South Korea has been reeling from a number of shocking digital sex crimes in the last few months. Sentences for convicted perpetrators remain questionably short.⠀⠀These incidents demonstrate the importance of constant attention and advocacy on gender issues and sex crimes. To explore more on this topic, check out "Dreaming of a Society Free from Digital Sex Crimes" by Hyeonjeong Kim here. ⠀
Ju Ryu! Ensemble (Together), 36 x 21 in, Acrylic Paint, 2020 Thank you so much to everyone who took part in our online art event. We still have lots of other online activities focusing on promoting human rights in Asia, so check our website to see more! Stay safe!
Webinar: Developing An Affordable And Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine: Where We Are Now Review - Jeeeon Lee (Human Asia Intern) On Friday 3 July, Human Asia hosted an online webinar entitled ‘Developing An Affordable And Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine: Where We Are Now’. This event was co-hosted with UAEM Korea and the Korean Association of Human Rights Studies. The guest speaker of this session was Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute. The webinar was held in English with Korean interpretation, and was viewed by attendees from around the world. The event opened with opening remarks from Changrok Soh, President of Human Asia and the Korean Association of Human Rights Studies, and Hannah Chang, President of UAEM Korea. Dr. Kim began his lecture by exploring the nature of coronaviruses in themselves; reminding us that with HIV/AIDS, the bubonic plague, smallpox and Spanish flu, COVID-19 is in no way the first pandemic that the world has experienced. After explaining how coronaviruses travel both between people and across countries, Dr. Kim then moved on to discuss ongoing questions about infection immunity and known unknowns regarding COVID-19. Dr. Kim explained the typical process and timeline of producing and licensing a vaccine (which ordinarily takes anywhere between five and ten years), and the situation for a COVID-19 vaccine. There are 150+ possible candidates for a COVID-19 vaccine, with 8 currently in human clinical testing (RNA or DNA, protein vaccines, vector vaccines and inactivated vaccines) and some signs of major milestones. Accelerating process will depend on how well we can derisk, with increased funds, time, and money. There are additionally some signs of progress within testing on animals, particularly monkeys. After explaining the basic work and mission of his organisation, the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), Dr. Kim explored the main challenges in distributing an accessible future COVID-19 vaccine to everyone. Major concerns, according to Dr. Kim, could include: ultranationalism, (vaccine imperialism, vaccine nationalism, vaccine security vaccine sovereignty) infodemics (urgency over objectivity, COVID conspiracies, unfiltered, unreviewed science) anti-science sentiments (rejectionism, vaccine hesitancy) and politics (partisanship, economic hardship). There could also be ‘enhanced disease’ issues after the SARS-1 and MERS challenges with vaccinated animals. Dr. Kim concluded his lecture with the following points. We will likely be able to develop a vaccine that works and that is safe, potentially within 12 to 18 months. On whether we will be able to make a vaccine of sufficient quantity with high quality and at an affordable cost, Dr. Kim answered perhaps - CEPI has identified global manufacturing at 10 billion doses a year. Dr Kim was also hopeful that a vaccine respecting access and equity could also be developed, as CEPI has Global Access Agreements and WHO have initiated processes to ensure accessibility and equity in allocating vaccine resources. The lecture session concluded after a Q&A session from the floor. For me, his webinar session served as a precious opportunity to grasp not only the current development progress of COVID-19 vaccine, but also the accessibility and equity of vaccine allocation. Moreover, I was also able to rethink the major challenges that we have encountered so far and may become obstacles when distributing COVID-19 vaccine in the future. Just like Dr. Jerome pointed out, the issues of ultranationalism, infodemics, anti-science sentiments, and politics will cause confusion in our society, posing a threat to the dissemination of the vaccine. However, after learning about the positive news regarding the advancement made by various organizations, including CEPI and WHO, I sincerely hope that everyone can have the access to the vaccine at an affordable cost in a near future. Written by Jeeeon Lee
The «2020 6th Korea Refugee Film Festival» was held from June 13th to June 27th. This year’s theme was ‘Beyond Distancing: We Are All Connected’. The festival was hosted by Human Asia with the help of the Korea Refugee Rights Network and the UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Korea. Due to COVID 19, this year’s KOREFF was held online. During the festival, we sold tickets to 7 films and festival merchandise through the KOREFF website. Participants were able to access 3 refugee-related Korean films and 4 UNHCR documentaries: No Probland (2019), The Breath (2017), Nowhere Man (2017), The Unforgotten (2019), Limbo (2017), The Displaced (2020), and Sanctuary (2019). Although the virtual film festival initially raised some concerns, it was a huge success with more than 200 participants. Human Asia will continue to raise the social awareness of refugees in Korea and overcome the “social distancing on refugees’ rights” through KOREFF. Thank you to all the participants of this year’s film festival and we highly encourage you to continue your interest and support for KOREFF.
