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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

Supportive Community Response, Rather than Law Enforcement

Kaola Baird experienced intense feelings of depression and sadness. She began noticing that she was feeling drained, with limited energy and motivation. She just stopped engaging with life fully. Her experience is not unique. One in four people around the…
Kaola Baird with teammates at the Dragon Boat Race Festival
News

Needs of Marginalized Groups Should Inform Government Response

Canada’s western province of British Columbia is once again reeling from devastation linked to climate change. Following this summer’s deadly heat and rampant wildfires, record rainfall this month has triggered massive flooding, displacing more than…
A woman and children in boat leaving behind car with floodwaters up to the roof in the background.
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…
News

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
Shortly after Denmark began telling Syrian refugees that parts of Syria are "safe" and stripped them of their temporary protected status, I talked to a 31-year-old refugee who voluntarily returned to Syria from Jordan in December 2020. He told me…
A streetview of destroyed buildings in a city
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

Pilot Programs Point Way to Rights-Respecting Models

(New York) – Pilot programs testing alternatives to immigration detention in several countries, including the United States, offer governments models for more humane and rights-respecting approaches, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today…
Illustration of a man hugging his family outside of a detention center
News
November 1, 2021 The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada The Honourable Sean Fraser Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada The Honourable Mélanie Joly Minister of Foreign Affairs Urgent Call to…
Afghans from northern provinces who fled their homes due to the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces take refuge in a public parc in Kabul, August 13, 2021. 
News
“This place guarantees you lose your sanity, your dignity, your humanity one way or another…It’s exhausting trying to protect myself all day, all night. I can’t do it anymore."  Kimberly Polman, a 49-year-old Canadian woman, wrote these words in…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
Report
Summary Syria is a death country, a kidnapping country. Anyone coming back will lose their money or their life. — Salam, 26, from al-Jeza in Daraa Syrian refugees who voluntarily returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan…