In 2020, Human Asia will begin human rights-based development cooperation projects in the Philippines. The first is the Philippines Mindoro Regional Mangyan Minority Community Independence Project. The Mangyan people are one of the indigenous people of Mindoro Island. Yet they are alienated from education and government assistance due to speaking a different language, and they are living without dreams in a vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy. Human Asia will systemically address ongoing issues and help the local communities solve basic clothes, food, and housing problems, and help them to shape their own lives. * What is the Mangyan Independence Project? By establishing connections between Mangyan families and sponsors, the Mangyan Independence Project helps to create a basis for self-independence and empowerment in local communities. Human Asia seeks to establish the basis for self-independence and empowerment within a given target period by helping Manyang families.
Human Asia welcomes our two new project interns who will be working with our Educational Development Team from January 2020. 윤선우 Hi. I’m Seonwoo Yoon, a project intern at Human Asia in 2020. I have a strong interest in activities regarding feminism and civic education. My current concern is how to solve the problem of hatred sentiment, anti-multiculturalism, and anti-intellectualism in the field of education. With several experiences in women and international human rights issues, I got insights into the effectiveness of awareness-raising programs with cooperating youths and other institutions in Asian countries, which made me have an interest in Human Asia. Living Sustainable, Specific, and Delicious Life is the ultimate goal that I pursue. I would like to make continuous changes with prolonged actions regarding women’s rights and focus not merely on repetitive ‘declaration’ but specific ‘implementation.’ Participating in the process, I would try to have energizing conversations and network with people around me not to become exhausted as well. By assisting in education and research programs and implementing East Asia Young Activists Networking (EAYAN) Program at Human Asia, I firmly believe that I can get the opportunity to have helpful experiences. It would also be inspiring to network with other interns and participants who have similar desires. April Park Hello, I’m April Park and I will be working with Human Asia as a project intern for the 2020 EAYAN Programme. Coming from an expatriate family, I was given an opportunity to live and learn among different communities across the globe. From my years abroad, I truly felt that violations of basic human rights and moral indignity are not problems of an individual or a particular region, but universal problems that need to be understood from a comprehensive perspective. Despite the ongoing resistance, the scope of the problems still outweighs the attempts to eradicate such issues. During my college years, I have indulged myself to the study of human rights in the field of academia. Now as an intern at Human Asia, I hope to contribute to their works to encourage stronger international collaborations among human rights advocates and to bring together creative initiatives for future implementation.
As of February 2019, only 3 countries have over 50% women in parliament. To learn more about political gender equality and gender representation in political-economic realms, sign up for the 2020 EAYAN Program (link in bio).
The 2019 Chakma (SNEHA School) Support Projects in India is separated into two parts: 1) SNEHA School facility expansion project supported by our sponsors, 2) educational support projects sponsored by the 2018-19 Samsung Dream Scholarship Foundation. Thanks to the love and generosity shown by our supporters on our ‘2019 Fundraising Night,” Human Asia will continue to support SNEHA School in 2020. Please stay tuned for next year's activity updates in 2020. Why Our SNEHA School Project in India Matters The Chakma Education Support Project aims to provide quality education to Chakma children in Arunachal Pradesh, India. The Chakma diaspora are legal immigrants in India and have been present in Arunachal Pradesh since the 1960s, after religious persecution forced them to flee from the Chittagong Hill area. Yet, Chakma children still face discrimination and continuously have been deprived of their right to education. The Chakma people further struggle to access jobs of their choice even in migrant areas, due to suppression from local governments and residents. By supporting SNEHA Schools in Diyun and Vidya Vihar, India, Human Asia hopes that all children in Asia will have access to quality schools and be educated without discrimination, so that they may achieve their dreams. In November 2019, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (also known as the ‘Anti-Muslim Act’ was passed by the Parliament of India. This ‘humanitarian’ law provides a path to Indian citizenship for migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities; from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Although Prime Minister Modi stated that the act would lead to ‘no discrimination’ Muslim refugees were not given any type of eligibility to apply for citizenship, inciting massive protests. The Muslim population in India accounts for its second largest religious population; with about 14% of it’s 1.35 billion strong population. However, after Prime Minister Modi was elected from support by the overwhelming majority of Hindus (80%), he received outside criticism for his upfront policies centred on Hindu nationalism. In August, Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which had given special status to Jammu and Kashmir (regions in which many Muslims reside), was also abolished. In response to the ensuing backlash, the Indian government called for tighter controls by imposing an outright ban on protests and cutting off the communications network in the northeast and parts of New Delhi, where many Muslims reside. However, the protests are still ongoing, causing a total of 24 casualties so far. The Chakma have already gained the legal status in India and are not techniically subject to direct discrimination under the law. However, the problem is that the amendment to this law will weaken the Indian secularism of ‘treating all religions in a fair manner’ and incite the potential for open discrimination across the entire society. Human Asia will continue to monitor human rights abuses and discrimination in India with the help of our sponsors in 2020, and help Chakma children to be educated, dream, and grow without discrimination. 