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End Discrimination Against Marginalized Groups

(New York) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in weakened civil and political liberties and cracked down on North Korean rights activists operating in South Korea in 2021, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Moon’s government also…
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News

Ruling Highlights Need for Legislative Protections

A court in Seoul, South Korea has rejected a same-sex couple’s bid for spousal health insurance benefits, underscoring the lack of legal protections for same-sex couples in the country. Although South Korea does not recognize same-sex partnerships…
Participants march with a rainbow flag during a gay pride parade in Seoul, South Korea.
News

Law Would Have Limited Critical News Reporting

In a victory for media freedom in South Korea, the country’s ruling Democratic Party has shelved a proposed law that could have seriously harmed press freedom. Instead, the Democratic Party and the main opposition People Power Party formed a…
A woman in a face mask holds a microphone in front of a video camera
News
The ordeal of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after repeatedly being raped by a family member briefly brought to the fore the myriad barriers to obtaining a legal abortion in Bolivia. After weeks of publicity and thanks to the intervention…
A woman holds a banner that reads in Spanish "Girls, not mothers," during a demonstration calling for sexual and reproductive rights in La Paz, Bolivia, on Oct. 27, 2021. The case of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after repeatedly being raped by a family member rekindled the debate on abortion in Bolivia.
News

Proposed Law Would Improve Protections for Older People, Many Others

The window is rapidly closing for South Korea’s National Assembly to pass a comprehensive antidiscrimination law that citizens and human rights organizations have long endorsed. Anti-discrimination legislation has been submitted 11 times since 2007…
An elderly woman seated on the floor of an apartment
News

Respect Net Neutrality, Oppose Bill Mandating ‘Paid Prioritization’ for Content Producers

Joint Statement  November 11, 2021 Dear Mr. President Moon, We the undersigned thirty (30) human rights and freedom of expression organizations are concerned by your recent apparent support for an amendment to…
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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

Lee Bo-reum found school almost intolerable. As a young woman, she was outed to her peers as a lesbian, and was ostracized and bullied by her classmates for her sexual orientation. As the mistreatment persisted, she eventually became depressed and…
News

Proposed Amendments Threaten Media Freedom, Free Expression

(Seoul) - South Korea’s National Assembly should reject proposed amendments to the law on media arbitration that would undermine media freedom and freedom of expression, Article 19, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, Open Net Association, and…
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Report
Summary Park Beom-seok, a 22-year-old gay man, suspected that he might be gay when he was eleven or twelve years old. Still, he struggled to find support in his school environment. Classmates in middle school used “gay” as a slur, targeting boys who…
News

Former Students Share Their Stories to Press for Change

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in South Korea are bullied and harassed by both students and teachers in schools. When they seek help and support from teachers or counselors, they are often instead “outed” to other teachers or…
G Lee, an LGBT person in South Korea © 2021 Human Rights Watch
News

Isolation and Lack of Support Put Young People at Risk

(Seoul) – Young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in South Korea experience isolation and mistreatment in schools, Human Rights Watch and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School said in a…
A schoolgirl stands next to a stream
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(Seoul, September 14, 2021) – Young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in South Korea experience isolation and mistreatment in schools, Human Rights Watch and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale…
News

Decree Allows for Third Gender Option in Identification Documents

Starting July 21, 2021, Argentina’s National Identity Document and passports now include a third gender category, “X,” allowing people to choose to be designated other than female or male. The move makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to…
President Alberto Fernández (center) with other authorities and members of social organizations, form an 'X', at the Bicentennial Museum in Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 21, 2021
News

National Civil Registry Discriminates Against Same-Sex Relationships

(Washington, DC) – Bolivia’s national civil registry (Registro de Servicio Cívico, SERECÍ) has discriminated against a lesbian couple by rejecting their application to register their relationship as a union, Human Rights Watch said today. All civil…
The Constitutional Court of Bolivia (Tribunal Constitucional Plurinacional).
News
Her job had been going well, the woman told me. But her married boss started making sexual advances, which she rebuffed. Then he gave her a gift — a clock. She put it in her bedroom, but the light bothered her, so she kept moving it. “But every…
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.