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Koreans 'should end discrimination'

National rights body asked to promote diversity in multi-cultural society

Migrants with a Filipino priest (photo courtesy of the Bucheon Filipino Migrants Community) Migrants with a Filipino priest (photo courtesy of the Bucheon Filipino Migrants Community)
  • John Won, Seoul
  • Korea
  • March 21, 2011
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Commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) said it will draft guidelines for migrants' rights.

NHRCK said: “The guidelines will be a good opportunity for proceeding with a mature multi-cultural society and respecting diversity.”

According to NHRCK, Korea has seen an influx of immigrants since the 1980s and over 1.2 million migrants including marriage migrants are staying in Korea. But preparation for multi-cultural society is still insufficient.

“In 2007, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination worried that single-race culture of Korea could be an obstacle against understanding and generosity between different ethnic race groups,”NHRCK quoted.

NHRCK added, “We hope a culture respecting diversity will spread in Korean society as well.”

Meanwhile Andrew Kim Duck-jin, secretary general of the Catholic Human Rights Committee pointed out, “Korea still has racial discrimination even though Korea has stepped into the multi-cultural society. For example, discrimination against blacks and Southeast Asians is deeper than whites.”

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21. On that day in 1960, 69 people were killed at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws. Proclaiming the day in 1966, the UN General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

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