments requiring telecommunication operators to be equipped with ‘wiretap-ready’ facilities.

 

The Protection of Communications Secrets Act regulates real time communications and its metadata (referred to as communication confirmation data by the Government). Wiretapping (referred to as communication-restricting measures by the Government) and metadata retrieval each requires permission from the courts, however the rejection rate of such permissions in the courts is extremely low[110] and, thus, and the system is not adequately regulated.

 

The amount of surveillance and monitoring in the Republic of Korea is excessive for all aspects of wiretapping, metadata acquisition, and subscriber identification information.[111]In particular, there are serious problems with the abuse of metadata to track location information, which is extensively permitted by the Government when considered necessary for an investigation. On 9 April 2014, the NHRCK recommended that the requirements to request metadata from the Government should be limited to when there is reasonable ground for doubt that the suspect has committed the crime and that the metadata is related to the relevant case. The requirements to request real-time location information should be limited to when the case fulfils the necessary conditions for subsidiarity. (Such information should only be used as a last resort after attempting all other means available. The Government, however, rejected the NHRCK’s recommendation.

 

Regarding non-real-time communications (saved communications), metadata is provided by a search and seizure warrant. However, the Government does not adequately notify the suspect of the seizure of metadata neither do they notify the parties who have communicated with the suspects, (therefore their data is shared on the suspect’s device) while they are not involved in the case. The courts should notify the suspect of any wiretapping, metadata, and search and seizure activities within 30 days of the indictment date, not within a specific deadline after their execution, which significantly delays the point of notification. There has been also cases where the notification was postponed due to reasons such as ongoing internal investigation.[112] Recently, the government of the Republic of Korea has illegally purchased and used spyware from the Italian company, Hacking Team. However, there are insufficient mechanism to effectively and independently monitor the National Intelligence Service’s communication investigations, including those of the Intelligence Committee at the National Assembly.

 

1) Base Station Investigation by Police

To identify participants during protests, the police carries out a so-called “base station investigations,” in which the receive all mobile phone records from which a signal has been picked up at a wireless base station near protest sites without having to specify certain subjects. In the press release made on 2 April 2010, the government of the Republic of Korea explained that a base station investigation “targets all phone numbers transmitted from specific base stations in specific time zones.”[113] In 2011, the Prosecutor’s Office seized mobile phone records of 659 people through a base station investigation, targeting protest participants, claiming to investigate alleged bribery at a protest of the Democratic United Party, the main opposition party. One journalist who joined the protest to cover the article filed a constitutional appeal in 2012. The appeal is currently being examined by the Constitutional Court. When base station information is provided as metadata “when necessary for an investigation”, it is an infringement of the right to privacy as well as the right to freedom of assembly.

 

2) Release of User Information

According to the Telecommunications Business Act, the Government allows common Internet carriers to extensively provide subscriber identification information (referred to as communications data by the Government), such as the user name, ID, resident registration number, and addresses held by the internet service providers without any restrictions.. This infringement has been criticized for its abuse to conduct illegal surveillance on internet users who are critical of the Government.[114] On the 10th of February 2014, the NHRCK recommended to the Government that subscriber identification information contained in metadata should be obtained only after permission is received from the courts, and that such permission from the courts should be limited to “when there is reasonable ground for doubt that the suspect has committed the crime and it is related to the relevant case.”

 

3) Retention of Users’ Communication Data

According to Article 41, Section 2, of the Protection of Communications Secrets Act and the enforcement ordinance, phone companies must store the metadata of all subscribers for 6 months, mobile carriers, for 12 months, and Internet service providers, for 3 months. However, legalizing storage of all people’s data is an extensive and severe infringement of fundamental rights.[115]

 

4) Operation of a Program that Allegedly Enables Teachers to Control Students’ Mobile Phones

The policy that restricts students’ use of mobile phones is a violation of right to privacy of students. In 2014, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and the Gangwon-do Office of Education pilot tested the “iSmart Keeper” program, by which teachers can access students’ mobile phones, check their location, control available functions, and even view their data usage. Moreover, the Telecommunications Business Act and the enforcement ordinance, which was amended and enforced in 2015, made it compulsory to implement a means to block pornography on mobile communications used by teenagers. The teachers can regularly check whether that blockage means are being deleted from the phone of the student or not, and “notify” their parents. Aside from that, the Government used this law to publicize applications that allow parents to monitor their children. As a result, hundreds of thousands of teenagers are using mobile phones that their parents can monitor and control using applications on a real-time basis.

 

Moreover, the Government has been trying to amend the Protection of Communications Secrets Act to make it obligatory for mobile carriers to be equipped with wiretapping equipment for intelligence and investigative agencies. This bill is currently being discussed at the 19th Session of the National Assembly. The existing law does not prohibit mobile phone wiretapping, but when a case of illegal wiretapping by the intelligence agency was revealed in 2005, the intelligence agency claimed that they had discarded mobile phone wiretapping equipment.[116]The Government argued that since mobile phone wiretapping is impossible, it is necessary to make it compulsory for mobile carriers and social network operators designated by the Government to be equipped with wiretapping equipment. However, the National Intelligence Service purchased Italian Hacking Teams’ programme to be able to wiretap without wiretapping equipment by mobile carriers. A system that makes it obligatory for firms to have their communication networks “wire-tap ready” with equipment raises more concerns because it “creates an environment that facilitates complete surveillance.”

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Reinforce the restrictions on information and investigative agencies receiving metadata and location information.

Ÿ   Notification of search and seizure of wiretapped information, metadata, and telecommunications should be carried out within a specific deadline after the end of a surveillance operation, not after the end of an investigation.

Ÿ   Establish an effective and independent supervision system to prevent the abuse of wiretapping authorizations by the National Intelligence Service.

Ÿ   Reinforce the restrictions on information and investigative agencies receiving subscriber identifying information, such as having to get permission from the courts.

Ÿ   Adopt a system that makes it obligatory to store the metadata of all subscribers for only a certain period of time.

Ÿ   End the policy by which mobile carriers or schools have remote control over students’ mobile phones.

Freedom of conscience and religious belief, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and freedom of association (arts. 18, 19, 21 and 22)

 

Issue 21 With reference to the Committee’s previous recommendation (CCPR/C/KOR/CO/3, para. 17), please report on the progress made with respect to the introduction of alternative civilian service for conscientious objectors. Also report on the status of proposed legislation aimed at publicizing on the Internet the names of those who refuse to serve in the military.

 

In the 4th periodic report to the Committee (CCPR/C/KOR/4, para. 268), the Government claims that it “continues to conduct research in recognition of the difficulties in introducing such alternative service system”. However, the Government is not conducting any particular research on this issue besides occasional survey of public opinions.

 

The Government had already prepared solutions for alternative services through a research on a plan to introduce alternative service, which was conducted upon the request of the Military Manpower Administration in 2008.[117] However, the Government had refused to find ways to implement these solutions, only referring the poll results unfavourable to the introduction of the alternative service. Although there were other poll results which were in favour of the introduction of an alternative service system, the Government has not acknowledged it. The Government should not decide human rights related laws and polices based on poll result or public opinion only.

 

Regarding the concern of the State Party that introduction of an alternative system may harm national security, the Committee had noted that the State Party had failed to show what special disadvantage would be caused if an alternative system would be introduced.[118]

 

At the end of 2014, an amendment was made to the Military Service Act, which provided disclosure of personal information of draft evaders. This amendment could function as a means of stigmatization and discrimination against conscientious objectors in addition to the criminal punishments the objectors has to receive.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Recognize the right to conscientious objection to military service as a human right inherent to the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and make changes in relevant provisions including introduction of a civilian service system alternative to military service.

Ÿ   Release all individuals imprisoned solely for exercising their right to refuse to perform military service in absence of a civilian alternative.

Ÿ   Clear the criminal records and provide adequate compensation for conscientious objectors who have been imprisoned for refusing military service by reason of their conscientiously held beliefs.

Ÿ   Fully review the enforcement of systems of public disclosure of personal information, which may cause stigmatization and discrimination of conscientious objectors.

 

Issue 22 Please report on the measures taken by the State party to ensure that students assigned to religiously affiliated schools are not forced to attend religious events and take religious classes.

 

According to the General Chapter of the Curriculum of Elementary and Secondary Schools, schools are required to provide alternative options for students when offering religious classes. These alternative options not legally enforceable and students in private schools are often forced to take part in religious education.[119] Religious classes are compulsory in 58.1% of religious private schools, and among those schools 61.1% do not offer freedom of choice for attending religious classes. In addition, 60.8% of religious private schools hold religious rituals during entrance and graduation ceremonies.[120]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Enact a law to prohibit religious discrimination and compulsory religion education in private schools.

 

Issue 23 Please report on measures taken to ensure that freedom of expression online and dissemination of information of public interest by defenders is not unduly restricted by Government-controlled institutions that use vaguely defined concepts, such as “harming the public interest” or “false communication”, to block Internet content. Please respond to reports that criminal charges against the spreading of false information online continue to be imposed, despite the Constitutional Court’s decision of December 2010 on the unconstitutionality of the Framework Act on Telecommunications. Please indicate whether there are any plans (a) to amend the broad definition of defamation and to decriminalize defamation; (b) to amend the laws and regulations, including the Public Officials Service Regulations that restrict public officials’ freedom of expression.

 

1) Freedom of Opinion on the Internet / Decriminalize Defamation

Despite the Constitutional Court’s decision on December 2010 in regards to the unconstitutionality of the Framework Act on Telecommunications, investigations and indictment against the spreading of false information online are continuing, using other laws or different articles in the Framework Act on Telecommunications.[121]Most of all, the police, Prosecutor’s Office, and the President have continued to impose criminal charges against messages on the Internet that criticizes the Government following the Sewol ferry disaster. The Sewol ferry disaster happened on 16 April 2014 in which 304 people were killed including students who were heading for a school trip. The Government argue that charges were made because spreading false information damages public officers’ reputation.[122]

 

In 2015, as there were a number of critical views about the Government’s way of dealing with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the Ministry of Justice, Prosecutor’s Office and police strictly warned that “We are going to strictly regulate rumours about MERS”. Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) monitored all messages concerning MERS that were shared online. At the KCSC’s conference on the 6th of November 2015, it was reported that among six messages that were blocked and prevented from going online by the police, five messages were critical about the President and the Government.[123]

 

Forty-eight cases were reported in which the Government or public officials accused or prosecuted people for defamation between 2008 and 2014.[124] It is a violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression for an investigative agency to delete or investigate critical views on the Government for defamation.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Guarantee the right to freedom of opinion and expression on the Internet by preventing the Government-affiliated institute from excessively regulating disseminating public information in order to block contents on the Internet by using vague words such as “Harming the public interest” or “false information”.

Ÿ   Abolish the Article 311 of the Criminal Code (Insult) and Article 307 of the Criminal Code (Defamation), in line with the General Comment No. 34.

 

2) Public Officials’ Freedom of Expression

In the response to the List of Issues (para. 72), the Government states that public officials bear obligation to political impartiality and shall be servants of the entire people under the Constitution and relevant law, and such provision does not limit the freedom of expression in general, and thus, the Government does not plan to amend the provision.

 

The Constitution Article 7(2)[125] already clearly states that public officials have a duty to maintain political neutrality and can work independently from the ruling party. Therefore, depriving public officials’ political right and fully limit freedom of expression as an individual, not as a public official, violate the Covenant.