Human Asia held an online workshop for the students of 『Community Leader Scholarship Program』 for two days of June 20th and 27th. Dr. Kim, Sung-ki, the professor of the Graduate School of Education at Hyupsung University gave the lecture on how to write a thesis effectively. Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the workshop was held online only, but the students had a good time to learn more for thesis writing.
Happy World Refugee Day✨ Human Asia hopes that all kinds of discrimination and hatred against refugees across the world will be eliminated with love! #World Refugee Day #Withrefugees
Human Asia welcomes our new interns, who will be working with the Educational Development Team from June 2020. Yejin Son Hello! My name is Yejin Son, working as a Human Asia 2020 Project Intern. Growing up and living in India, I witnessed the importance of human rights awareness and the necessity of education to protect those who are persecuted and marginalised on religious, political, and cultural grounds. In college, I pursued my interest in human rights by majoring in International Studies, and hoped to work in protecting the rights of “people” affected by global trends and decisions made by the larger actors of the international system. I applied to Human Asia after learning about its human- centered approach, that focuses on educating, training, and supporting individuals to establish a human rights protection mechanism in Asia. Through the 2020 Project Internship, I hope to discover my role to play in meeting the challenges of human rights protection and contribute to the dream of an open Asia. Jeeeon Lee Hello, this is Jeeeon Lee. I will be working as an intern for Human Asia in 2020 summer. I was able to first work with Human Asia by participating in last year’s the 6th International Model United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR). By joining the I- model UN UPR, in which I could examine the human rights situations of UN member states and give recommendations, I was able to once again recognize the necessity to improve the human rights situations across the world. Therefore, I decided to work as an intern in Human Asia to gain the experience of working with human rights activists. Currently, due to COVID-19 crisis, there have been ongoing incidents in which human rights of individuals are being constantly threatened while the governments are taking hard responses to tackle the virus. Moreover, as we have learned from the recent George Floyd incident, racial discrimination still persists in our society. I believe in order to protect the human rights of every individual in our modern society, we need everyone’s constant effort and attention. By working as an intern in Human Asia, I would like to contribute myself to increasing human rights awareness by participating in various human rights advocacy activities and revealing human rights situations across the world.
Calling all of our young supporters! We invite high school students and undergraduates who are involved with our human rights advocacy activities to join Human Asia YOUTH. You can receive information regarding the events and activities of Human Asia YOUTH by adding us as a Kakaotalk Channel friend. (Human Asia YOUTH’s news will also be uploaded via Human Asia email announcements, on our homepage and SNS, etc.) ✨
[Social Minority Rights] As a member of "knowing human rights," Human Asia publishes articles of various social minorities who are subject to discrimination. This story of Bangladesh Jumma People is written by Supan Chakma, who is currently staying in South Korea as a refugee claimant. Hidden Bangladesh: Violence and Brutality in the Chittagong Hill Tracts When you think of Bangladesh you may think of a vibrant nation of teeming people in the Ganges delta. The Chittagong Hill Tracts are altogether different: impossibly green, forested mountains rise above lakes in a verdant, uncrowded land – a side of Bangladesh most people never see. The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is a small territory component with three hill districts known as Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban, located in the southeast corner of Bangladesh. 11 ethnic indigenous groups collectively known as Jumma people reside all over these three hill districts. They are namely, Bawn, Chak, Chakma, Khumi, Kyang, Lushai, Marma, Mro, Pangkhua, Tanchangya and Tripura as you see the same to my background banners. Jumma peoples are the ethnic and religious minority community of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh. They are remarkably different from those of Bengali majority of Bangladesh in terms of ethnic, physical appearance, religion, culture and languages. [Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh] The root of the CHT’s crisis lies in the policies of the government of Bangladesh that seeks to establish homogeneous Bengali Muslim society. Over the last 50 years, hundreds and thousands of Bengali settlers have been moved onto these jummaland. A long conflict between the indigenous people and Bangladesh government has been followed causing huge numbers of deaths, destruction and suffering in the CHT. This situation is constantly jeopardizing the life, land, culture, security and development of the indigenous jumma people of CHT. This is hardly surprising: since March 2015, access to outsiders is tightly controlled and the indigenous people are forbidden to speak to foreigners without supervision. So what is happening in the CHT that the government doesn’t want the outside world to know about? 