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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

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
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
Video
(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

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

Address North Korea Concerns, Plight of Marginalized Groups

(New York, January 13, 2021) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s administration weakened its criticism of human rights in North Korea in 2020, including by targeting North Korean human rights organizations in the south, Human Rights Watch said…
A banner emphasizing enhanced social distancing is displayed at Seoul City Hall in Seoul, South Korea on November 25, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
Report
Summary I would like you to pass on our voice. It’s not a voice. It’s a cry of pain. We have been here in Lebanon because they not only raped us, they also raped our land and dignity. —Male survivor of conflict-related sexual violence in Syria,…
News

Survivors in Lebanon Lack Needed Services

(Beirut) – Syrian state and non-state actors have subjected men, boys, transgender women, and nonbinary people to sexual violence during the Syrian conflict, resulting in severe physical and mental health consequences which are compounded by a lack of…
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News

Men, Transgender Women Particularly Vulnerable, Lacking Services

During Syria’s civil war, many people have been subjected to sexual violence, resulting in ongoing trauma. Many of these victims are men and they have described how such violence gets worse if they are considered gay, or “soft” as the local term…
202007syria_lgbt_main
News

Government Should Act to Prevent Discrimination

South Korea is experiencing a marked increase in online threats and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people who are being unfairly accused of spreading Covid-19. The backlash illustrates the need for governments…
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

Lawmakers Should Strengthen Protections, Not Weaken Them

  Conservative lawmakers in South Korea have already blocked the passage of nondiscrimination laws that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and other minorities. Now, they’re trying to…
Participants march with a rainbow flag during a gay pride parade in Seoul
News

Steps Needed to Protect Sexual and Gender Minority Children

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is urging South Korea to revamp its sexuality education curriculum to cover age-appropriate topics like pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, sexual orientation, and gender identity. These steps…
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

Constitutional Court to Consider Repeal of Anti-Gay Law

(Seoul) – South Korea’s law that bans same-sex conduct for soldiers violates its international human rights obligations and should be repealed, Human Rights Watch said in an amicus brief submitted to the country’s Constitutional Court…
South Korean soldiers at a marine base in Gimpo, South Korea, on June 10, 2016.
News

Amicus Brief to the Honorable Justices of the Constitutional Court of Korea

I. Introduction Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this amicus brief in connection with case 2017Hun-Ga16, now before the Constitutional Court of Korea (“Constitutional Court”), which involves a review of the…
News

Videos, Report Highlight Issues of Identity, Activism

(Beirut, April 16, 2018) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa are defying state-sponsored repression and social stigma, Human Rights Watch and the…
No Longer Alone
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Judgment Orders Government to Allow LGBT Foundation to Apply for Charity Status

(New York, August 4, 2017) – South Korea’s Supreme Court has ordered the government to allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights foundation to legally register as a charity, ending three years of the foundation’s leaders facing…
Participants march on a street during Korea Queer Festival 2015 in central Seoul, South Korea. In 2017, South korea's Supreme Court ordered the government to allow the Beyond the Rainbow Foundation, a LGBT rights foundation, to legally register as a chari
News
An alleged crackdown by the South Korean army on gay male service members, which came to light in April, is striking fear into gay soldiers and potential conscripts. Earlier this year a video clip that appeared to show two military men…
South Korean soldiers at a marine base in Gimpo, South Korea, on June 10, 2016.