 

Regarding this case, both the Constitutional Court[126] and the ILO[127] stated that public officials’ political freedom of expression should be guaranteed. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression also expressed his concerns on this matter.[128]

 

<Case 1>

In 2009, when there was candle-light rallies against the United States Beef import, 16 labour leaders were charged with criminal cases and 105 labour leaders were charged with disciplinary action after they declared the state of affairs in June 2009 and made a banner saying ‘we want to be servants for the public not servants for the Government’. They also attended rallies where they called for ‘let’s take back our democracy’. Most public officials where charges with disciplinary actions and four people including Public Official’s Trade Union leader took a disciplinary dismissal.

 

<Case 2>

On the 25th of January 2010, around 290 people including public officials were prosecuted for violating the Political Party Law and the Political Fund Law as they had donated small amount of money to certain political parties. Moreover, in June of 2010, 258 public officials were charged with heavy disciplinary actions such as expulsion and dismissal. On January 2011, these public officials were found not guilty of violating the Political Party Law but guilty of violating the Political Fund Law and therefore, had to pay fine. Again in June of 2011, 271 were prosecuted and fined for the same reason above.

 

<Case 3>

Recently, in May 2015, eighteen public officers and union leaders were prosecuted for attending 24 April the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions’ general strike against the retrogressive revision of Public Officials Pension Act. Moreover, 32 public officials including the eighteen people just mentioned are charged with heavy disciplinary actions.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Guarantee public officials’ political rights and amend the laws and regulations accordingly, including the Public Officials Service Regulations that restrict public officials’ freedom of opinion and expression.

 

Issue 24 With reference to the Committee’s previous recommendation (CCPR/C/KOR/CO/3, para. 18), please report on steps taken to amend the National Security Act in order to clearly define the concepts therein, in particular those contained in article 7 of the Act, and ensure its compatibility with the State party’s obligations under the Covenant. Please comment on reports that the number of detentions and prosecutions under the National Security Act has been on the rise since 2008 and that the Act is increasingly used to curtail freedom of expression and association, including of those expressing critical views about the State party’s policies. Please also provide information about the charges brought against the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) under article 7 of the National Security Act for praising/propagating North Korean ideology and the disbandment of this political party by ruling of the Constitutional Court in December 2014.

 

1) The National Security Act and the Limitation of Freedom of Expression

The Government argues that it is strictly applying the National Security Act (NSA). Nevertheless, on 22 January 2015, the Supreme Court judged that singing the ‘Revolution Comrade Song’ has concrete danger of posing actual threats to the existence and safety of a nation and the basic orders of liberal democracy, thereby violating Article 7 of the NSA (2014 Do 10978). On the 30th of April 2015, in the adjudication on constitutionality of Article 7 of the NSA, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Article is constitutional (2012 Heonba 95) and reconfirmed that the related provisions leave no room for a broad interpretation and arbitrary judgement of legal interpretation. This case shows that the Government has not implemented the Human Rights Committee’s recommendation to revise the NSA.

 

According to the Supreme Persecutor’s Office’s 2015 data,[129] the number of detentions and prosecutions for violating the NSA has been on the substantial rise since 2008. Since the decrease of the figure in 2014 is not a result of the change in the Government policies as regard to the NSA, it cannot be considered to be a meaningful decrease. As such, the statistics mentioned in the Government’s replies to the List of Issues (para. 74) are not correct.

 

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
 Number of people who are investigated 46 57 97 90 112 129 57
Number of people who are indicted and tried 32 43 52 63 89 94 54

 

The Government arbitrarily restricted the expression and exchange of free opinion by targeting the individuals, civil society groups, and political parties including the human rights defenders that have different or opposite political views from the Government, with the NSA as a vehicle. In particular, despite the fact that there is no concrete danger, the Government has been considering the expression of opinions similar to North Korean policies and arguments as a threat to the national security and punishing those who express such opinions.

 

The Government has been punishing actions that publish or spread online posts using Article 7 of the NSA as a standard for censorship. According to Article 44 of the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, Etc., the Korea Communications Commission may order the provider of information and the management operator of the bulletin board to delete corresponding information as regard to the information with contents that fall under the actions prohibited by the NSA. In case of not implementing the order, up to 2 years of imprisonment or fines up to 10 million won may be imposed. According to the ‘2014 Report on the Reality of the Application of the NSA’ published by the National Police Agency in 2014, people that publish online posts or manage the bulletin board deleted 206,404 posts from 2009 to August 2014.

 

A total 6 people[130] including Seok-ki Lee (lecturer), a proportional representative lawmaker of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP), Hong-yeol Kim the chairperson of Gyeonggido district, and several past and present party leaders participated in a state of affairs lecture on the 12th of May 2013, along with 130 other present party members and leaders.  At the time, the tension between the United States and the DPRK heightened because of DPRK’s nuclear tests and the announcement of nullification of armistice. Based on that, Seok-ki Lee evaluated in the lecture that it was a time of change in which the US led-dominant order will collapse and independence, democracy, and unification will be realized on the Korean peninsula. Lee continued on to urge the participants that they shall establish a physical and technical preparation system with a faith in victory in order to response to such state of affairs. In the lecture, Lee avoided mentioning the specifics about the physical and technical preparation methods and had the participants to debate in small groups. Four people excluding Lee and Kim presented the results of their debate in front of the whole participants, which included a reference about the demolition of railroads and communication facilities in case of the outbreak of a war.

 

The Prosecutor’s Office asserted those 130 members of ‘RO’, a so-called underground revolution organization, who gathered and plotted a rebellion to help North Korea’s war. Six people including Seok-ki Lee were charged for plotting a rebellion along with sedition and violation of the NSA. In 2015, the Supreme Court found them innocent of plotting a rebellion, but found them guilty of violating Article 7 (1) (agreeing with anti-national group) and (5) (possessing, distributing, and acquiring expressions that benefit the enemy) of the NSA.

 

In regards to the violation of the NSA, the Supreme Court judged that the state of affairs lecture held on May 12 was to respond to and join the anti-national group, namely DPRK activities, by advertising and instigating an anti-national group and conducting actions that make assertions similar or consistent with the activities of an anti-national group, in violation of Article 7 (1). The Court found two of the six people involved guilty of violation of Article 7 (1) for posing concrete danger of exerting an evil influence on the existence and security of the nation and the basic orders of liberal democracy by carrying out an ideology study to praise or agree with the activities of an anti-national group. Furthermore, the court judged that singing the Revolution Comrade Song was to agree with anti-national group that benefits the enemy in violation of Article 7 (1) and found every 6 persons guilty of possessing, propagating, and acquiring the expressions that benefit the enemy in violation of Article 7 (5).

 

<Case 1>

Mr. Jeong-geun Park was arrested and charged in 2012 for following the official twitter account of the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and retweeting its posts, supposedly spreading and linking the expressions that benefit the enemy. He was found guilty in the first trial, found innocent in the second trial, and found innocent in the Supreme Court (2014). Park’s action was in fact to mock the DPRK government.

 

<Case 2>

When People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), an NGO with a special consultative status to the UN ECOSOC, raised a question regarding the results of the Government’s official investigation on the Cheonan Naval Ship incident, the Government investigated PSPD for conducting actions that benefit the enemy as prescribed in the NSA in 2010.

 

<Case 3>

Lastly, four teachers belonging to the Korean Government Employees’ Union that formed the ‘New Era Education Movement’ were charged for forming a group that benefits the enemy, which was rejected by the court. They were found guilty in 2015 of the possession of the expressions that benefit the enemy for possessing books related to the DPRK.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Abolish the National Security Act in its entirety.

Ÿ   Abolish article 7 of the National Security Act by priority, which is way too broad and vague.

Ÿ   Abolish Article 44 of the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, Etc. which is conducting de facto censorship with Article 7 of the National Security Act.

 

2) Dissolution of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP)

On 19 December 2014, the Constitutional Court ordered the dissolution of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) and deprived five UPP lawmakers of their duty. The court considered that the UPP is against the democratic order, since it is dominated by core forces pursuing the hidden objectives rather than the objectives disclosed in the party’s constitution and pursues DPRK socialism by the means of violent measures.

 

However, the decision of the Constitutional Court was a result made by violating a due procedure. In judging the constitutionality of the UPP, the Constitutional Court applied civil procedure rather than criminal procedure. As a result, less strict standards were applied in the admissibility of the evidence and burden of proof. Moreover, the Constitutional Court violated Article 32 of the Constitutional Court Act that stipulates that the evidence submitted to the trial in progress cannot be used in the trial of the Constitutional Court. When the trial of the people concerned in the May Meetings (the incident that found 6 people including Seok-ki Lee guilty for instigating a rebellion and violating the NSA), a crucial factor in the dissolution of the UPP, was pending in the Supreme Court on charges of rebellion conspiracy, instigating a rebellion, and violating the NSA, every evidence was cited in the Constitutional Court before the Supreme Court’s final decision was made on whether or not to accept the evidence.

 

Since the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the dissolution of the UPP is not necessary in a democratic society, it is a ruling in violation of Article 22 of the CCPR. First, there exist no compelling reasons for the necessity of the dissolution. The UPP never declared that it would achieve its political goals through violent measures nor did it ever tried to. As the UPP had promoted the rise to power through elections, it did not bear any actual threat to the democratic order or to national security. In addition, the UPP does not bear the liability to be responsible for the individual actions and assertions of some party members, which did not even lead to the establishment of any action plans for achieving political goals through violent measures were not actually acted out. Moreover, the threat cannot be recognized as a concrete threat that will cause actual harm to the democratic order solely on the grounds that the assertion of some members of the UPP are similar to or same with that of the DPRK.

 

Second, less restrictive measures were possible. The unconstitutional activities of the UPP as argued by the Government could have been responded at legislative, administrative, or judicial levels. If a lawmaker led rebellion conspiracy or instigated a rebellion, his/her position in the National Assembly could have been deprived of through due procedures of the National Assembly and the prosecution and the National Intelligence Service could have conducted investigation and prosecution against him/her. In fact, conspiracy of and instigation of a rebellion at the May Meetings and the NSA violation issue, which served as the main grounds for the disbandment of the UPP, were all in the process of trial. After the Constitutional Court ruled the disbandment of the UPP, the Supreme Court found the defendants not guilty of conspiracy of a rebellion.

 

Third, the chilling effect to be brought on to the freedom of expression and assembly resulted by the dissolution of the UPP is much greater than the danger the continuous existence of the UPP might pose on our society. After the court’s decision on the dissolution of the UPP, the establishment and political activities of a political party that promotes policies which are critical of the State party’s policies including the North Korean policy have become more difficult. Furthermore, freedom of expression and assembly of the people that wish to express and realize their political opinions through a political party has been severely violated.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Conduct a re-trial the dissolution of the UPP with the application and interpretation in compliance with the international human rights standards including Article 22 of the Covenant.

 

Issue 25 Please comment on allegations that journalists and human rights defenders are subjected to harassment, intimidation and illegal surveillance in connection with their work, including for publicly criticizing the Government, reporting on human rights-related issues and issues of public interest such as corruption by State officials.

 

In its reply to the List of Issues, the Government argues that the allegation that journalists and human rights defenders are subjected to harassment, intimidation and illegal surveillance in connection with their work is not true. [131] The Government has frequently and arbitrary applied Obstruction of Business (Article 314 of the Criminal Act), Obstruction of Performance of Official Duties (Article 136 of the Criminal Act), and General Obstruction of Traffic (Article 185 of the Criminal Act) against human rights defenders who attend protests against the Government’s policies. These laws are being used as grounds to request compensation and/or impose heavy fines to financially pressure human rights defenders. The Government even imposes abetting illegal actions on those who visited protest sites or strike sites and delivered solidarity speech with human rights defenders.

