Thursday, 25. October 2012, Geneva.
Norway would like to thank the Republic of Korea for the presentation of their national report and acknowledges the efforts made by the Republic of Korea since the first UPR.
The national report confirms that the Republic of Korea has made serious efforts to improve human rights in many areas, including for the disabled, women and children. However, Norway remains concerned that the Republic of Korea lacks sufficient measures to protect the rights of unwed mothers, children and persons affected by the National Security Law.
Many unwed Korean mothers are coerced into giving their children up for adoption due to social pressure and lack of protection and support. Furthermore, birth registration is not practicably or consistently available for minorities, including adopted children, refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrant workers. Norway would therefore recommend that the Republic of Korea revise the single parent family support law and introduce legislation to ensure that all children are automatically and legally registered immediately after birth, regardless of parents’ legal status and origin.
Also, while recognizing the particular circumstances on the Korean peninsula, Norway remains concerned about the increased use of the National Security Law. Norway would recommend that the Republic of Korea consider amending the National Security Law to prevent arbitrary application and abusive interpretation of the law.
Finally, the Republic of Korea has not used the death penalty since 1998. Though the death penalty remains applicable, Norway is encouraged by this de-facto moratorium and would recommend that the Republic of Korea take steps towards the abolition of the death penalty.
1. Will the Republic of Korea consider to change its system and practice of birth registration in order to promote the right of the child regardless of parents’ legal statues and/or origin?
2. What efforts will be made to protect unwed mothers and their children in practice as well as in legislating law and policies?
3. Is ROK planning to take legislative measures in order to abolish the death penalty, in line with the recommendations from the last UPR hearing?
4. What channels are in place to assess the implementation of the accepted recommendations from the UPR-hearing?