2019 SNEHA School Support Project: School Facility Expansion Project India's SNEHA School has been experiencing a transformation: from a temporary facility to a proper school. In 2019, a new office was built to provide high-quality classes by allowing sufficient rest and preparation for teachers. A separate toilet was also constructed for men and women. 2019 India SNEHA School Support Project: 2018-19 Education Support Project Continuing from 2018, the educational support project helped SNEHA School to become a child-rights-friendly school: by providing educational opportunities to children and strengthening teachers' human rights-friendly educational capabilities. In addition to providing necessary education for children, we aimed to provide high-quality education through teacher competency training. This is a crucial task for long-term development, and in establishing the human rights-friendly education base that is unique to Human Asia. -After-school English and human rights classes (for students aged between 12-14, snacks provided) -Teachers’ competency reinforcement training (regular workshop & special workshop) -Creating a human rights-friendly environment (4 principles: 1. Non-discrimination and inclusion; 2. Participation; 3. Responsibility; 4. Empowerment through learning and teaching) *Please refer to the Human Asia's homepage and YouTube for a detailed information of India Chakma Education Support Project Chakma Education support project: http://humanasia.org/?page_id=15391#1552363045773-4dd04f6e-e8d4 Human Asia introduction video: https://youtu.be/x9W96zKU93U
Human Asia belongs to the Refugee Human Rights Network and supports its significance and work. Below is our top 10 refugee news of 2019, selected through in-depth discussions by organisations within the Human Rights Network (including Human Asia). Original link: https://www.facebook.com/KoreaRefugeeRightsNetwork/photos/a.2149881168585551/2433348266905505/?type=3&theater ▷ Young people fight for their refugee friends Although the friends of Kim Min-hyuk - an Iranian student who obtained refugee status last year - recently started attending different schools, they have gathered once again to fight for Min-hyuk’s father and his struggle in gaining refugee status. Hatred towards refugees has remained common in Korea, making this fight by young students for their friend’s parent especially noteworthy. Kim’s father’s refugee status has been denied, despite having a sufficient fear of persecution.. Kim’s father has been waiting for an appeal after filing an official complaint. ▷ The Lulendo family: 287 days at the border (As of 2019.07.03): The Lulendo family, who have been eating and sleeping at Incheon International Airport for 287 days, has finally entered South Korea after the Seoul High Court decided to give the family a chance to receive a hearing for refugee status. The Lulendo family had previously been denied even an attempt at receiving a hearing for refugee status, and further could not return to their home country for fear of persecution. The family endured daily frustrations living in the transfer area, with the children’s well-being further being severely compromised. ▷ The United Nations: ‘Refugee and migrant children should enjoy the same rights as Korean children’ The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child strongly recommended within the South Korea CRC report that South Korea guarantee equal rights to refugee and migrant children. The last meeting took place in 2011. The report particularly focused on the importance of: equal access to birth registration, childcare, education, health care, welfare, leisure, and state support. The report additionally mentioned that the young children of the Lulendo family, who have been living at the airport for over 200 days, was a prominent issue of concern. ▷ The right to health is a right for everyone On October 24, an asylum seeker was billed 200 million from the hospital for her premature newborn. Asylum seekers constantly face a huge financial burden which stems from the lack of health insurance benefits asylum seekers are entitled to. Even though humanitarian status holders are now able to register for local healthcare plans starting this year, the large insurance premiums have been economically straining the families who often live on minimum wage. ▷ Should humanitarian status holders be restricted from construction work? In July, asylum seekers and humanitarian status holders were banned from working at construction sites by the Ministry of Justice. Construction work has been a stable source of employment income for refugees who frequently face communication difficulties at work. This employment ban was therefore highly detrimental to people’s livelihood. Although the Ministry of Justice ultimately changed the policy and lifted the ban, it was still evident that the Korean government often acted indifferent to refugees’ survival and well-being. ▷ Temporary or permanent residents? Restricting naturalisation of humanitarian status holders According to the Korea Refugee Rights Network, humanitarian status holders could not be naturalized as Korean citizens due to the 2017 Revision of the Nationality Act. Some humanitarian status holders have resided in Korea for up to 19 years. Humanitarian status holders often face dire living situations in their home countries and need long-term residency in Korea; yet, they are denied the chance to settle. ▷ Refugees without voices – the case of fabricated interviews Many asylum seekers gathered for the Korea Refugee Rights Network’s event, ‘Speak Out Against Fabricated Refugee Interviews by the Ministry of Justice!’ to speak of their experiences with manipulated interviews. They claimed that their refugee status has been denied based on interviews that contained fabricated messages. According to the Ministry of Justice's internal guidelines released this year, the Ministry of Justice sped up the interview processes by overlooking important processes such as fact-checking. Among all the cases with shortened interviews, 55 cases were repealed for fabrication. ▷ Hatred vs. Fear - postponing the opening of the Catholic Refugee Center On September 9, the Diocese of Uijeongbu’s Catholic Refugee Center was met with a protest from local residents before its opening ceremony, resulting in subsequently delaying the opening. Several residents actively expressed concerns about public security, noise pollution, and local development. Those who have been working with the center were discouraged by the local residents’ complaints about refugees’ adverse effects on local security and hygiene. ▷ The court recognizes an Egyptian Muslim brotherhood as a refugee There are very few cases in which the court’s decision to refuse refugee status has been overturned. On October 29, the Seoul Administrative Court sided with an Egyptian asylum seeker in their lawsuit by acknowledging that the plaintiff was at risk of being persecuted for their past political activities and political views. Following the decision, there has been a media backlash. Without considering the facts and other specifics, fake articles misrepresented the case and broadcasted that a “terrorist organization” received refugee status. ▷ Strike when the iron is hot? The legislative and administrative attempts to change refugee law According to the contents released by the Korean Bar Association’s 2019 Symposium on the Refugee Law Revision, 14 amendments were proposed to the Refugee Act as of August 2019. All the proposals lacked comprehensive protection for refugees’ rights. The Ministry of Justice also tried to propose an amendment that can quickly exclude “fake refugees” from the system. Both the legislative branch and the executive branch were criticized for not encouraging in-depth public discussions on the refugee system and for exacerbating unjust hateful sentiments towards the community. ▣ The Korea Refugee Rights Network (23 members and 4 special members as of 2019. 12. 13.) Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL), Companion LFPI, The Jung, GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation, DREAM To Do Justice (DREAM), The Refuge pNan, Global Hope, Refugees Rights Center, Dongducheon Refugee Center, Duroo, Suncheon Migrants Support Center, Asia’s friend, MAP Migration to Asia Peace, Ecofemme, Gamdong Migrants Support Center, Uijeongbu EXODUS, Migrants Center Friend is, Catholic Diocese of Jeju Naomi, Dongcheon Foundation, Jeju Peace Human Rights Institute “What”, Paju EXODUS, Korea Migrants Human Rights Center, Human Asia.
On December 20, So-Hyun Lim, researcher at the Korea Education Development Institute (KEDI), conducted a year-end mentoring lecture for our Community Leader scholarship students at the One Stop Prep in Apgujeong-dong. The scholarship students in attendance learned about the main content and methodology of research design for writing their thesis. So-Hyun Lim kindly gave consultations to the respective participants regarding their thesis statement. After the lecture, all participants had a pleasant year-end gathering at the Kongdu restaurant located at Deoksugung-g. They had time to chat about their daily lives and struggles in studying, and gave each other advice and comfort.
On Tuesday 17 December, Human Asia’s Sponsorship Night was held at Mariaju Square in Seoul. This event allowed us to rewind and reflect on our activities in 2019, and raise funds to support India SNEHA School facilities and class improvement. Over 100 guests participated. The night included magic and entertainment, a raffle, and a sales booth all for to generate funds for the school, and was held under the theme ‘Let’s Light Up the World!’ Human Asia also announced the ‘Vision 2030’ to grow further in the future onwards. Thanks to our guests, we were able to raise over 17 million won. We would like to once again thank everyone who came out to support us, and for your support and belief in human rights. Human Asia will keep striving to create a holistic and inclusive Asia where anyone and everyone can live without discrimination.
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Sexual harassment is an issue across the globe and the region, from K-pop scandals to abuse in the workplace. To learn more about this issue sign up for the 2020 EAYAN program workshop (link in bio). #womensrights #humanasia #인권 #휴먼아시아
Apply now for the 2020 EAYAN program at eayan.org ! #womensrights #humanrights #humanasia #인권 #휴먼아시아
On a worldwide scale, women reportedly make only 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. For further discussion on the #wagegap and #worklifebalance for women, apply for the 2020 EAYAN workshop (link in bio). #womensrights #humanasia #humanrights #휴먼아시아 #인권
On November 29, Human Asia hosted a special lecture together with UAEM Korea at Seongnam High School, under the theme ‘Understanding And Accessing Essential Medicines’. Student members of UAEM Korea introduced the concept of access to medicines, including the price of Korean medicines and the national health insurance in Korea. They further explained the concept of essential medicines and the development of orphan drugs, both domestically and internationally. After the explanation, UAEM Korea introduced their organisational activities and research. UAEM Korea then divided the students into three groups and asked them to discuss: ‘If you received funding for drug development, would you use it to develop orphan drugs? Or would you use it to develop a drug that can benefit a larger number of people?” After the discussion, each representative of these groups came forward and shared their teams’ opinions to everyone. Thank you to everyone at Seongnam High School who supported UAEM Korea’s lecture with Human Asia!
