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Recent Digital Sex Crimes Underscore Urgent Need for National Plan

Last week, authorities arrested an elementary school principal in South Korea who had installed a spy camera inside a bathroom used by the school’s female staff members. In October, authorities arrested a group of men who had bribed a motel worker…
A group of women sit holding protest signs that read "My Life Is Not Your Porn"
News

National Assembly Passes Law to Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention

Update: On October 28, the Senate adopted the bill to ratify the ILO violence and harassment Convention (C190). (Paris, July 23) “The world of work must not be a source of anxiety or insecurity for women.” ”France now intends to be a model in the…
Protestors marching to demand the end of femicide and violence against women in Paris, France, November 23, 2019. 
News

Parliament Should Support Ratification and Improve Protections in National Law

Two years after a landmark treaty to combat workplace violence and harassment was adopted, France has taken an important step towards domesticating the effort. On Wednesday, France’s Council of Ministers approved the ratification of the ILO…
Women demonstrate and march for “First of Chores” on International Day
News

Revise Laws to Recognize Diversity in Families

On January 26, the South Korean government announced it would seek to revise the legal definition of “family” in South Korea, and held a public hearing on the need to recognize the full diversity of families, including single parents and unmarried…
A rainbow flag is carried during a parade as a part of the Seoul Queer Culture Festival in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 14, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
News

Services, Education, and Broader Change Needed to Combat Deep Gender Inequity

On November 26, a horrifying episode in South Korea neared its end when a court in Seoul sentenced Cho Joo-bin to 40 years in prison. Cho ran a network of online chat rooms on Telegram, where he and several accomplices shared videos of sexual violence…
Women protest to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and footage taken by hidden cameras in Seoul, South Korea, July 7, 2018.
News

Draft Law an Improvement, but Still No Freedom to Choose

South Korea’s government last week announced new draft legislation that would permit abortion up until 14 weeks and, in some circumstances, up to 24 weeks, but falls short of full decriminalization. The proposed law represents an important reform…
Protesters shout slogans during a rally demanding the abolition of the country's ban on abortions outside of the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea
News

Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, Make National Reforms

“Together, governments and social partners, we say NO to violence and harassment and YES to building a better world of work.” France’s Labour Minister Muriel Pénicaud gave these remarks last year when the International Labour Organization (ILO)…
People holding signs against sexual harassment at work protest cuts to France's Ministry of Women's Rights budget, July 21, 2017.
News

Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
News

Survivors’ Rights Need to be at Forefront of All Justice Responses

Last week, online sexual violence against women drew widespread public attention in South Korea when police arrested the operator of multiple sexual abuse chat rooms on messaging apps like Telegram. The disturbing case involves the alleged…
Cho Ju-bin, center, leader of South Korea's online sexual blackmail ring called "Nth room," is surrounded by journalists while walking out of a police station as he is transferred to prosecutors' office for further investigation in Seoul, South Korea
News

Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
News

Non-consensual Sharing of Intimate Images Linked with Suicide

We only know her as “A,” and she is dead. The court ruled this week in the case of a young woman in South Korea who killed herself after learning she had been secretly filmed in a changing room of the hospital where she worked. She had suffered “…
Women protest to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and footage taken by hidden cameras in Seoul, South Korea, July 7, 2018.
News

New Law Would Let Lesbian Couples, Single Women Get In Vitro Fertilization

Update: On June 29, 2021, the French Parliament adopted the new bioethics law with 326 votes for and 115 against. The first article of the bill allows lesbian couples and single women access to medically assisted procreation. All women in…
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn gives a speech to introduce the debate on a bill that would give single women and lesbian couples access to in-vitro fertilization, at the National Assembly, in Paris
News

More Countries Should Join Global Trend Toward Easing Abortion Restrictions

When a court in South Korea overturned the country’s restrictive abortion laws recently, it joined a global trend toward easing abortion laws. Other countries that are stubbornly clinging to the criminalization of abortion…
201904asia_southkorea_womensrights_abortion
News

Unprecedented Size of 'Spy Cam' Protest Latest in Growing Demands for Reform

On June 9, about 22,000 South Korean women marched through the streets of Seoul. The protest – reportedly the largest by women in South Korean history – focused on the proliferation of so-called “spy cams,” tiny cameras used to invade women’s…
 South Korean women march through the streets of Seoul
News

Government Claims Research Needed, So Women’s Rights Must Wait

Women in South Korea are demanding an immediate end to the country’s restrictive anti-abortion laws, but so far the government isn’t listening. President Moon Jae-In pledged in August his government would publicly respond to any petition posted to…
A woman holds a sign at a pro-choice rally at the Cheonggye Plaza in Seoul on August 31, 2010.
News

South Korea Should Do More to Fight Sexual Harassment Assault

The allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein together with social media’s #metoo phenomenon, where hundreds of thousands of women and girls spoke out about their experiences of being sexually harassed or assaulted, have struck a real…
A woman takes part in a SlutWalk protest, in central Seoul July 16, 2011.
News

Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News
France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil D’Etat, has called time, at least for now, on the shameful “burkini bans” adopted by mayors across the country, in effect orders that prohibited wearing “religious clothing” on the beach. The court,…
Protesters demonstrate against France's burkini ban outside the French Embassy in London, August 25, 2016.
News

Banning Burkini in Wake of Terror Attacks Creates Dangerous Confusion

A woman is confronted by state officials in a public place and forced to change her clothing, while another is fined for failing to wear “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism.” Unbelievable in a country like France? No, it happened on French…
A Muslim woman wears a burkini, a swimsuit that leaves only the face, hands and feet exposed, on a beach in Marseille, France, August 17, 2016.
News

A Leader in Rejecting Weapons So Deadly to Civilians

France has completed the destruction of its stockpile of 34,876 cluster munition rockets and artillery projectiles that contained 14.9 million explosive submunitions, meeting a key obligation of the international ban treaty. It has also strongly condemned…
A pile of shoes during the annual demonstration by NGO Humanity and Inclusion denouncing antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions in Lyon on September 20, 2014.