December 01, 2023

International Refugee Rights Conference Discusses Defectors Legislation

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea, Human Asia and Korea University’s Graduate School of International Studies co-hosted an international conference in Seoul under the theme, “Cooperation Between Governments and Civil Society to Protect and Promote Refugee Rights” on August 21, 2012. At the conference, various experts on refugee issues from all over the world spoke, including panelists from South Korea, the United Kingdom, the U.S., the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal and New Zealand. The rights of North Korean defectors were one of the main focuses of their discussion.

The conference was divided into four main sections. The first of these was the opening ceremony, at which speeches and addresses were presented to kick off the event and welcome participants. One of these was a welcoming address by Byung-chul Hyun, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. Hyun said in the speech that “in the case of Korea, the ratio of refugee recognition is extremely low compared to other developed countries, and the recognition process lacks fairness and transparency, not to mention the social treatment of refugees, etc.” He also said, “Overall, Korea stands below average on the standards of refugee protection identified by the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and other international conventions on human rights.”