South Korea

Truckers strike for higher wages in South Korea while trial of activist continues

In recent months, truckers organised an eight-day strike for better wages, resulting in at least 44 arrests. Activist and North Korean defector Park Sang-hak remains on trial for releasing propaganda leaflets along the inter-Korean border. The Supreme Court also made a landmark judgement on reversing convictions on same-sex sexual acts in the military. Read more

Truckers strike for higher wages in South Korea while trial of activist continues

Activist indicted while NGO’s concerned about law affecting net neutrality in South Korea

An activist was charged with spreading propaganda along the inter-Korean border while civil society groups are concerned about a law that would affect net neutrality. Read more

Activist indicted while NGO’s concerned about law affecting net neutrality in South Korea

Union leader arrested amid protests in South Korea while restrictive press law revisions shelved

In recent months, protests have been carried out by a major labour union in South Korea calling on the government to improve labour conditions and for a minimum wage hike. The protests were deemed illegal by the authorities, who attempted to disrupt them. The government arrested a union leader in September 2021 for allegedly violating social distancing requirements by organising the rally. A restrictive press law proposed by the government has been shelved. Read more

Union leader arrested amid protests in South Korea while restrictive press law revisions shelved

Activist arrested as South Korea seeks to further restrict sending materials to the North

Over the last few months, the authorities arrested and charged an activist under the amended Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act for the launching of propaganda leaflets into North Korea. It was reported in April 2021 that the authorities are planning to further amend the law so that it bans people from sending digital information to North Korea. Read more

Activist arrested as South Korea seeks to further restrict sending materials to the North

South Korea increases restrictions on activism on North Korea, passes regressive labour law revision

In recent months, South Korea has escalated its restriction on groups working on North Korea. In December, South Korea’s parliament passed a bill to ban the launching of propaganda leaflets into North Korea. The Moon administration has also directly targeted groups working on North Korean human rights or supporting efforts to assist North Koreans. Regressive labour revisions were passed that would prevent workers from occupying certain facilities at workplaces during strikes. Read more

South Korea increases restrictions on activism on North Korea, passes regressive labour law revision

Activist groups working on North Korea facing intimidation while government restricts protests

There are serious concerns that the South Korean authorities are intimidating activist groups that work on human rights issues in North Korea, with two organisations having their registration revoked while over 200 are facing reviews and inspections. The authorities also attempted to restrict protests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two protest organisers have been charged. Read more

Activist groups working on North Korea facing intimidation while government restricts protests

Targeting of LGBT+ people, anti-Chinese racism and privacy concerns in South Korea amid COVID-19

Surveillance guidelines were revised in March 2020 after the National Human Rights Commission criticised the detailed logs of patient travels and contacts were made public. There have been increased reports of homophobia and online harassment of the LGBT+ community after LGBT+ friendly nightclubs were linked to the spread of the coronavirus. Anti-Chinese racism has also increased. Read more

Targeting of LGBT+ people, anti-Chinese racism and privacy concerns in South Korea amid COVID-19

LGBT rights movement in South Korea facing challenges in law and practice from conservative groups

LGBT people continue to face challenges in South Korea. In November 2019, there were proposals to amend the National Human Rights Commission of Korea Act to remove their protection from discrimination. In January 2020, a transgender soldier was remove from the army. Protests against wartime sexual slavery by the Japanese have continued for 28 years while there have been increasing demands for hate-speech legislation after two celebrity suicides. Read more

LGBT rights movement in South Korea facing challenges in law and practice from conservative groups

UN expert concerned about hate speech by South Korean politicians against LGBTI people

In August 2019, Victor-Madrigal Borloz, the UN’s independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, raised concerns about hate speech in South Korea, particularly about Korean politicians and religious leaders who have made openly discriminatory remarks against LGBTI people Read more

Tags: LGBTI | protest
UN expert concerned about hate speech by South Korean politicians against LGBTI people

Escalating concerns over right to privacy and freedom of expression on the net in South Korea

In March 2019, South Korea has introduced an internet filtering system to block user accounts that is raising concerns among privacy and freedom of expression activists. In the same month, a journalist was targeted for an article critical of the President, while women rights activists celebrated International Women’s day by protesting against the gender wage gap. In February 2019, protesters commemorate the death of a survivor and campaigner against sexual slavery during World War II. Read more

Escalating concerns over right to privacy and freedom of expression on the net in South Korea