 

The Government filed compensation and/or defamation lawsuits against people who legitimately exercised their freedom of opinion and expression. In fact, the Court ruled that the State cannot be a victim of defamation and based on this, the result of abovementioned lawsuits are non-indictment or not guilty or no need to compensate. However, frequent lawsuits filed by the Government create chilling effects on human rights defenders and silence dissents.

 

The National Intelligence Service bought Italian hacking programme and there are suspicions that the Government is illegally surveilling human rights defenders and journalists. The National Intelligence Service stated that the purchased hacking programme was used only for research and monitoring North Korea, and never being used illegally for domestic surveillance. However, this argument is hard to believe since the purchased hacking programme was used on kakao talk application (a mobile messaging application) and Samsung mobile which are widely used in South Korea. The programme was used to avoid domestic virus programme, and malicious code was deployed in the email related to Cheonan Naval Vessel, impersonating national journalist.

 

In 2008, that the Public Ethics Division under the Prime Minister’s Office illegally surveilled an entrepreneur who posted a video online criticizing the President. On 30 March 2012, Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) new labour union revealed 2,619 documents on the Internet, which included illegal surveillance on civilians, journalists, activists and opposition party politicians by the Public Ethics Division. Such illegal surveillance specifically targeted labour union leaders and journalists, and based on this information, leaders of labour unions were illegitimately arrested and fired. This illegal surveillance was conducted by not only the Prime Minister’s Office but also by the Defense Security Command which is an intelligence body inside the military. Furthermore, in 2010, the Prime Minister’s office destroyed relevant evidence on its computers one day before the seizure and confiscation warrant, this was revealed by one whistle-blower. After the scandal, the National Assembly established a Special Committee to Investigate Illegal Surveillance but it failed to point out any responsible persons and failed to establish any preventive mechanisms.[132]

 

<Case>

Mr. Lae-goon Park is a standing steering committee member of the Coalition 4.16 for the Sewol Ferry Disaster (4.16 Coalition). The Coalition consists of Sewol victims’ families, civil society organisations, and individual supporters to find the truth about the disaster and establish a safer society. Mr. Park was detained since 17 May 2015 and has been detained until today (16 September 2015). He was officially indicted on charges of: organising ‘illegal’ protest; refusing to disperse (articles 6 and 21 of the Assembly and Demonstration Act); general obstruction of traffic; special obstruction of public duty; invalidity of public documents; and destruction of public goods (articles 141, 144, and 185 of the Criminal Code). However, there was no clear evidence that he incited any violent actions during the protests and it is not fair that organizer of peaceful protests bear any responsibility for the unlawful behaviour of others participants in the assembly. The cases brought against Mr. Park are classic examples of crackdown on human rights defenders, since he is one of the most prominent human rights defenders in Korea who have worked as an activist in the last 30 years. Mr. Park has publically criticized the Government in various protests. Various international human rights NGOs released a statement calling for his release.[133]

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Immediately stop arbitrary application of laws such as Obstruction of Business, Obstruction of Performance of Official Duties, and General Obstruction of Traffic to crackdown on human rights defenders.

Ÿ   Stop applying defamation and contempt (insult) court cases that silence human rights defenders who expressed different views to the Government and limit freedom of expression. Defamation should be decriminalized and contempt (insult) should be abolished.

Ÿ   Thoroughly and transparently investigate illegal surveillance on civilians including human rights defenders and journalists, and provide measures to prevent future occurrence.

 

Issue 26 Please report on measures taken to address the restrictions imposed on the exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly in law and in practice, including (a) the de facto system of authorization of peaceful assemblies by the police; (b) the use of the General Obstruction of Traffic and of article 314 of the Criminal Code on obstruction of business against demonstrators; (c) the use of excessive force in order to disperse demonstrations and arrests, detentions, and prosecutions of participants protesting against government policies or large-scale development projects, including during candlelight vigils (2008), the Yongsan tenant protest (2009), protests against Ssangyong Motors mass layoffs (2009), protests to support Hanjin Heavy Industries labour union members (2011) and during assemblies following Sewol ferry disaster (2014); (d) the use of bus blockades to isolate and block assemblies and demonstrations, restricting participation in assemblies and impeding the movement of demonstrators.

 

1) The De Facto System of Authorization of Peaceful Assemblies by the Police

Article 21 Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea does not allow the system of authorization for assemblies, but in reality, the Assembly and Demonstration Act has been in effect a system of assembly authorization.[134] The authorization of assemblies and demonstrations is determined only at the discretion of the police. Although the Government claims in the response to the List of Issues (para. 77) that assemblies can be carried out by simply notifying the authorities, this is not true in reality. The Assembly and Demonstration Act only protects “lawful assemblies” and non-reported assemblies[135] and assemblies that violate prohibitions on the location[136] and time[137], and prohibitions and limitations on assemblies that take place on roads[138] (for traffic flow) are regarded as unlawful and are subject to punishment. In particular, the police impose restrictions (notice of ban or restriction) in advance under the Assembly and Demonstration Act and later punish assemblies that criticize the Government or labour assemblies. The police are focusing on protecting “lawful assemblies” rather than “peaceful assemblies”.

 

2) The Use of the General Obstruction of Traffic and of Article 314 of the Criminal Code

The police, Prosecutor’s Office, and court is imposing punishments on non-violent assemblies and demonstrations that cause traffic jams by applying General Obstruction of Traffic (Article 185, Criminal Act). Even if “peaceful assemblies”, aimed at forming public opinion interrupt traffic, they are considered serious crimes that can be punished by up to 10 years imprisonment or up to 15,000,000 KRW (approximately 15,000 USD) in fines. Rather than arresting assembly participants on the spot, the police illegally gather evidence through photographing and later summon participants for questioning and booking, and then the prosecution imposes fines (3-5 million KRW, approximately 3000-5000 USD) through summary orders. Despite these trends of rights restrictions, the police and prosecution do not collect statistical data on bookings, indictments, and convictions for assemblies and demonstrations where General Obstruction of Traffic has been applied. The police and the prosecutor’s office have widely applied General Obstruction of Traffic to assemblies such as the 2008 candlelight vigils, 2011 Hanjin Heavy Industries labour union protests, 2014 Sewol ferry disaster assemblies, among others.

 

3) The Use of Excessive Force and Candlelight Vigils (2008)

The total number of indictments is 306 and the number of defendants is 945, related to candlelight vigils in 2008.[139] The Assembly and Demonstration Act and General Obstruction of Traffic were applied to these individuals. Even after the Constitutional Court’s decision of restricted constitutionality on Article 10 of the Assembly and Demonstration Law,[140] which bans night time outdoor assemblies, and the Supreme Court’s ruling, the prosecution continued to indict individuals for assemblies held past midnight. The judiciary has continued to convict those brought in for participating in assemblies past midnight. Participants of the 2008 candlelight vigils were brought in by the police, summoned to court for criminal trial, and convicted, even though they were simply expressing their opinions in a peaceful manner.

 

The Yongsan tenant protest (2009)

20 police units consisting of over 1,600 police officers, 99 SWAT team members, and 4 water cannons were mobilized to suppress 30 tenants protesting against development-based evictions in Yongsan in 2009. After using water cannons to suppress the protest for 25 hours, the SWAT team (counter-terrorist unit) was deployed at dawn to crackdown the protest. In regards to the police crackdown in the Yongsan issue, the NHRCK stated in its 2010 1st Plenary Committee meeting (9 Feb 2010) that “the use of police authority on that day was an excessive measure that goes against the principle of police balance, which resulted from a lack of due diligence,” and sent a written statement to the court stating that the “use of police force was unlawful.” No police officers were indicted and the then the Commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (Seok-gi Kim), who was in charge of commanding the police force, was acquitted after simply submitting a written response.

 

Protests against Ssangyong Motors Mass Layoffs (2009)

In 2009, in relations to the Ssangyong Motors labour issue, the police deployed a police task force of over 3,000 to crackdown on workers protesting inside a factory and also mobilized around 30 vehicles including water cannons and ladder trucks, as well as helicopters, to drop tear gas chemicals which  strong enough to melt Styrofoam. Also, the police deployed a SWAT team, a counter-terrorist unit, to use life threatening weapons such as taser guns, multi-purpose launchers, etc.

 

Protests to Support Hanjin Heavy Industries Labour Union Members (2011)

The police took judicial action for violation of the Assembly and Demonstration Act against 536 individuals by taking people in to the police station and later summoning them through illegal evidence gathering.[141] According to private counts, the fines charged by the prosecution amount to at least 100 million KRW (approximately 100,000 USD). The police filed a civil suit against Kyung-dong Song (the proponent of Hope Bus) claiming damages to police equipment that occurred during a clash with protesters, and the court ordered Song to pay 15 million KRW (approximately 15,000 USD).[142] Meanwhile, the prosecution indicted Song and others for organizing the assembly. The court on the second appeal sentenced them to 2 years imprisonment with 3-year probation.

 

Assemblies following Sewol ferry disaster (2014)

From April 2014 to July 2015, the police arrested 539 individuals from the Sewol ferry disaster related assemblies, and the cases of 526 who were brought in were referred to the prosecution. Also, arrest warrants were requested for 22 individuals and 13 warrants were granted.[143]In addition, from 1 April 2014 to 23 February 2015, the police issued summons to 352 people.[144]  A total of 1,371 Sewol ferry related assemblies had been reported, and among these reports 117 were banned and 14 were required to be changed or restricted. The proportion of bans against Sewol ferry related assemblies is 8.5%, which is about 8 times higher than that of bans against all assemblies in 2013 (0.15%).[145] Around the one year anniversary of the Sewol ferry disaster, citizens gathered to participate in protests to seek the truth behind the disaster, and the police used water cannons, loaded with water mixed with tear gas, and bus blockades against citizens and also brought in many to police stations. The police said that they would seek compensation for damages caused by the Sewol ferry disaster one year anniversary assemblies (90 million KRW, approximately 90,000 USD).

 

Protests against the High-voltage Electronic Transmission Tower in Miryang (2005~Present)

The Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) pushed ahead with the construction of transmission towers without consultation with Miryang residents. These events followed plans to build a new nuclear power plant and send the generated electricity to major cities. As the violence committed by KEPCO and constructors against residents protesting the construction became more severe, in January 2012, one resident carried out self-immolation in protest. Since then, the construction had continued on and off and when the construction resumed in May 2013, the use of governmental authority began. In particular, when construction had been continuing. In October 2013, 3,000 police officers were dispatched to block all paths leading to the construction site and guarded the site for 24 hours, preventing residents from entering the site. During the 10 month period up to June 2014, the 4 sit-in protest sites were forcibly removed and to do this, a police force of 380,000 were deployed per year and this incurred a cost of 10 billion KRW (approximately 100,000,000 USD). Currently, more than 40 residents have received fines adding up to 100 million KRW (approximately 100,000 USD) altogether and are being subject to judicial action.

 

No Naval Base Campaign in Gangjeong (2007~Present)

During the period of 2 years from August 2011 to the end of August 2013, the police deployed approximately 202,620 personnel per year to suppress residents and human rights activists peacefully protesting against the construction of a naval base in Gangjeong village, on Jeju Island. Most of the residents and human rights activists blocked the entry of construction vehicles by picketing and engaging in one-person protests. In order to hold back these efforts, the police dragged residents by their legs, hurting their heads in the process, caused injuries by picking them up by their limbs and dropping them, and committed serious physical violence such as kicking and bending joints. As of 2015, there are a total of 53 cases in which over 210 Ganjeong village residents and peace activists (including individuals involved in multiple cases) are awaiting trial for Obstruction of Performance of Official Duties.  50 criminal cases where decisions have been made, the fines paid by each individual ranged from 150,000 to 10,000,000 KRW (approximately 150 to 10,000 USD), and the total amount of fines is estimated at 100 million KRW (approximately 100,000 USD). The fines from criminal trials are expected to reach 200-300 million KRW (approximately 200,000-300,000 USD), with minor offense fines excluded. Excessive fines are being imposed on village residents and activists as the constructors of the naval base have filed a claim for damages of 200 million KRW (approximately 200,000USD) against the chief of the village.

