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A Variety of Demands for Human Rights Bursts out

Posted November. 28, 2001 09:05,   


`Consciousness of human rights that bursts out`

People`s desires for and expectations of `human rights` are found higher than they are thought to be as a variety of petitions are surging into the National Human Rights Committee (Chairperson Attorney Kim Chang-Kuk) that launched on Nov. 26.

The Human Rights Committed facing its second day after the launch is expected to operate as a `gushing gateway` where cases of the violation of human rights of a number of people who found nowhere to go due to their social, legal limitations in the past can be examined.

Above all, in terms of quantity, 122 petitions were received on Nov. 26, the first day of its launch, and a total of 113 petitions were received through visits, phones and e-mails on Nov. 27.

The office of Human Rights Committee is receiving more than 100 telephone inquiries a day. Each civil human rights organization is receiving over 10 cases concerned with the violation of human rights through the Internet and telephone calls.

Qualitative aspects are more impressive. In the past, the violation of human rights cases were mostly concerned with an abuse of governmental authority. But among the petitions received by the Human Rights Committee were there cases concerned with the human rights of homosexuals and transgenders and of conscientious objectors, which had been placed on a `dark corner`.

For example, the Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Federation Chairperson In Tae-Hun lodged a petition about the case that a transgender identified as Kim was denied enplanement on the grounds that Kim`s photo on an ID card and appearance were different from that on the resident card and the person might cause aversion from other passengers, and demanded compensation and the prevention of its recurrence.

`I am surprised that people`s critical awareness and level of expectancy are so diverse.` said the Human Rights Committee Executive Secretary Kim Hyung-Wan. "It is our plan to listen to as many piteous stories told by petitioners as possible no matter whether they are concerned with the violation of human rights."

Specialists analyze, "It is likely that People`s desires for human rights, which had been repressed for a long time, burst out concurrently." and voiced in unison, "The launce of the Human Rights Committee should take place as an opportunity to accept them positively."

Amnesty International Korean Section Secretary-General Oh Wan-Ho said, "It my hope that the Human Rights Committee will direct its efforts at correcting not only the violations of human rights committed the government organs but also a variety of discriminative conducts that have been tolerated by the society up until now."

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com