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S. Korea setting out to achieve economic, social rights: International Human Rights Day

Arirang News
Arirang News
Today,... December 10th is Human Rights Day all over the world, as people celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the International Declaration of Human Rights.
Our Oh Soo-young sheds light on the significance of this document, especially in Korea, which has seen steady progress in human rights over the years.
A photo exhibition in Seoul for International Human Rights Day shows the 70-year history of human rights in South Korea.

"There were various cases of human rights abuses carried out by authorities but we also saw the spirit of the Korean people try and overcome these cases in the April 19th Revolution, the June democracy movement and recently the candlelight rallies that ousted President Park Geun-hye. We try to show these different aspects."

The International Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on December tenth, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, calling for equal rights to life, freedom of expression, and religion
Over the decades, South Korea has ratified various UN conventions that embody the spirit of the declaration.
After breaking free from brutal Japanese occupation and a series of authoritarian governments,... the country has seen vast improvements in civil and political rights.
However, amid the ongoing MeToo movement,... the rise of hate crimes around the world,... and issues concerning minorities in Korea,... human rights experts in Seoul discussed ways to deal with modern challenges.

"Nowadays, the paradigm is changing, it's from civil and political rights to ESCR, economic social and cultural rights. Especially discrimination issues, discrimination against women, against children, against LGBT people, against social minorities. Because these days, the Korean situation is critically weak in terms of social polarization, economic polarization between the haves and have nots."

International observers have called for a stronger legal framework to support universal human rights values.

"The groundwork is there in South Korean law. One example, I'd like to raise if possible, is the recent ruling of the supreme court which acquitted a conscientious objector. A reference made by three judges was to emphasize that under article six, international treaties are legally binding domestically. Taking this precedent forward, it's very important that we move forward to ensure all human rights are protected."

Looking ahead to 2030,... the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals envisions a “ world of universal respect for human rights and dignity, justice, equality and non-discrimination."
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.
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