56 NGOs in the ROK Submit Alternative Reports on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Deep Setback of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of South Koreans
On October 7th, 2009, 56 non-governmental civil organizations including PSPD(People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy), SARANGBANG(Group for Human Rights), Lawyers for Democratic Society, and GONG-GAM(Korean Public interest lawyers' group) submitted to the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, an alternative report that refuted the ROK government's third official report on economic, social and cultural rights.
Preparing an alternative report for the committe's upcoming review, South Korea's human rights NGOs has been evaluating the state of social and cultural rights in Korea, which it believes has deteriorated under the Lee Myung-bak government. In November last year, the representatives from Korea's NGOs participated the UN committe's pre-sessional working group's meeting in Geneva in order to inform the working group of the current state of social and cultural rights in Korea.
Once every five years, the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights reviews the state of such rights in the member countries that have joined International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Right. Since it became a member country in 1990, South Korean government, following the 16th and 17th provisions of the covenant, submitted to the committee two official reports on the progresses made on social and cultural rights. South Korean government is scheduled to submit the third review, which takes place in Geneva, Switzerland from November 10th.
The NGOs' alternative report refutes the South Korean government's official report, providing a different perspective and containing information omitted in the government's report, which is believed to be distorted in favor of the South Korean government's policies. Since the government's third report contains outdated information regarding the state of the rights during the period from June 2001 to June 2006, the NGOs believe that the government's report fails to reveal the deteriorating state of social and cultural rights in Korea under the Lee government.
The NGOs are planning on participating in the committe's review, which is to be held in this November, to speak at the review, have a lunch briefing before the committee's officials. The civil society hopes to influence on the committe's decision so that the committe would make recommendations for Korean government to promote social and cultural rights.
* See the Summary of the NGO Alternative Report
ICESCR Alternative Report 2009.doc
NGO Oral Statement.doc