The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Korea, South

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#equality #freedom #human_rights #korea #politics #South_Korea #tolerance

South Korea
Republic of Korea

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalSeoul
Land Area 97 100km21
LocationAsia
Population48.6m (2011)2
Life Expectancy82.13yrs (2017)3
GNI$34 541 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesKR, KOR, 4105
Internet Domain.kr6
CurrencyWon (KRW)7
Telephone+828

South Korea performs very well in ensuring human rights and freedom compared to most other countries. S. Korea comes in the top 20 in opposing gender inequality9. It does better than average in eliminating modern slavery10, its nominal commitment to Human Rights11, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms12, commentary from Human Rights Watch13, its Global Peace Index rating14, fighting corruption15, supporting press freedom16 and in LGBT equality17. Human Rights Watch specifically note that South Korea 'generally respects' basic civil and political liberties18. S. Korea does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in fighting anti-semitic opinions19. There are "unreasonable restrictions" on freedom of expression and freedom of association18. There is too much discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities18.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery #South_Korea

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)19
Pos.Lower is better
%19
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
78Indonesia48
79Panama52
80Senegal53
81S. Korea53
82Iran56
83Armenia58
84Malaysia61
85Turkey69
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)15
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score15
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
44Malta56.6
45Grenada56.0
46Costa Rica54.8
47S. Korea54.6
48Latvia54.0
49Mauritius54.0
50Rwanda52.6
51Hungary52.4
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)14
Pos.Lower is better14
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
39Bulgaria1.70
40France1.71
41Estonia1.72
42S. Korea1.73
43Lithuania1.74
44Argentina1.76
45Latvia1.77
46UAE1.79
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)13
Pos.Higher is better
Score13
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
39Panama1
40Ukraine0
41Nepal0
42S. Korea0
43Guatemala-1
44Armenia-1
45Ivory Coast-1
46Kosovo-1
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)11
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties11
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
45Norway20
46Portugal20
47Poland20
48S. Korea20
49Panama20
50New Zealand20
51Uganda19
52Colombia19
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)12
Pos.Lower is better
Rank12
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
32Japan32
33Cyprus33
34Mauritius34
35S. Korea35
36Spain36
37Hungary37
38Costa Rica38
39Slovenia39
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
46Taiwan2382
47Samoa2384
48Haiti2409
49S. Korea2448
50Comoros2452
51S. Africa2456
52Japan2517
53Argentina2567
World Avg3249
q=178.

Although South Korea has a free press and a lively civil society, successive South Korean governments and large corporations have at various times used draconian criminal defamation laws, the national security law, and restrictive interpretations of other laws to create a chilling effect that limits critical scrutiny of the government and corporations.

Criminal defamation law allows for up to seven years´ imprisonment and a fine. The law focuses solely on whether what was said or written was in the public interest and does not allow for truth as a complete defense.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)18

Slavery (2018)10
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims10
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
28Norway0.18
29Saudi Arabia0.19
30Bahrain0.19
31S. Korea0.19
32Germany0.20
33Belgium0.20
34France0.20
35Bolivia0.21
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory20. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends21. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life22. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves23.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery24. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity25. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.26. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi10, Eritrea10, Indonesia27) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery28.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #South_Korea #women

Gender Inequality (2015)9
Pos.Lower is better9
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
7Slovenia0.05
8Finland0.06
9Germany0.07
10S. Korea0.07
11Singapore0.07
12Belgium0.07
13Luxembourg0.07
14Austria0.08
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote29
Pos.Lower is better
Year29
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
69Pakistan1947
70Malta1947
71Argentina1947
72S. Korea1948
73Israel1948
74Belgium1948
75Niger1948
76Suriname1948
World Avg1930
q=189.

S. Korea is notable for its equality between the sexes.

Discrimination against women remains a major problem in South Korea, and its abortion laws in particular are "punitive and harmful to women and girls" according to Human Rights Watch18.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #South_Korea #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)17
Pos.Higher is better
Score17
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
57Thailand34
58Bulgaria33
59Fiji32
60S. Korea30
61Timor-Leste (E. Timor)30
62Costa Rica30
63Suriname30
64Venezuela30
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence30. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws31. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries30. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

General discrimination against LGBT folk remains a problem18. The intolerant 1962 Military Criminal Act (Article 92-6) grants up to two years' imprisonment for same-sex relations (regardless that this is a private matter, and even if it is no-where-near a barracks)18. This law fosters ongoing harassment of LGBT folk:

A campaign by the military to identify and oust gay and bisexual male soldiers and officers started in April 2017. [...] Military investigators seized the mobile phones of more than 50 soldiers to identify... gay and bisexual servicemen.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)18

President Moon Jae-In in 2017 said he "opposed" homosexuality and marriage equality, but also said that discrimination against homosexuality was also bad18. In this case, where the morality of tolerance is confused by personal prejudice, he should accept human rights by default, and tolerate all adult consensual sexual relations no matter what genders are involved.

4. South Korea Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #South_Korea

Social & Moral
Development Index
32
Pos.Higher is better
Points32
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
25Czechia71.0
26Singapore71.0
27Portugal70.3
28S. Korea70.3
29Slovenia69.6
30Hungary69.4
31Poland67.2
32Cyprus66.9
33Malta66.7
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/south_korea_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Korea, South (Republic of Korea)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #korea #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #South_Korea #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  10. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  11. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  12. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  13. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  14. ^^
  15. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  16. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  17. Sources:^^
  18. Human Rights Watch (2018). p495-499.^^^^
  19. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  20. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  21. McCall (1979). p180.^
  22. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  23. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  24. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  27. Klein (2004) .^
  28. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  29. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  30. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  32. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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