 

Registration of LGBTI organization and Relevant Protests

The Beyond the Rainbow Foundation, a sexual minority’s human rights foundation, submitted applications for registration to the City of Seoul and NHRCK, but the applications were denied and later re-submitted to the Ministry of Justice Human Rights Bureau.[146] The Ministry of Justice rejected the application stating that “the Ministry is a place that deals with all human rights issues, thus it cannot authorize the establishment of an organization focusing on a single area”, and sent a notification of disapproval in April 2015.

 

On 29 May 2015, the Organizing Committee of Korea Queer Festival (KQCF) submitted an assembly report for a street march, as part of the queer parade scheduled to take place on Sunday, 28 June 2015, to the Seoul Namdaemun Police Station and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. Both the Seoul Namdaemun Police Station and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency issued an “outdoor assembly ban notice” prohibiting the queer parade street march.[147] The police stated that this was due to the fact that “part of the march route overlapped with 4 sections of the route of another organization, the organization against homosexuality and the queer culture festival) that submitted an assembly report beforehand, and also that the route was part of the main roads of the city, which may cause continuous inconveniences for other citizens and disruption of traffic flow. However, the Seoul Namdaemun Police Station violated the right to hold peaceful assemblies by disregarding the lawful procedure of submitting the report to the police station one month in advance (28 May) to the assembly date (28 June). On 20 May, the Seoul Namdaemun Police Station announced on its website that registrations for the 28 June assembly will be received by order of arrival, on a first come first serve basis. In response, the 13th division (Judge Jeong-woo Ban) of the Seoul Administrative Court ruled the “outdoor assembly ban notice” as invalid on the 16th of June. Following the court’s decision, the ban on the 28 June Queer Culture Festival road march lost its effect and the road march took place as planned.

 

4) The use of bus blockades during Assemblies

The police have long used bus blockades to physically block street marches or to seal off access to assembly locations.[148]Bus blockades involve using police buses or multipurpose shield vehicles to tightly enclose areas nearby the assembly and demonstration location, which not only causes inconveniences in movement but also violates the right to freedom of assembly and demonstration. Bus blockades are used by the police to isolate and incapacitate participants of peaceful marches with ease. Also, bus blockades have the effect of blocking off assemblies, as they obscure vision and sound. The Constitutional Court ruled the use of bus blockades as unconstitutional.[149] However, the police are not complying with this decision which makes clear that bus blockades “can only be justifiably relied on as a last resort when there is imminent, clear and grave danger”. Regarding paragraph 80 of the replies to the List of Issues, the guidelines on the use of bus blockades was not enacted as a law by the National Assembly, but was arbitrarily applied by the police.

 

During the recent Sewol ferry disaster assembly which was held on 18 April 2015, the police dispatched 470 vehicles, including 18 buses for blockades, and used safety fences to create a 6 layer barricade to fend off protesters and cut off all passages leading to Gwanghwamun[150]. Around the one year anniversary of the Sewol ferry disaster, a series of tight bus blockades were set up on the main roads in Seoul.

 

Excessive Use of Police Forces

In regards to the Government’s response to the List of Issues in paragraph 79, the statement that peaceful assemblies are being protected and a minimal amount of force necessary is being used, is false. The police do not only use force when violent acts occur, but also when forcibly dispersing assembly participants. The police use water cannons against those who cross police lines, occupy roads, protest against police disrupting assemblies, or do not follow orders to disperse. There have been cases where assembly participants suffered from ruptured eardrums and concussions due to the arbitrary use of water cannons by the police. The Government has paid compensation for such physical harm.[151]

 

The police are using sprayers loaded with liquid tear gas to disperse assembly participants. Liquid tear gas causes coughing, difficulty in breathing, and vomiting, and also causes blisters in severe cases.  As sprayers with tear gas chemicals are hazardous equipment, their use should be limited to a minimum. However, without prior warning, the police use this equipment against individuals who resist the disruption of assemblies by the police.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   The police should respect and protect “peaceful assemblies”, and not only “lawful assemblies”.

Ÿ   The National Assembly should revise the Assembly and Demonstration Act, which is in effect a system of authorization.

Ÿ   The police and the Prosecutor’s Office should halt the practice of booking and indicting assembly participants for General Obstruction of Traffic. The court should not punish assembly participants for criminal offenses and acquit all cases of General Obstruction of Traffic.

Ÿ   The police should immediately discontinue the use of bus blockades and passage restriction measures against peaceful assemblies.

Ÿ   The police should wear personal identification so that assembly participants may identify police officers. In particular, personal identification should be visible even when wearing riot gear or vests.

Ÿ   Law enforcement officials should use non-violent means before resorting to the use of hazardous equipment such as water cannons, chemical sprayers among others. If hazardous equipment such as water cannons and chemical based sprayers are to be used, limit the use to situations where there is a clear and imminent danger.

 

Issue 27 With reference to the Committee’s previous recommendation (CCPR/C/KOR/CO/3, para. 19), please provide information on progress made with regard to ensuring, both in law and in practice, the right to form and join trade unions for senior public officials and clarify what is the legal status of the Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU). Please comment on reports that trade union leaders are arrested and detained for engaging in collective action and other legitimate union activities. Please also clarify (a) whether the legal status of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union has been restored; (b) whether the Migrants’ Trade Union (MTU) has been recognized.

 

1) Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU)

As the Government mentions in its replies to the List of Issues para. 84, the Government notified the ‘union registration cancellation’ by making an issue with dismissed workers’ membership eligibility on KTU’s bylaw and deprived the KTU of legal status of trade union. Therefore, the KTU initiated a court case is in progress in the court of appeals. In the meantime on 28 May 2015, the Constitutional Court ruling decided constitutional decision on the Article 2 in Teachers’ Trade Union Act, which defines the scope of union membership.

 

Dismissed workers and unemployed should be able to join trade unions and teachers’ trade union rights should be recognised, as it has been frequently recommend by the UN human rights bodies to the Republic of Korea. It was also an agreement which came about from the tripartite commission in 1999. The Government’s current measures against the KTU is no more than deterring trade unions who have been criticizing Government policy.

 

In 1996, when the Republic of Korea became a member of the OECD, the OECD reserved approval for the Government due to its labour related laws which is in discordance with international labour standards. The OECD request to the Government to improve 9 issues such as allowing pluralism, right to freedom of association for teachers and public officials, allowing dismissed workers and unemployed to join trade union among others. The Government promised to change such laws in accordance with international standards and under that pledges, the Republic of Korea could become a member of the OECD[152]. The 1st tripartite commission under the Kim Dae-Jung administration (15 Jan. 1998 – 9 Feb. 1998) was agreed to allow dismissed workers and unemployed to join industrial level trade unions and to ensure right to freedom of association for teachers. The 2nd tripartite commission (3 June 1999 – 3 Aug. 1999) discussed to allow dismissed teachers to join trade unions in relation to the issue of allowing dismissed workers and unemployed to join trade unions. The Government agreed to allow dismissed teachers to join trade unions automatically, once dismissed workers and unemployed issues are solved. Those processes led to the passing of the ‘Teachers’ Trade Union Act’ on 6 Jan. 1999 in the National Assembly and eventually the KTU being legally registered union after that[153].

 

Nevertheless this commitment to the International community and tripartite agreement, the Ministry of Employment and Labor has not implemented its duty to revise related laws. In 2012, when Park Geun-Hye administration became in power, the Ministry of Employment and Labor ordered to exclude membership eligibility of dismissed teachers on the grounds of un-amended laws that were supposed to be revised long time ago. Finally the Ministry deprived KTU’s of its legal status as a response to KTU’s refusal of these orders.

 

2) The Korean Government Employees’ Union (KGEU)

As the Government mentions in its replies to the List of Issues paragraphs 1 and 82, there are valid reasons to prohibit joining the trade unions for public officials who are over grade 5 and therefore, the Government maintains reservation to Article 22 of the Covenant and they had no choice but to reject KGEU’s union registration because KGEU’s bylaw violates Public Officials Trade Unions Act.

 

However, the main reason of reservation to Article 22 of the Covenant is not because of prohibiting public officials from joining the trade union, but because the Government does not approve membership of dismissed workers to the trade union. Also the number of high-ranking officials (grade 1 to 3), who are directly involved in policy making and decision making process are 1,700 which is only 0.18% out of nearly 1 million public officials who are under the administration ministry. Also, 4th grade officials without assignment and 5th grade officials are hard to be considered as employers who are in a decision making process. The Supreme Court[154]also said that it is not supposed to decide the scope of employer uniformly whether certain position or duty can be or not. Therefore, the prohibition to join the union for 5th grade public officials uniformly does not coincide with freedom of association.

 

The Government also makes an issue of KGEU’s bylaws, but KGEU’s bylaws do not stipulate membership eligibility of dismissed workers. However, the bylaws that the KGEU submit to the Ministry of Employment and Labor in 2013 is the same one that it had been using while KGEU was a legally registered union from September 2007 to October 2009.

 

In the process of issuing union registration, the Ministry of Employment and Labor is the only given authority to screen submitted documents in the administrative office. However in the case of KGEU, the Ministry rejected the KGEU registration based on prediction to the Article 7(2) of KGEU’s bylaw[155] could be interpreted to recognize membership eligibility of dismissed workers. In this regard, the ILO has repeatedly recommended[156] the revision of laws and regulations in the Republic of Korea which restrict the freedom of association by disallowing membership eligibility of dismissed workers and excessive misuse of authority. Nevertheless, the Government has not implemented those recommendations yet.

 

History of KGEU’s Union Registration

On 20 October 2009, the Government notified the union registration is cancelled because four dismissed workers were working as leaders of the union. While cancelling the registration, the Government also excluded KGEU’s right to collective bargaining, shutdown union offices, stopped negotiations, and cancelled signed/agreed Collective Bargaining Agreement.

 

Union Registration form was submitted for the first time on December 2009. Rejected

 

Amended KGEU’s bylaws through all union members vote on 23~24 February 2010. Re-submitted Union Registration form and it was again rejected in 2010 because 8 dismissed workers were members of KGEU.

 

On 26 March 2012, registration form was submitted for the 3rd time, and again rejected by the Government as the KGEU had a paragraph says ‘to improve political status’ in its bylaws. It was included in the context that the trade union aims to improve civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of its members, but the Government interprets it as members of KGEU who are public officials aim to do political activities.

 

On July 2013, registration form was submitted for the 4th time, after amending bylaws as the Ministry of Employment and Labor requested. Based on this, negotiation was ongoing for 2 months and admitting registration was promised, but it was again rejected, under the reason that dismissed workers are members of KGEU.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Recognize the legal status of KGEU immediately, and revise domestic laws to ensure freedom of association for all workers based on the recommendations provided by the ILO.

Ÿ   Immediately withdraw its reservation to the ICCPR Article 22 on freedom of association

Ÿ   Withdraw the cancellation notice of KTU’s union registration immediately and should recognize dismissed teachers as union members by revision of the Teachers Union Act.