1. Status of Jumma Women in CHT: Violence, particularly sexual violence, is routinely carried out by settlers and the military alike. Jumma women have become the greatest casualty in the ethnic conflict of Bangladesh. They are the victim of systematical attack by the Bengali settlers and security personnel since the conflict started in the mid-1970s as deliberate tactic to destroy or damage Chakma nation. As we know, the Indigenous Women are targeted mainly for two reasons: for being women and for being indigenous. While the fact is about overall human rights in CHT needless to say, indigenous women rights are terribly violated over the period of time and still happening widely in broad day light. The figures make for sickening reading: in 2018 alone 117 indigenous women faced physical and sexual abuse, 57% of these being children. Twenty one of these women were raped or gang-raped and seven were killed afterwards. No wonder indigenous lawyer, Samari Chakma, calls the Chittagong Hill Tracts a “rapist’s heaven”. [An ethnic Jumma Community] 2. Encroachment on Land Right Land is continually being taken from the indigenous people without their consultation for plantations, tourist resorts and to settle people from other parts of Bangladesh. The army, mostly the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), continues to increase their land holdings, power and influence in the area and to increase their wealth. From the very beginning of the Pakistan regime, the encroachment on the land rights of Jumma people had been started and it has been continued by the successive governments till now. The governments have already acquired thousands of acres of land in the name of various development programs by evicting the indigenous people from their hearth and home without proper rehabilitation and adequate compensation. 3. Islamisation policy through transmigration of Bengali Settlers: History shows that the CHT region once a predominant non-Bengali Muslim area which is rapidly becoming a Bengali Muslim area by Islamisation policies of the governments. The influx of outsider Bengali Muslim settlers into the CHT region had been started since the creation of Pakistan. Bangladesh government’s vigorous Islamisation policies had made the situation worse than ever before. Currently, the Bengali populations within the Chittagong Hill Tracts have become the ethnic majority. [Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh] 4. Militarization: In order to suppress the Jumma people, the CHT has been heavily militarized. Indigenous demands for autonomy remain unheeded. And the Hill Tracts remain the most highly militarized region in Bangladesh. The Jumma people are still under military rule through the Operation Uttoron (Upliftment). Under this Operation Uttoron the army personnel can commit any kind of atrocity with impunity. In the recent past, they, in collaboration with the local administration and police and the Bengali Muslim settlers committed large-scale atrocities at Baghaihat, Babuchara, Chhotomerung and Ramgarh. The military authority continues to be final policy making and law enforcing authority in the CHT. So very often the military authority is charged with whipping up of communal violence against the Jumma people. 5. Non-stopping and Non-withdrawal of Bengali Muslim Settlers The Bangladesh government has settled hundreds of thousands of Bengali people in the Chittagong Hills, and they now make up the majority of the population in the region. Settlement has not been peaceful. Still the infiltration of the outsider Bengali Muslim settlers is continuing. The recent infiltration cases of Longadu, Dighinala, Barkal, Nakkyangchari, Lama, Alikadam, Mohalchari, Matiranga, Manikchari and many other places are glaring examples. So, the cases of illegal land grabbing by the settlers have recently come to a dangerous pass. In a number of violent clashes, tobacco, rubber and tea planters have seized Jumma (Indigenous) lands at will, usually with military support. By 2019, the situation had become so bad that indigenous people’s voice is never heard of; “We are now left with no land to farm and grow crops, or forest to go to for collecting fuel, wood, and fruit. Life has become very hard as we have [the] army at very close proximity and I feel very insecure even walking short distances.” Therefore, immediate stopping of new Bengali Muslim settlement as well as rehabilitation of all Bengali Muslim settlements outside CHT is a must. The Bengali Muslim settlers should be sent to their original homeland in the plains. 