South Korea has made progress on human rights over the decades but “room for improvement” remains, said Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan.
Speaking at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday to mark the completion of her visit to South Korea, Irene Khan said that the time had come for the government to “move forward confidently and strengthen democracy through better respect of human rights for all persons in South Korea”.
Five key areas of human rights in the country required urgent attention, Irene Khan said.
Amnesty International’s Secretary General called on the government to put into place mechanisms to improve and monitor policing, particularly of public protests, and to better protect the rights of migrant workers.
She also said the government should support the work of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK), provide space for freedom of expression and retain its position on not using the death penalty.
Miss Khan said now that South Korea had a strong economy and is a stable democracy; the expectations are raised in terms of better respect for human rights.
Irene Khan visited South Korea between 21 and 24 November 2009. While there she launched the Korean edition of her book, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, which addresses the issues of poverty and human rights.