 

Issue 28 Please report on measures taken to ensure proper birth registration of all children born in the State party, regardless of their nationality. Please clarify whether the State party envisage granting Korean citizenship at birth for children born in the country in cases when only one parent holds Korean citizenship.

 

According to the current legislation, birth registration of children is made possible only when the child is an ROK citizen. There are no official data on undocumented migrant children who were born and raised in the Republic of Korea. Also, there are children whose birth cannot be registered even at their own country’s embassy due to various reasons such as; being children of refugees, being without citizenship, being imposed fines due to China’s one-child policy, being refused of registration due to several embassies’ attempts to reduce the number of its own undocumented nationals who are staying in the Republic of Korea, among other reasons. It is difficult to obtain related statistics or information on these undocumented children.

 

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has pointed out, in relation to the Republic of Korea, that birth registration is not insured consistently for persons seeking refuge, asylum-seeking or irregular migration situations,[157] and domestic legislation does not provide for civil status documentation for refugee and asylum-seeking children born on its territory.[158]The Committee on the Rights of the Child has urged the Government to undertake measures to ensure that birth registration is available to all children, including children of refugees and asylum seekers, born within its territory regardless of their parents’ legal status and/or origin.[159]

 

However, the State Party has not taken any measures concerning birth registration of children of foreign nationality or stateless children. The measures to improve birth registration mentioned in the Government’s replies to the List of Issues (para. 86) does not include all children and only covers nationals of the Republic of Korea. It excludes foreign nationals and stateless persons. Furthermore, the Government, based on the misunderstanding that birth registration affects acquisition of nationality, excludes children of foreign nationals or stateless children from birth registration.

 

Suggested Recommendations

Ÿ   Take legislative and administrative measures to permit all children who are born in the Republic of Korea, regardless of their citizenship, to be registered at their birth, and report them to the Committee.

Ÿ   Collect data on children whose birth have not been undocumented including stateless children and take appropriate measures to protest these children and report them to the Committee.



[1] Act on the Establishment and Operation of Government Employees’ Union: The act only guarantees the right to collective action of public officials of grade 6 or under. Even for public officials of grade 6 or under, the act prohibits the public officials that engage in direction, supervisory position, personnel affairs, and remuneration from joining trade unions. (Article 6 (2)). Among the contents of the collective agreement, the effects of the contents that are stipulated by the legislation, ordinance, and budget and the contents stipulated by a mandate of an ordinance are not recognized (Article 10 (1)). Any kind of act of dispute is prohibited (Article 11).

[2]ICC-NHRI, ICC Sub-Committee on Accreditation Report-March 2015, pp.39~41, http://bit.ly/1U89asU

[3] Ibid.

[4]The newly inaugurated chairperson of the NHRCK, when he was a judge asked a person applying for a male-to-female gender reassignment to submit photographs of her external sexual organs which is a human rights violation. In general, courts do not ask gender reassignment applicants to submit photographic evidence as it is not critical in deciding gender reassignment, in particular when there are written opinions provided by a mental health specialist and a sex reassignment surgeon. During his term as a judge, he also sentenced as guilty many defendants on charge of violating the National Security Law guilty and has previously sentenced death penalty. (Court chief appointed as National Human Rights Commission chairman, The Dong-A Ilbo, 21 July 2015, http://bit.ly/1Jy2Tvm). On August 12, 2015, the roundtable for the transparent selection process of the chairperson of the NHRCK stated that the nominee Lee Sung-ho is not the appropriate person to be the chairperson of the NHRCK, http://bit.ly/1Jy5bL1)

[5]Initial Assessment by Korean NCP for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, Korean Trans National Corporations Watch et al. vs. Daewoo International et al., Korea National Contact Point, 7 July 2015, http://bit.ly/1TLexsx

[6]Initial Assessment by Korean NCP for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, Korean Trans National Corporations Watch et al. vs. POSCO et al., Korea National Contact Point, 20 July 2013 (Korean only) http://bit.ly/1NmBGl3

[7] India: Urgent call to halt Odisha mega-steel project amid serious human rights concerns, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1 October 2013, http://bit.ly/1Jy5mpm

[8] 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, Communications report of Special Procedures, A/HRC/28/85. p. 158, 19 February 2015

[9] The 3rd National Action Plan (2017~2021)

[10] It was originally one of the proposed national agendas for Park Geun-Hye by 18th Presidential Transition Committee in Feb 21 2013, p. 167, No. 102 ‘Building social integrated system of human rights protection, Ministry of Justice’ at Prime Minister’s Homepage http://bit.ly/1NGZ4K1 (in Korean)

[11] Response of the Government of the Republic of Korea to the List of Issues adopted by the Human Rights Committee for the Examination of the Fourth State Party Report, at p.2

[12] UN News Centre, “Republic of Korea: UN rights experts urges adoption of anti-discrimination law”

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49038

[13] Comprehensive Anti-discrimination Act Withdrawal: Korea human rights situation back tracks, 5 May 2013, at http://bit.ly/1OpIS1t How far should antidiscrimination law go?, The Korea herald, 29 April 2013, at http://bit.ly/1Jy6BoL

Proposals for and withdrawals of anti-discrimination bills in the 19th National Assembly:

Bill no. 1903793(12 sponsors including National Assembly member Choi Won Sik), proposed on 2/20/2013, withdrawn on 4/24/2013.

Bill no. 1903693(51 proposers including National Assembly member Kim Han Gil), proposed on 2/12/2013, withdrawn on 4/24/2013.

[14] Public survey on religion and anti-discrimination law, Korea Institute for Religious Freedom, 24 June 2013

[15]Korean Gay Men’s Human Rights Group Chingusai, Key Results of the South Korean LGBTI Community Social Needs Assessment Survey, June 14, 2014, p. 32. http://bit.ly/1Jy6IRh

[16] Although hate speech can be punished under Articles 307(defamation) and 311(Insult) of the Criminal Act, criminal punishments for defamation and insult may limit freedom of expression, as there have been UN recommendations to revise and repeal these provisions and Korean human rights organizations that have argued for the abolishment of criminal punishment for defamation and insult.

[17] Opinions for improvement of the issue of racially discriminatory expressions on the internet, National Human Rights Commission of Korea, 30 December 2010

[18] Article 2 Paragraph 1, Framework Act on Treatment of Foreigners Residing in the Republic of Korea: The term “foreigners in Korea” means those who do not possess the nationality of the Republic of Korea and who legally stay in Korea for the purpose of residing in Korea;

Article 2, Multicultural Families Support Act: 1) The term “multicultural family” means any of the following families: (a) A family comprised of an immigrant by marriage defined in subparagraph 3 of Article 2 of the Framework Act on Treatment of Foreigners Residing in the Republic of Korea and a person who has acquired nationality of the Republic of Korea pursuant to Articles 2 through 4 of the Nationality Act; (b) A family comprised of a person who has acquired nationality of the Republic of Korea pursuant to Articles 3 and 4 of the Nationality Act and a person who has acquired nationality of the Republic of Korea pursuant to Articles 2 through 4 of the aforementioned Act;

[19] ‘Pastor protests ‘homophobic’ textbooks’, The Korean times, 27 Oct 2013, http://bit.ly/1NGVqzG

[20] ‘An Open Letter From The Rainbow Action and Sit-In Protesters At Seoul City Hall’, The Huffington Post, 9 Dec 2014, http://huff.to/1NGVuzH

[21]‘Letter to the Government of South Korea on the Need to Recognize Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Sex Education’, Human Rights Watch, 3 May 2015, http://bit.ly/1NGVuj6

[22] ‘South Korea: Letter to NHRCK on Conversion Therapy’, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Published 5 July 2015, at: http://iglhrc.org/content/iglhrc-letter-officials-about-state-endorsement-conversion-therapy-gays-and-lesbians-south

[23] “Government denies recognition to sexual minority rights group”, 4 May 2015, The Hankyoreh at: http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/689681.html

[24] “Government Says ‘No’ to LGBT Koreans”, 10 February 2015, The Korea Observer at: http://www.koreaobserver.com/government-says-no-to-lgbt-koreans-26267/

[25] Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on Russian Federation, CCPR/C/RUS/CO/6, 29 October 2009, para. 27.

[26] Dispatches: No Parade, but Pride Perseveres in South Korea, 1 June 2015, Human Rights Watch at https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/06/01/dispatches-no-parade-pride-perseveres-south-korea

[27] Borowiec, S., The Time (2014, February 11) South Korea’s LGBT Community Is Fighting for Equal Rights. from http://time.com/6575/south-koreas-lgbt-community-is-fighting-for-equal-rights/

[28] Military Criminal Act Article 92(6) : A person who commits anal sex or other disgraceful conduct… shall be punished by imprisonment with prison labor for not more than 2 years.

[29] Lee, A. (2010). Assessing the Korean Military’s Gay Sex Ban in the International Context. Law & Sexuality: Rev. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Legal Issues, 19, 67.

[30] “In a divorce suit filed by the foreign spouse where there is no protest or counteraction against the annulment of marriage by the Korean spouse(defendant), the Family Court’s ruling cannot be sufficient evidence for sincerity of marriage in the naturalization screening process, and a separate investigation will be necessary. (“Issues raised from the perspective of the Family court regarding simple naturalization in failed marriages”, Judge Yong-chan Kim, Suwon District Court Ansan branch)

[31]Nationality Act Article 10 Paragraph 2 Subparagraph 1: A person who had any ground falling under Article 6 (2) 1 or 2, or Article 7 (1) 2 or 3 when he/she obtained permission for naturalization;

[32]Nationality Act Article 6(2)3, 4: Where a foreigner whose spouse is a national of the Republic of Korea falls under any of the following subparagraphs, he/she may obtain permission for naturalization, even without meeting the requirements under subparagraph 1 of Article 5: 3. A person who was unable to sustain marriage due to the death or disappearance of his/her spouse or other causes unattributable to him/her while sustaining a domicile in the Republic of Korea and being married to the said spouse, who failed to fulfil the requirements for period under subparagraph 1 or 2 but has fulfilled the requirements for the remaining period under subparagraph 1 or 2, and is considered reasonable by the Minister of Justice; 4. A person who failed to satisfy the requirements under subparagraph 1 or 2, but who is taking care of, or shall take care of, a minor born within the marriage relationship with the said spouse, and has met the domicile period requirements under subparagraph 1 or 2 and is considered reasonable by the Minister of Justice.

[33] Women’s Lives through Statistics in 2015, Statistics Korea (KOSTAT)

[34] 1st National Action Plan on Gender Equality(2015-2017)(Draft), unpublished

[35]Jun Kim, “The current condition of wage disparity and its implications”, National Assembly Research Service, 2014

[36] Yu-sun Kim, “The scale and conditions of non-regular workers”, Korea Labor and Society Institute, 2015

[37] Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), data from supplementary survey of the economically active population, as of August 2014

[38] According to the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office’s Statistics on Reports and Handling of Domestic Violence, 10,015 out of the total 17,194 cases of domestic violence in 2013 resulted in non-indictment(acquittal, suspension of indictment, crime not established, no right of indictment, dismissal), and 4,239 cases were handled as home protection cases.

