Go to contents

Human Rights Commission: “Forced Haircuts Are Human Rights Violation”

Human Rights Commission: “Forced Haircuts Are Human Rights Violation”

Posted July. 05, 2005 02:28,   


The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRC) said on July 4, “Hair is the individual student’s basic right, therefore school restrictions on hairstyles should be minimal and limited only to educational purposes.”

The NHRC recommended to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Department and superintendents of cities and provinces, “If we find that there is an infringement of human rights in regulating and amending the hair laws, we will request further amendments. Especially, as the forced cutting of hair is clearly violating human rights, the ministry should provide measures to prevent such events from reoccurring.”

Park Chan-woon, the head of the Human Rights Policy Bureau, said, “The student is not only the receiver but also the main body of education, so their opinion should be reflected in the system.” He also added, “The style and length of hair should be decided through negotiations between all the members of the school.”

According to the information provided by the Ministry of Education to the NHRC, 2761 (92.5 percent) of middle schools and 1924 (91.1 percent) of high schools have hair regulations, and just this year, 32 middle schools and 44 high schools have cut students’ hair with scissors or electric shavers.

Yi-Young Cho lycho@donga.com