Annual Report: South Korea 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: South Korea 2013

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  • On 20 September, the National Assembly's environment and labour committee conducted a hearing on the long-running Ssangyong Motors' labour dispute in which around 2,600 workers had lost their jobs. In November, three members of the Ssangyong workers' union began a protest from 9m up an electricity pylon near the Ssangyong Motors' plant in Pyongtaek.
  • In July, some 200 employees of the private security company Contactus reportedly threw sharp iron projectiles at and clubbed approximately 150 workers, injuring 34 people. Police did not intervene to protect them. The workers had been holding a sit-in protest at a factory owned by auto parts manufacturer SJM at the Banwol Industrial Complex in Ansan.

Migrants' rights

Undocumented migrant workers continued to be arrested and deported, following crackdowns against them.

  • In November, Suweto, an Indonesian national and undocumented migrant worker, died in hospital from injuries following a fall as he attempted to escape a night-time raid conducted by immigration officials.

In August, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concern that in South Korea “migrant workers are subject to discrimination, exploitation and lower or unpaid wages.”

Death penalty

People continued to be sentenced to death; there were no executions. As of December, at least 60 people were under sentence of death. Three bills calling for abolition of the death penalty lapsed following the end of the National Assembly's term. South Korea's last executions took place in December 1997.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • An Amnesty International delegate visited South Korea in April, June and November.