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National Human Rights Commission of Korea Decides to Propose "Human Rights Education Act" to Government and National Assembly

      In South Korea, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken the lead in promoting human rights education in school and other various fields since its establishment in 2001. According to the press release issued on 23 April 2007, the NHRC finalized its draft of the Human Rights Education Act and decided to recommend the government and the National Assembly to submit the draft to the latter.
      With a view to establishing institutional mechanisms for human rights education and raising awareness of human rights among society in general, the NHRC has worked on the formulation of human rights education legislation through its task force team. The first draft was adopted in October 2006. The present draft was finalized on the basis of the consideration of opinions concerning the original draft, gathered through a public hearing, civil society organizations and the website of the NHRC. The draft consists of 15 articles, which provide for, inter alia:

  • The definition and basic principles of human rights education, with a view to implementing human rights education in compliance with UN and other international standards;
  • The right to human rights education for all and the corresponding obligation of the government to implement it;
  • The establishment of a Human Rights Education Committee to promote major human rights education projects, a Human Rights Education Conference to ensure consultation and coordination and a Human Rights Education Center to provide effective support to human rights education;
  • The formulation of draft recommendations for a comprehensive plan on human rights education by a Human Rights Committee, followed by the development of a basic plan by the President and of detailed implementation plans by the central administrative institutions;
  • Field visits and fact-finding inquiries to confirm the implementation of human rights education as well as demands for improvement measures on the basis of their outcomes; and,
  • Support to schools, human rights organizations and pedagogical institutions for the promotion of human rights education.
      In addition to the provision of remedies for victims of human rights violations and discrimination upon their request, the NHRC expressed its determination to make efforts to realize the adoption of the proposed act, in order to reduce social costs and promote social integration by putting emphasis on prevention, rather than remedial measures, through human rights education.

Source: National Human Rights Commission of Korea

See also: Article of ohmynews, 5 April 2007 [Korean]