On Friday 22 November, Seung-yeon Na, President of Oratio, gave a lecture on ‘Communicate with Confidence to the World in English’ to the Community Leadership scholarship students in Korea-Japan Hall. As a first class news anchor, a reporter at Arirang TV, a spokesperson for Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Bidding Committee, and having spent her childhood years in Canada, United Kingdom, and Denmark, Seung-yeon Na introduced her know-how on effective English communication. After the lecture, the students had the chance to ask questions in a Q&A session. Following the lecture, the students, Seung-yeon Na and Human Asia enjoyed dinner together and chatted more on the content of the lecture.
1 in 4 women (and 1 in 7 men) will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. For further discussion on this topic apply for the 2020 EAYAN program workshop (link in bio). #womensrights
On November 10, 2019, Human Asia Children’s School visited the Incheon Lotus Lantern International Meditation Centre to deliver self-made educational children human rights kits. This day held the first Kathina Chavara event for the Jumma people residing in Korea. Human Asia was also invited, and was able to spend time participating in the valuable event. The educational children human rights kits made by the Human Asia Children’s School include self-made guide/workbooks, teaching material, and teaching tools for students to share creative activities and human rights promotion experiences with their fellow students, families, and friends. “Article 2, everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, or other status.” Students willing to take part in the 2019 Universal Declaration of Human Rights reading video by the National Human Rights Commission also participated in the video shoot.
On 29 and 30 October at Diamond Hall, Human Asia co-hosted ‘The 12th Asia Human Rights Forum: Human Rights, Business, and Technology: An Evolving Agenda’ with Korea University Human Rights Center, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Essex University’s Economic and Social Research Committee (ESRC), Big Data and Technology Project, and the Social Science Korea (SSK) Human Rights Forum. Human Asia has been hosting “The Asia Human Rights Forum” every year since 2006 to work towards establishing regional human rights protection system networks and protecting human rights in Asia. This year was the twelfth forum. 130 number of guests, including international organisations, regional organisations, the National Human Rights Commission, civil society organisations, domestic and foreign companies, human rights & business scholars, experts, and students, participated in the forum. This year’s forum was based on the “New and emerging digital technologies and human rights” resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council with the lead of Korean government in July 2019. The forum examined the impact of new technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data on human rights and analysed relevant opportunities and tasks. The purpose of this forum was to explore successful cases of human rights management and policy experiences achieved by domestic and foreign public enterprises and multinational corporations, and examine practical implementation policy of human rights management for business management. On the first day, the forum was opened by a speech from Changrok Soh, President of Human Asia. It was followed by Welcoming Remarks from Lene Wendland, Chief of Business and Human Rights in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Lorna McGregor, Professor of International Human Rights Law at Essex University, and Sung-hoon Lee, Vice President of the Korea Association of Human Rights Studies. Congratulatory messages from Sang-chul Lee, Permanent Commissioner of National Human Rights Commission of Korea, and Hee-seok Hwang, Director General of the Human Rights Bureau, Ministry of Justice were also given. The luncheon was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with a speech from Ki-hwan Kwon, Director General of the International Organizations Bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Wendland emphasized in her welcoming remarks that we should ensure that respect for human rights be the backbone of developing, using, and managing new technologies. She emphasised that achieving these goals need extra measures in addition to minimizing risks, providing education programs, and temporarily evaluating the impact of such technologies. The event consisted of presentation sessions, panel discussions, and open dialogues. ‘Chatham house rules, in which participants agree not to reveal neither the identity nor the affiliation of any speaker(s) outside of the event, were applied to allow various stakeholders to share their opinions and thoughts freely during the discussions. On the second day, a designated panel discussion and open discussion, led by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), was conducted over the course of three sessions. The first session examined the role of governments and businesses in accountability and remedies. The second session focused on ways to increase the effectiveness of non-state-based and independent grievance mechanisms for business-related human rights abuses. Lastly, the final session covered access to remedies through non-government and independent grievance systems in technology. President Changrok Soh (President of Human Asia, Member of the Advisory Committee of UN Human Rights Council, Professor at Korea University Graduate School of International Studies) pointed out the significance of the forum: “I think it is very meaningful to hold a forum with professional and in-depth discussions on human rights, business and technology in Korea, which is taking a leading role in new technologies and human rights. I hope that this forum will allow us to realize human dignity in the age of new technology and lay the foundation for the peaceful coexistence of technologies, human beings and businesses.” We thank you those who spared their precious time and participated in the 12th Asia Human Rights Forum. Human Asia will continue to work towards creating a holistic and inclusive human rights protection system in Asia through our Asia Human Rights Forum.