[39] Article 40 Paragraph 1, Act on Special Cases concerning the Punishment, Etc. of Sexual Crimes

[40] Uijungbu Local Prosecutor’s Office punishes increasing false accusations on sexual violence (Korean), Daehan Ilbo, 12 May 2014, http://bit.ly/1NJB1dF

[41] Sexual violence victims being accused of false accusation (Korean), The Hankyoreh, 29 October 2014, http://bit.ly/1NJB8Gk

[42]According to the 2013 Survey on the Living Conditions of and Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence against Migrant Workers (Korea Support Center for Foreign Workers, Migrants’ Network TV, Dongcheon Public Interest Foundation, Bae, Kim & Lee), only 20.5% of migrant workers reported their cases to supervisors or coworkers, and 56.4% did not report their cases at all. Whereas 40.0% of male migrant workers did not file reports, 68.2% of female migrant workers did not do so. Meanwhile, the reasons for not filing reports were in the order of fear of reporting irregular status (47.4%), concerns of unemployment (36.8%), embarrassment and shame (31.6%), difficulty in communication (21.1%), lack of information (15.8%), and fear of retaliation (5.3%).

[43] Data submitted by the Supreme Court to the Member of Parliament Jintae Kim(Saenuri Party) In 2013.

[44] According to statistics on sex offenders against children from 2007 to 2012, 66% of offenders were released on probation and among those that were sentenced imprisonment, 66.3% were sentenced for less than 3 years in prison. (Occurrence tendency and trend analysis on sexual crimes against children and adolescents, 2007~2012, Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, 2013)

[45] In 2013, 717 smart phone applications were suspected to be connected to prostitution, and of those applications, 182 were investigated and only 35.2% of 182 demanded for adult authentication number. (2013 Situation of Prostitution Report, Ministry of Gender Equality and Family/Closed information)

[46] In 2014, cases handled by the Local Board against School Violence increased by 10%, and in particular, elementary school cases increased by 33.4% compared to the prior year (Ministry of Education’s statistics on school violence revealed by Member of parliament Jinhoo Chung(Justice Party)). In addition, according to Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union(KTU) and Human Rights Friendly School’s survey of 1,007 teachers, 70.4% replied that leaving records of violence in the student’s report does not alleviate school violence and 62.2% replied that instalment of CCTV also does not help.

[47]In 2008, the percentage of students between age 9 and 11 who experienced school violence was 38.2%, but it increased to 38.6% in 2013(National Survey on Children and Youth, Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2009, 2013). Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education’s survey on school violence does not include lower grades of elementary school(from age 8 to 10) in the sample, so it is unclear whether the survey conveys the situation of school violence well(Ministry of Education’s press material, Second Research on actual condition of school violence result presentation in 2014)

[48] In 2013 and 2014, 1,000 students were surveyed on occurrence of different categories of school violence, and cyber violence (obscenity, violence and cyber-bullying via internet) have increased by 22.2%(Ministry of Education’s statistics on school violence submitted to Member of Parliament Jinhoo Chung (Justice Party).

[49]Despite promises to eliminate school violence…1,000 specialized counsellors were dismissed (Korean), Newsis, 20 February 2014, http://bit.ly/1NJBhJK

[50]National Survey Report on the Situation of Student Rights, Human Rights Friendly School & Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union, 2014. P 6.

[51]National Survey on the Situation of Children and Youth’s Human Rights IV, National Youth Policy Institute, 2014. Pp 76-77.

[52]More Investigation Required into State Agencies’ Interference with 2012 South Korean Presidential Election, Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), 18 December 2013, http://bit.ly/1WMd21t

[53] Suicidal Rate, Statistics Korea, http://bit.ly/1NJBlJx

[54]Criminal Code Article 124(Unlawful Arrest and Unlawful Confinement): 1) If a person who performs or assists in activities concerning judgment, prosecution, police or other functions involving the restraint of the human body, arrests, or imprisons another by abusing his official authority, he shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than seven years and suspension of qualification for not more than ten years.

2) Attempts to commit the crimes specified in the proceeding paragraph shall be punished.

Article 125 (Violence and Cruel Act): A person who in performing or assisting in activities concerning judgment, prosecution, police, or other functions involving the restraint of the human body, commits an act of violence or cruelty against a criminal suspect or against another person while in the performance of his duties, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years and suspension of qualification for not more than 10 years.

[55] National Human Rights Commission Act Article 44 (Recommendation of Remedies, etc.): (1) If the Commission deems that there occurred any violation of human rights or discriminatory acts as a result of the investigation of any petition, it may recommend the respondent or the head of the organ or organization to which he/she belongs or the supervisory institution thereof (hereinafter referred to as the “institution to which the respondent belongs”) the matters of the following subparagraphs: 1. Implementation of remedial measures under subparagraphs of Article 42 (4); and 2. Rectification or improvement of any relevant Act and subordinate statute, institution, policy or practice. (2)The provisions of Article 25 (2) through (4) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the head of the institution to which the respondent belongs, who has received recommendation under paragraph (1) of this Article.

National Human Rights Commission Act Article 45 (Accusation and Recommendation of Disciplinary Action): (1) If as a result of the investigation of any petition, the Commission deems that the contents of the petition correspond to an act of crime against which a criminal punishment is required, it may file an accusation to the Prosecutor General: Provided, That in case the accused is the military personnel or civilian personnel in the military service, the accusation may be filed to the Chief of General Staff of the armed forces to which the said accused belongs or the Minister of National Defense. (2) If it is deemed that there occurred any violation of human rights as a result of the investigation of any petition, the Commission may recommend a disciplinary action against the respondent or any other person responsible for the same violation to the head of the institution to which he/she belongs. (3) The Prosecutor General, the Chief of General Staff of the armed forces or the Minister of National Defense who has received an accusation under paragraph (1) shall terminate the criminal investigation within 3 months after being so received and notify the Commission of the results thereof: Provided, That he/she shall, if failing to do so within 3 months, clarify the reason therefore. (4) The head of the institution to which the respondent belongs to, who has received recommendation from the Commission under paragraph (2), shall respect said recommendation and notify the Commission of the results of treatment thereof.

[56] Five police officers accused of torture by NHRCK, The Hankyoreh, 17 June 2010, http://bit.ly/1fudPlO

[57] Data from Member of Parliament Hae-chul Jun(New Politics Alliance for Democracy)’s office. Comparison of the Present Condition of Corruption Crime between the Busan District Public Prosecutors’ Office and other District Offices

[58] The Ministry of Justice report submitted to MP Gi-ho Suh (Justice Party) during parliamentary investigation in 2013.

[59] Administration and Treatment of Correctional Institution Inmates Act Article 111(2): The committee shall be comprised of at least five but not more than seven members. The person on the second rank after the warden shall serve as the chairperson of the committee and the members shall be appointed or commissioned by the warden, from among the directors of the competent agencies (in cases of branches, correctional officers of Grade VII or in higher rank) and outside personnel, who have much knowledge and experience in correction. In such cases, the outside members shall be three or more.

[60]Supra note 22

[61] Situation of Accidents and Deaths in the Military, Statistics Korea, http://bit.ly/1EddEHp

[62] Military identified 3,900 violence in the military in April only (Korean), The Segye Ilbo, 3 August 2014, http://bit.ly/1LuH86i

[63] The Ministry of National Defense report submitted to MP Young-gyo Suh (New Politics Alliance for Democracy) during parliamentary investigation in 2013.

[64] Sexual Violence Report in the Military: Who Killed Captain Oh?, Korean Broadcasting Company Documentary Chang, aired on 8 April 2014

[65] The Military Again Violates Sexual Guidelines (Korean), The Chosun Ilbo, 22 October 2014, http://bit.ly/1Ko0mEc

[66]Soldiers jailed over South Korea bullying death, The BBC News, 30 October 2014, http://bbc.in/1NJBCMy, Harassment of female Korean soldier ends in suicide, Aljazeera, 7 November 2013, http://bit.ly/1NJBIUy

[67] A lance-bombardier who jumped to his death was bullied by seven others(Korean), MBC News, 24 July 2015, http://bit.ly/1Ko0Iux

[68] 40% of suicide soldiers were attention needed soldiers… actual management is poor(Korean), The Herald Economics, 18 August 2014, http://bit.ly/1Ko0JPo

[69]Criminal Procedure Act Article 200-4(1) & 200-4(2): (1) When a prosecutor or senior judicial police officer has arrested a criminal suspect pursuant to Article 200-3 and intends to detain him/her, the prosecutor shall request a warrant of detention to a judge of the competent district court without delay, and the senior judicial police officer shall request a warrant of detention issued by a judge of the competent district court upon request of a prosecutor who is requested for the warrant by the judicial police officers. In this case, a request for the warrant of detention shall be made within 48 hours from the time when the criminal suspect is arrested and shall be accompanied by the affidavit of emergency arrest under Article 200-3 (3). <Amended by Act No. 8496, Jun. 1, 2007>

(2) When a warrant of detention is not requested or issued as prescribed in paragraph (1), a criminal suspect shall be released immediately.

[70]Criminal Procedure Act Article 200-2(5) Arrest with Warrant: Where an arrested criminal suspect is to be detained, a warrant of detention shall be requested pursuant to Article 201, and if such request for the warrant of detention is not made within 48 hours from the time of arrest, the criminal suspect shall be released.

[71] Military Personnel Management Act Article 57 (2)(2) (Kinds of Disciplinary Measures): The term “detention in a guardhouse” means detention in a guardhouse in a military unit, a ship or other detention facilities for a period shall not exceed 15 days.

[72] Military Personnel Management Act Article 58(Persons with Authority over Disciplinary Measures):

[73] 91% men joined the military including 26,000 mentally disabled people (Korean), The Yonhap News Agency, 6 August 2014, http://bit.ly/1FhWb0P

[74]MP Sung-joon Jin(The New Politics Alliance for Democracy) submitted amendment of military prison (Korean), 21 April 2015, http://bit.ly/1FhWnxd

[75] Review the report on a Bill for Partial Amendment to Juvenile Law submitted by Member of Parliament Haecheor Jeon (New Politics Alliance for Democracy), 2015. 4. P 8

[76] Compare Department of Justice’s statistics on juvenile custody ‘number of new accommodations’ and the Fourth Country Report’s ‘number of open treatment recipients’

[77] Study on Advancement of Correction Custody for Prevention of Recidivism(Ⅲ), – Implementation Conditions International Standard on Correctional Treatment and its Improvement Method, Cooperative Research Series by National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Science, 2014. p85

[78]Immigration Control Act Article 63(2) (Internment of Persons in Receipt of Deportation Orders, or Release from Internment): When the period of internment exceeds three months in cases of internment under paragraph (1), the Commissioner of a Regional Immigration Service shall first obtain approval from the Minister of Justice every three months.

[79] Although long-term detentions exceeding three months have prevailed even after the amendment in the ICA in 2009, only one case of discharge from detention(in 2012) was made until today. Furthermore, the particular case of discharge in 2012 was issued not because the Minister of Justice disapproved the extension for having no ‘need for extension of detention’, as stated in the revised article, but because Advocate for Public Interest Law(APIL), an NGO monitoring the immigration detention issue, persisted on the issue of the Minister’s proceeding with the approval for extension one day overdue of its trimonthly review.

[80] Detained immigrant children under age 18 from January 2012 to June 2016 (Source: Ministry of Justice, via Information Disclosure Request)

Age   Gender Period of Detention
Age 1: 2 people Age 11: 2 people Boy: 63 Under one day: 1 person
Age 2: 4 people Age 12: 2 people For 1 day: 20 people
Age 3: 7 people Age 13: N/A For 2-5days : 53 people
Age 4: 6 people Age 14: 1 person For 6-10days : 25 people
Age 5: 3 people Age 15: N/A For 11-15days : 3 people
Age 6: 5 people Age 16:18 people Girl: 50

 

For 16-20days : 3 people
Age 7: 4 people Age 17: 56 people For 21-25days: 4 people
Age 8: 1 person Age 18:1 person For 26-30days: 1 person
Age 9: 1 person   Longer than a month: 3 people

(Respectively one month 26 days, 81 days, four months 9 days)

Age 10 : 1 person  

 

[81] Foreigner Detention Regulation, Article 4 (4) indicates that ‘the Head of the Immigration Office may provide education for children under age 18 held in custody for longer than one month, as seen fit for their age and ability, or entrusted to specialized welfare facility from outside.’ Also, the following (5), (6) indicate, respectively, that ‘the Head of the Immigration Office must designate an official for the special protection of each of the foreigners held in custody, according to the Immigration Control Act, Article 56 (2)’; and that ‘officials exclusively designated as according to the (5) must conduct interviews with foreigners in their charge once in every two weeks, and when seen as needing special treatment for accommodation, education, exercise, food, and health care, must report to the Head of Immigration Office in written form.’

