From the KT:

South Korea said Tuesday it is actively considering the adoption of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law based on recommendations made by the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC), a move that is expected to improve freedom and welfare of its citizens.

The National Human Rights Policy Council, headed by Justice Minister Kwon Jae-jin, convened a meeting and decided to accept 42 of the 70 recommendations made by the world body’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Council officials said.

Now, you’re probably wondering like me, “which 42 did they accept?”

I can’t find a full list, but the Seoul Sinmun did run a longish piece that mentioned some of them. Among the recommendations the government accepted were:

  • Adoption of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law.
  • A expressed ban on corporal punishment in all environments (Marmot’s Note: I’m absolutely shocked this government said OK to that one)
  • Guaranteeing online freedom of expression for those with opinions that differ from those of the government
  • Executing the part of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that call for government supervision of the adoption process.

If a comprehensive anti-discrimination law is passed, it would ban discrimination based on religion, sex, academic background and nation of birth in all fields if no rational reason for the discrimination exists. Korea tried to pass a law like this in 2007, but it died in the National Assembly.

What recommendations the government DIDN’T accept include:

  • Abolishing the death penalty
  • Abolishing the National Security Law
  • Adopting an alternative service system for conscientious objectors.

Interestingly, the United States was one of five countries that recommended Korea abolish the National Security Law. In rejecting the call to abolish the National Security Law, the government said is was necessary for national survival while the peninsula was divided. Some 17 countries called on Korea to abolish the death penalty, including the United Kingdom and Rwanda, but this was initially rejected, with the caveat that the government would consider it while taking into consideration public opinion and Korea’s legal sensibilities. France and six other countries recommended Korea adopt an alternative service system, but this was rejected due to a lack of public consensus on the issue.