6. Non-recognition of the Entity of the Indigenous Jumma People in the Constitution. The indigenous peoples in Bangladesh are not even acknowledged in the Bangladesh constitution. All ruling government parties of Bangladesh have lacked sympathy towards the social and economic systems of the indigenous peoples, and this has been exacerbated by the disruptive policies of internal colonization. The state itself is liable for the destruction of indigenous communities within the country. The Bangladesh Government has yet no policy for the development of indigenous peoples. Neither does it recognize “Indigenous Peoples” as indigenous peoples. The main demand of indigenous peoples in the country is for constitutional recognition and the right to self-determination. Chittagong Hill Tracts is a region of the Chittagong Division in Bangladesh. We would also like you all to know that it is a common practice of the armed forces to criminalize of Indigenous peoples for protesting against governments and corporations in defense of their traditional lands aims to protect them from persecution, murder and imprisonment on falsified charges. It’s been observed and concluded that the issue of criminalization of Indigenous Peoples is an ongoing crisis. In 2018, human rights watchdog Global Witness reported that almost 1,000 environmental defenders have been killed since 2010 and that in 2017 at least 207 land and environmental activists – almost half of them Indigenous – were targeted and murdered for defending their forests, rivers, wildlife and homes against destructive industries. From November 18, 2017 to August 15, 2018, 78 people have been kidnapped and never been found. As such, the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh have been affected by what has been described as “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” for many years. Gross Human rights violations, racial attacks, land grabbing, demographic invasion by Bengali settlers are common practices in CHT. Bangladesh military with the settlers are responsible for all sorts of violence and unrest in Chittagong Hill Tracts. Hence, it is high time for Bangladesh to be held accountable for the brutal deeds being done by central forces, whose only focus is the power concentration of the dominant ethnic and religious group. Their apparent impunity is nothing then a government planned ethnic cleansing program. And the truth is our indigenous women are the targets of that procedure. On behalf of the indigenous Jumma people, my urge to the highly empowered leaders and Korean civil society is to assess the current situation of CHT in order to stop all these cruel human rights violations and mass killing, rape, kidnapping at a large scale. It is high time, the Bangladesh government must implement the promises it made in the 1997 peace accord, fully recognizing and protecting the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts to their traditional lands. It must respect its obligations under international human rights law and conduct thorough investigations into allegations of human rights violations, including the abduction of Kalpana Chakma. We are seeking help for international condemnation and awareness until spur actions are undertaken to protect our women. We believe by using universal languages of peace and solidarity our Jumma people will be able to grow freely in their own instinct someday. 2020.5. Supan Chakma. *Human Asia joined the Refugee Network since 2010 and has been conducting refugee human rights advocacy activities. Since 2011, Human Asia has been working with Gimpo Jumma People's Network in Korea (JPNK). in addition, since 2016, we have been conducting development cooperation project for Jumma refugees in India (Chakma).
‘Activism Through Art: Unite Against Corona’ Online EventIntroduction & Objectives Millions of people around the world currently are living through incredibly tough times because of the rapid global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus has had a profound impact not only upon our health, but also on our home and work lives, our economy, our medical services, and the very way that we interact with each other. Although the virus itself doesn’t discriminate, communities such as those working in health professions, the elderly, those living in poverty and homelessness, migrants and refugees, and women are particularly vulnerable to the virus and its larger social effects. In such difficult times, we need to remember more than ever before our common humanity and human rights. Human Asia is therefore opening our Activism Through Art event to bring people together and promote a sense of comradery. The event is open for anyone and everyone of any age* to present their thoughts, ideas and emotions on the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, preventative measures on stopping the spread, and on supporting those most vulnerable to the virus and social intolerance. We accept any kind of artistic submission from drawings and paintings, digital art, photographs, sewing, or any other craft. Benefits All participants will receive a prize from Human Asia for taking part and will have their artwork posted on our SNS and website. The best submission will receive a special prize from Human Asia, to be announced at a later date. How to Participate: 1. Create your artwork 2. Submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org in high resolution PNG or JPG format (or a picture of yourself holding your artwork if possible!) along with an address for your gift** 3. Share and like your artwork when it’s posted on our social media! *Participants under the age of 15 should get parental or guardian consent before submitting their pictures. Please email email@example.com for further details and questions.