[82] The prosecutor can limit the participation of a counsel even in the middle of the interrogation if the participation of the counsel causes any of the following and causes substantial encumbrance, such as interruption of interrogation or disclosure of investigation secrets, to the investigation.

1) When the counsel unfairly intervenes in the interrogations without the approval from the persecutor or he or she makes insulting remarks or actions. 2) When the counsel answers on behalf of the suspect or induces specific answer or change of testimony. 3) When the counsel unfairly makes an objection not in compliance with the proviso of Article 243-3 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act. 4) When the counsel videotapes, tape records, or records the contents of the interrogation. Provided, the counsel may make a short note for the purpose of refreshing memory for the sake of legal advice for the suspect.

[83] Article 16-2 (Participation of the counsel in interrogation) ① The senior judicial police officer should let a counsel participate in the interrogation unless there exists just reasons upon the request of a persons stipulated in Article 243-2 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act. In such case, just reasons refer to cases in which it is acknowledged that the participation of a counsel might cause substantial encumbrance to investigation such as interruption of interrogation and disclosure of investigation secrets.

② When a request prescribed in paragraph (1) is put in, the senior judicial police shall have the applicant submit a paper regarding the appointment of a counsel before the participation of the counsel.

③ Even when a request for the participation of a counsel as prescribed in paragraph (1) is put in, the suspect may be interrogated without the participation of the counsel if the counsel is not present for a substantial period of time or cannot be present in the interrogation.

④ The senior judicial police officer may limit the participation of the counsel even in the middle of the interrogation if the participation of the counsel causes any of the following and induces substantial encumbrance to the investigation such as interruption of the investigation and disclosure of investigation secrets.

1. When the counsel unfairly intervenes in the interrogation without the approval from the persecutor or makes insulting remarks or actions.

2. When the counsel answers on behalf of the suspect or induces specific answer or change of testimony.

3. When the counsel unfairly makes an objection not in compliance with the provision of Article 243-3 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act.

4. When the counsel videotapes, taperecords, or records the contents of the interrogation. Provided, the counsel may make a short note for the purpose of refreshing memory for the sake of legal advice for the suspect.

[84] Prosecutors picking a fight with progressive lawyers group, The Hankyoreh, 6 November 2014, http://bit.ly/1JrGRdq

[85]One person per one single cell △one person per 2.58㎡ of an associated cell; one person per 3.3㎡ of an associated cell with disabilities (one person per 4.3㎡ in case of new facilities); one person per 3.3㎡of an associated cell with foreign detainees, female detainees, or job-training detainees; one person per 4.3㎡of an associated cell in the patient accommodation facilities.

[86]More than 3.3㎡ per one person (Attached Table No. 5, Enforcement Regulation of the Act On Welfare Of Persons With Disabilities)

[87]3.6㎡ per one person in the cell for five detainees (the Design Standards and Guidelines for Detention Facilities Article 10 (2))

[88]14㎡ per one-person household, 9.2㎡ per one person in six-person household

[89] Board of Audit and Inspection, Disposal Request for Audit Result, 2010. 4. 21., p.27

[90] Korean Bar Association, Final Report for the investigation on the conditions of immigration detention centers, 2015.

[91] Information submitted to parliamentarian Seo, Young-gyo (New Politics Alliance for Democracy) during the 2013 parliamentary inspection

[92] Public information disclosure receipt number 1264173

[93]The court ruled the government should compensate a transgender detainee who tried to hurt himself (Korean), The Hankyoreh, 1 January 2011, http://bit.ly/1NJBZ9O, The court ruled that punishing a transgender detainee who refused to have a haircut is illegal (Korean), The Hankyoreh, 2 October 2014, http://bit.ly/1NJC5yp

[94] Criminal Code Article 289 (Trafficking in Persons): A person who buys or sells another shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than seven years. (2) A person who buys or sells another for the purpose of engaging in an indecent act, sexual intercourse, marriage, or for gain, shall be punished by imprisonment for at least one year up to ten years. (3) A person who buys or sells another for the purpose of labor exploitation, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, or the acquisition of organs shall be punished by imprisonment for at least two years up to fifteen years. (4) The preceding paragraph shall apply to a person who buys or sells another for the purpose of transporting him or her out of the Republic of Korea, or a person who transports a purchased person out of the Republic of Korea.

[95]“The Trade of women is the act of having them under a seller’s control and selling them for a price, thus transferring that control to another person. To establish that this is a crime, it needs to be considered whether the seller had actual control over the women; in other words, whether there was continuous blackmailing or whether the transfer of the control of the body was completed in a situation where women would forgo seeking legal protection because of explicit/tacit threat of assault or similar risks.” (21 January 1992, Supreme Court. 9Do1402).

[96] Act On The Employment, Etc. Of Foreign Workers Article 25 (Permits to Transfer to Another Business or Place of Business): (1) Where any of the following events occurs, a foreign worker (excluding a foreign worker under Article 12 (1)) may apply for a transfer to another business or place of business with the head of an employment security office, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Employment and Labor:

1. If his/her employer intends to terminate his/her employment contract during the contract period, or intends to refuse to renew his/her employment contract after its expiry, due to a justifiable ground;

2. Where the Minister of Employment and Labor gives public notice, as he/she deems that the foreign worker is unable to continue his/her employment in the business or place of business in conformity with principles generally accepted in the society due to a ground not attributable to him/her, such as temporary shutdown, closure of business, cancellation of the employment permit under Article 19 (1), limitation on the employment under Article 20 (1), or his/her employer’s violation of terms and conditions of employment or unfair treatment;

3. Where any other cause or event prescribed by Presidential Decree occurs.

[97]Act On The Employment, Etc. Of Foreign Workers Article 25 (Permits to Transfer to Another Business or Place of Business): (4) Any foreign worker’s transfer of business or place of business under paragraph (1) shall not, in principle, exceed three times during the period prescribed in Article 18or two times during the extended period prescribed in Article 18-2 (1) (excluding a transfer to another business or place of business due to any ground set forth in Article 25 (1) 2): Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply where any extenuating ground prescribed by Presidential Decree exists.

[98] According to research conducted by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, 76% of migrant workers in the agriculture industry were verbally insulted and assaulted; 15% of them were physically abused; and 11% of them were sexually abused.

[99] Employers often collectively react to these issues. There was a case of the employers of the vegetable farms who forced migrant workers to sign a memo forcing them to pay for the penalty if the migrant workers quit working before the contract period, imposing the fines for delinquency of duties or absence, and requiring extra pay for the extended working hours would be offset by the fees for dormitory. In addition, employers of migrant worker who asked for the transfer of working site due to the nonpayment of the wages and violence have called the police and immigration officers requesting to arrest the workers with the other employers and their families in the area.

[100] Labor Standards Act Article 63 (Exclusion from Application): The provisions pertaining to work hours, recess, and holidays referred to in this Chapter and Chapter V shall not apply to a worker who falls under any one of the following subparagraphs:

1. A worker engaged in cultivation or reclamation of land, seeding, cultivation, or collection of plants, or other agricultural and forestry work;

2. A worker engaged in breeding of animals, collection or catching of marine animals and plants, cultivation of marine products, or other cattle breeding, sericulture and fishery business;

3. A worker engaged in surveillance or intermittent work, whose employer has obtained the approval of the Minister of Employment and Labor;

4. A worker engaged in such business as prescribed by Presidential Decree.

[101]1) Human Traffic, Violation of Enforcement Decree Of The Act On The Punishment Of Acts Of Arranging Sexual Traffic, Supreme Court, 15 October 2014, 2014Do4451, 2) Human Traffic for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation, Violation of Enforcement Decree Of The Act On The Punishment Of Acts Of Arranging Sexual Traffic, Busan High Court, 25 March 2015, 2014No776, 3) Human Traffic for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation, Violation of Punishment Of Violences, Etc. Act, Seoul High Court, 27 March 2015, 2015No167

[102] 1) Quasi-Fraud, Violation of  Labor Standards Act, 8 October 2014, Gwangju High Court, 2014No1953 2) Inflicting Bodily Injury on Other or on Lineal Ascendant, Quasi-Fraud, Violation of Labor Standards Act, Guarantee of Workers’ Retirement Benefits Act, 24 September 2014, Gwangju High Court, 2014No1770, 3) Abduction for Gain, Quasi-Fraud, Embezzlement, Violation of Labor Standards Act, Inflicting Bodily Injury on Other or on Lineal Ascendant, Interference with Business, Destruction and Damage, etc. of Property, 25 September 2014, Gwangju High Court, 2014No248, 4) Embezzlement, Attempts to Murder, 6 November 2014, Gwangju High Court, 2014No273, 5) Abduction for Gain, Quasi-Fraud, Violation of Labor Standards Act (Inflicting Bodily Injury on Workers, Nonpayment of Wages), Violation of Guarantee of Workers’ Retirement Benefits Act, Violation of  Act On Real Name Financial Transactions And Confidentiality, Gwangju High Court, 2015No410, 136 (Merged), 6) Receiving of Person Abducted, Violation of Punishment of Violences, etc. Act, Violation of Labor Standards Act (Inflicting Bodily Injury on Workers), Aggravated Illegal Confinement, Abduction for Gain, Violation of Employment Security Act, Fraud, Seoul High Court, 2014No2699

[103] 2013GoHap353

[104] ’Salt Farm Slaves’ Returned to the World, Abandoned from the World, and Returned (Korean), Seoul Newspaper, 8 April 2015, http://bit.ly/1NJCocj

[105] Military reinforced health test before entering military service (Korean), Kookbang Ilbo, 17 February 2014, http://bit.ly/1NEZ2m5

[106]Administration and Treatment of Correctional Institution Inmates Act Article 16 (Confinement, etc. of Newly Confined Persons): (1) Any person newly confined in a correctional institution from the court, prosecutors’ office, police agency, etc. (hereinafter referred to as “newly confined person”) shall be confined after a written direction for execution, court records, and other necessary documents for confinement are examined.

(2) Any warden shall conduct medical examinations for newly confined persons, without delay.

[107] Medical Instruction for Prisoners Article 3(5): All new prisoners must have syphilis and HIV test by public health centers or specialized agencies.

