PSPD in English Int. Solidarity 2022-05-02   768

South Korean National Assembly must enact the Anti-Discrimination Act Now

South Korean National Assembly must enact the Anti-Discrimination Act Now 

 

(2 May 2022, Seoul) On April 11, 22 days ago, Miryu and Jong-gul, two South Korean human rights activists went on a hunger strike calling for the enactment of the Anti-Discrimination Act. Over a decade, the UN and international community have repeatedly recommended the South Korean Government to enact a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act to end all forms of discrimination. Unfortunately until today, there is no anti-discrimination act in South Korea and the most marginalized groups in a society are exposed to various forms of hatred and discrimination.

 

We, the undersigned 84 international and regional civil society organizations, are standing in solidarity with South Korean activists and urge the South Korean National Assembly to immediately enact a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act.

 

The enactment of a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act is widely supported by the majority of South Koreans. According to a survey by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in 2020, 82% of respondents acknowledged that discrimination in South Korean society was serious and 88.5% were in favor of enacting a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act as a way to resolve this problem. Another survey of November 2021 showed that 70% of South Korean people also agreed.

 

Even so, the South Korean National Assembly keeps delaying the enactment of the law. Four drafts of the Anti-Discrimination Act have already been submitted to the South Korean National Assembly, which prohibit discrimination against gender, disability, age, language, national origin, ethnicity, race, nationality, color, place of origin, appearance, marriage, pregnancy or childbirth, family and household type/circumstance, religion, ideological or political opinion, a conviction for which the effect of the sentence has been invalidated, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, employment type, medical history or health status, and social status. These bills were submitted during the Moon Jae-in administration who pledged the enactment of a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act. The majority of the National Assembly members at this moment are from the Democratic Party. If there is a political will to end discrimination in a society, there is no reason to further delay it.

 

This is why two weeks ago, two activists went into an indefinite hunger strike in front of the National Assembly. On behalf of South Korean civil society, these two human rights activists started a hunger strike desperately calling for making a society without all forms of discrimination, delivering people’s voices to the National Assembly members and opening a world where all people can live freely without any barriers. We also stand in solidarity with South Korean human rights activists and reiterate the call that a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act should be the minimum starting point for improving the human rights of minorities in South Korean society, including persons with disabilities, migrants, foreigners, North Koreans, women, older people, and sexual minorities.

 

As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the South Korean government has an obligation to uphold international human rights standards and implement recommendations from the UN including the enactment of a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act. We believe that the enactment of a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act will bring positive changes to not only Korean society but also to Asia. Increasing hatred and discrimination against minorities are becoming more prevalent in other parts of the world as well.

 

We are sending our full support and solidarity to South Korean activists, especially those who are going on hunger strikes. South Korean National Assembly must enact a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act immediately and end the vicious cycle of hatred and discrimination.

 

 

Signed by

6Rang, Germany

Aadhar Sanstha, India

Amnesty International Mongolia

Amnesty International Taiwan

API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC, USA

Asia Democracy Network (ADN)

Association of Indigenous Peaoles in the Ryukyus(AIPR), Japan 

Autistic Minority International

Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), India

Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)

Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia 

Covenants Watch, Taiwan

Dina Septi, Indonesia 

Equal Asia Foundation

Erasmus Institute of Peace Studies, Japan

Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth, Nigeria

GAPIMNY—Empowering Queer & Trans Asian Pacific Islanders, USA 

GAYa NUSANTARA, Indonesia

gayofiraq, Iraq

Harmony Home Assciation Taiwan

Hayashi Lab., Faculty of Humanities, Univ. of Toyama, Japan

HIV Education and Research Taiwan, HEArT

Hong Kong Pride Parade

Human Rights Law Network, India

International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, Malaysia

InterPride, USA

Japan NGO Network for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ERD Net)

Kaohsiung Pride, Taiwan

KARP/KOREAN AMERICAN RAINBOW PARENTS, USA

Kobe International Christ Church, Japan

Kobe International Sustaining Organization, Japan

Konfederasi Serikat Nasional, Indonesia 

KOREA NGO CENTER, Japan

Korean American Coalition to End Domestic Abuse, USA

KQT, USA

KQT DC (Korean Queer and Transgender Organization DC), USA

Lavender Phoenix, USA

Law and Language Laboratory (3L), Japan

LGBT Centre, Mongolia

LIPS-Sedane Labour Resource Centre, Indonesia

Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN)

MozaiQ LGBT Association, Romania 

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), USA

New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), USA

Nodutdol, USA

NTUSA Gender Workshop, Taiwan

OutRight Action International, USA

Persons with HIV/AIDS Rights Advocacy Assocition of Taiwan

Planet Ally, Australia

Praxis Association, Indonesia

Presatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor, Malaysia

Progressive Voice, Myanmar

Public Association “Dignity”, Kazakhstan

Punjab Women Collective, India

Queens Pride House, USA

Q-Wave, USA

Sex og Politikk (IPPF Norway)

ShanghaiPRIDE, China 

Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM)

Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan (SMJ)

SUARAM, Malaysia

Sukaar Welfare Organization, Pakistan

Synergia – Initiatives for Human Rights, Argentina

Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty

Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights

Taiwan Association for Human Rights

Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association

Taiwan HIV Story Association

Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy

Taiwan LGBT Scouts 羅浮童軍人權興趣小組

Taiwan Lourdes Association

Taiwan Love and Hope Association 

Taiwan Tongzhi (LGBTQ+) Hotline Association

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

The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)

The William Gomes Podcast, United Kingdom

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), India

United Belize Advocacy Movement, Belize

Vidhi Centre, India

Washington Butterfly for Hope, USA

Women Cross DMZ, USA

Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), Nepal

Worker’s Initiative, India

Yellow Jackets Collective, USA  

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