[108] Information Notice about changes to qualification concerning the health test for working as foreign language instructor, Hi Korea, 4 November 2012, http://bit.ly/1NEZd0R

[109]Announcement on Health Certificate for long-term residency for marriage, Hi Korea, 16 May 2011, http://bit.ly/1NEZkcW

[110] From 2003 to 2012, the district court issued 3,746 wiretapping warrants out of 3,992 requested by the investigative agency, and has rejected only 176 requests for warrants maintaining a 4.49% overall dismissal rate. During the same period, the High Court issued 42 wiretapping warrants out of 45 requested warrants by the intelligence agency while rejecting part or all of only 3 warrants requests, maintaining an overall 6.67% l dismissal rate. From 2006 to 2012 when the court started to control its metadata, the district court issued 467,833 metadata acquisition warrants out of 492,414 while rejecting 24,531 warrant requests, maintaining an overall dismissal rate of 4.98%. During the same period, the High Court issued 58 metadata acquisition warrants requested by the National Intelligence Service while rejecting only 6 warrants requests, maintaining a 9.39% overall dismissal rate. Please see the Supreme Court Judicial Review (Korean) http://bit.ly/1IaFQFR

[111] Communications Surveillance in Korea, Park Kyung Sin, http://bit.ly/1NJCDEq

[112] In the Beomminryeon case, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) wiretapped most of the communication facilities used by the Secretary General of Beomminryeon, Lee Kyung-Won. Between 30 July 2003 and 7 May 2009 he was arrested on charges of breaching the National Security Law. The NIS monitored Lee Kyung-won’s landline, mobile phones, fax, and internet including his email messages, and portal mail without a judge’s permission for over 68 months. In December 2010, the Constitutional Court ruled that collecting evidence in this manner was not admissible. The warrant for wiretapping Lee Kyung-won was issued in 2009 when he was prosecuted and brought to trial. See “The National Security Law: Curtailing Freedom of Expression and Association in the name of security in the Republic of Korea”, Amnesty International, 2012, pp12~13, http://bit.ly/1IaJn7c

[113] The Republic of Korea, with its population, of 50 million people conducted an excessive number of base station investigations, 36,706,986 cases in 2010 and 36,800,375 cases in 2011. The number of investigations, however, steadily decreased after a constitutional appeal was filed by human rights organizations, recording 24,831,080 cases in 2012, 15,245,487 cases in 2013 and 9,786,752 cases in 2014.

[114] The fact that the personal information of 9,574,659 users was provided by Internet service providers in 2013 means that information of 26,232 people were provided to intelligence or investigation agencies every day across the nation. It also indicates that the information of 19% of the total population of the Republic of Korea is being provided with country’s total population being 50,219,669. During the railroad workers’ strike in 2013, the police acquired personal data of 300 to 400 people from telecommunication companies without the court’s approval for no other reason than the fact that they were on the calling list of the workers that were targeted for arrest. The police contacted them and questioned them to question their relationship with the workers.

[115] “It entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data, without that interference being limited to what is strictly necessary”, The Court of Justice declares the Data Retention Directive to be invalid, Court of Justice of the European Union, 8 April 2014, http://bit.ly/1U85tDy

[116]NIS accused of purchasing powerful program to monitor smartphones, The Hankyoreh, 13 July 2015, http://bit.ly/1U86rzs

[117] Military Manpower Administration, “Research on Plan to include persons who refuse to enlist on the ground of religion and other beliefs and values into a Social Service System”, December 2008, Publication Registration Number: 11-1300000-000084-01, http://bit.ly/1QlRP9t

[118] Yeo-Bum Yoon and Myung-Jin Choi v. Republic of Korea, Views adopted 3 November 2006 (Communications Nos. 1321/2004 and 1322/2004), UN Doc. CCPR/C/88/1321-1322/2004, para 8.4

[119] In terms of middle and high schools in the Republic of Korea, most students are assigned to both private and public schools by the education authorities and not by their choice, and the Government provides wide financial support for the operation of private schools, thus the distinction between private and public schools is insignificant.

[120] National Human Rights Commission’s report on the “Study on Religious Discrimination and Plans for Improvement”

[121]After the Fukushima incident on March 2011, people worried about possibility of radioactive materials transmitted to the Republic of Korea via wind. The government of the Republic of Korea officially announced that ‘it is not possible to have radioactive materials in the air because wind blows to Korea from japan on the westerlies, and the police booked one person who posted foreign media which covered this issue online. Since radioactive materials were found places around Seoul, the person was not criminally indicted, but it created chilling effects on the Internet.

[122] Right after the Sewol ferry disaster, on 23 April 2014, the Police immediately announced ‘Guidelines to respond Sewol ferry related false information’, and identified 87 cases of rumours that damage reputation of local officers and Sewol victims’ families. The Police also announced that they would mobilize 1,038 cyber police officers to control false information related to it. However, those rumour cases identified by the police were mainly on criticizing the Government’s failure on rescue mission, and later, it was found that coast guards were in fact not active in rescue mission. Also, when the owner of the Sewol ferry Mr. Byun-eon Yoo suddenly found dead on July 2014, the police announced that any Internet postings that raise doubts on the official announcement of the cause of death of Mr. Yoo. Most of all, at the Cabinet meeting on 16 September 2014, the President Park pointed out that “insult on the President on the Internet cross the line” and after that, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that it will pre-emptively punish defamation against public figure.

[123] While saying investigation on MERS related rumours… focusing on finding message criticizing the President (Korean), Media Today, 12 June 2015, http://bit.ly/1IaNJuP

[124] Crisis of Seditious Libel in Korea, Park Kyung Sin, http://bit.ly/1NJCSz8

[125] Constitution Article 7(2): The status and political impartiality of public officials shall be guaranteed as prescribed by Act.

[126]Constitutional Court decision, 2006HeonMa1096, 29 May 2008

[127] “Public servants at all grades, regardless of their tasks or functions, including firefighters, prison guards, those working in education-related offices, local public service employees and labour inspectors, have the right to form their own associations to defend their interests”; ILO Governing Body, 353rd Report of the Committee on Freedom of Association, GB.304/6, 2009.3, para. 749

[128] E/CN.4/1996/39/Add.1, 1995.11.21, paras 34~36. A/HRC/17/27/Add.2, 2001.3.12, paras 76, 80, 100

[129] Public Safety Case Management Situation for Each Crime Type – National Security Act Violation Crime, Statistics Korea, http://bit.ly/1NJD9lL

[130] Sang-ho Lee, Sun-seok Hong, Dong-keun Han, Seok-ki Lee, Yang-won Cho, Hong-yeol Kim, Geun-rae Kim

[131] In the report of the Special Rapporteur on human rights defender on the official visit to the Republic of Korea, the Special Rapporteur warns against the use of legislation to regulate, undermine or obstruct the work of defenders, and identified that human rights defenders in the Republic of Korea are facing difficulties and challenges in doing their works. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mission to the Republic of Korea, The 25th Session of the Human Rights Council, 23 December 2013, A/HRC/25/55/Add.1

[132] In South Korea Scandal, Echoes of Watergate, The New York Times, 9 April 2012, http://nyti.ms/1U881BE

[133] Release activists imprisoned for supporting Sewol Ferry demonstrations, CIVICUS, 23 July 2015, http://bit.ly/1hhAjaV, South Korea: Release human rights defenders seeking truth for Sewol Ferry disaster, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, 21 July 2015, http://bit.ly/1MF1M0n

[134] “The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government ensure the right of all individuals to freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstrations, as a collective exercise of the right to freedom of expression, by refraining from any de facto practices of prior approval in violation of article 21 of the Constitution.” Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mission to the Republic of Korea, the 17th session of the Human Rights Council, A/HRC/17/27/Add.2, 21 March 2011, para. 96

[135] One-person protests with more than 2 participants, flash mobs, performances, press conferences, etc. are punished on the basis that they have not been reported to the police in advance. According to the <Law Enforcement On-Site Manual for Assemblies and Demonstrations> created by the police, even if one-person protests with more than 2 participants, flash mobs, performances, press conferences, etc. are “carried out in a peaceful manner”, they are considered non-reported, unlawful assemblies and should be dealt with in a strict manner through means such as disperse orders.

[136] According to Article 11 of the Assembly and Demonstration Act, no person may hold any outdoor assembly or stage any demonstration anywhere within a 100-meter radius from the boundary of office buildings or residences such as the National Assembly building, all levels of courts, the Constitutional Court, Presidential residence, residence of the Speaker of the National Assembly, residence of the Prime Minister, among others.

[137] Despite the Constitutional Court’s ruling of restricted constitutionality on Article 10 of the Assembly and Demonstration Act, assemblies taking place past midnight are still being punished.

[138] Under Article 12 of the Assembly and Demonstration Act, the police are able to prohibit or restrict assemblies when deemed necessary for traffic flow in major cities and roads.

[139] Data collected by MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society as of 23 July 2015.

[140] On 27 March 2014, referring to Article 10 of the Assembly and Demonstration Act which bans night time assemblies, the Constitutional Court ruled that banning assemblies before midnight is unconstitutional. While the Constitutional Court stated that the decision to ban assemblies past midnight should be up to the National Assembly, the National Assembly has not enacted any legislation. Later, the Supreme Court ruled that banning assemblies past midnight does not go against the constitution.

[141] National Police Agency, “2012 White Paper, 2012, p 229

[142] Seoul Central District Court decision 2011Ga-so2301267 (12 August 2014). Kyung-dong Song has filed an appeal and the appellate trial is in progress.

[143] Data obtained via request of information disclosure by the office of Member of Parliament Su-kyung Lim(New Politics Alliance for Democracy).

[144] Data obtained via request of information disclosure by the office of Member of Parliament Hana Jang (New Politics Alliance for Democracy)

[145] In 2013, 203 out of 139,812 total reported assemblies were banned. The proportion of banned assemblies is 0.15%. http://bit.ly/1JeA3j6

[146] South Korea refuses to incorporate gay group, Gay Star News, 11 February 2015, http://bit.ly/1hhBxTu

[147] South Korean Police Bans LGBT Pride, OUT, 1 June 2015, http://bit.ly/1hhBLKr

[148] Bus blockades were first introduced during the 2002 Misun-Hyosun candlelight vigils, and shipping container blockades later appeared during the APEC Summit in Busan. Since then, bus blockades have been used to block off protests and limit their street access such as in the 2007 Korea-US FTA protests, 2008 US beef protests, 2009 Roh Mu-hyun commemoration rallies in Seoul City Hall Square, and 2011 support protests for Hanjin Heavy Industries labor union members.

[149] The Constitutional Court ruled that the use of bus blockades “can only be justifiably relied on as a last resort when there is imminent, clear and grave danger that cannot be prevented by granting conditional permission or by ordering termination or dispersal of assembly” (2009Hun-ma406)

[150]Controversy over unconstitutionality of “bus blockades” in Sewol ferry protests? Organizers to file complaint to Constitutional Court (Korean), Yonhap News, 22 April 2015, http://bit.ly/1hhChIa

[151]In this instance, the police fired water cannons at assembly participants that they did not disperse from the road, but the police simply ordered the participants to “halt the unlawful assembly and disperse” and did not specify the grounds for the orders, which is a violation of lawful procedures.

Despite the decision for damage compensation…, The Hankyoreh, 29 October 2014, http://bit.ly/1hhCnj3

 

[152]  Chang, Shin-Chul, OECD monitoring on Korean labour laws(Korean), Korea Labor Institute, 2008,

[153] The Tripartite Commission of labour management and government, “Activity situation of tripartite commission in 1998”

[154] Cancellation of appeal to relief unfair labour practices, Supreme Court, 8 September 2011, 2008Do13873

[155] Korean Government’s Employee’s Bylaw Article 7(2): When a member of the Union is unlawfully dismissed

[156] ILO Governing body CFA Report No. 304, 306, 307, 309, 311, 327, 331, 335, 340, 346, 353, 363, 371 and ILO TUR 1-145/1-145-3 (ILO urgent intervention on August 2013)

[157] Concluding Observations: Republic of Korea, Committee on the Rights of the Child, 6 October 2011, CRC/C/KOR/CO/3-4, para. 36

[158] Ibid para. 64.

[159] Ibid paras. 37, 65.

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