Concluding Observations, CCPR/C/KOR/CO/4, 3 November 2015: Republic of Korea
C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations
12. While noting the existence of a number of individual laws prohibiting specific forms of discrimination, the Committee is concerned that comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation is lacking. It is particularly concerned about the current lack of legislation defining and prohibiting racial discrimination and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity (arts. 2 and 26).
13. The State party should adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, explicitly addressing all spheres of life and defining and prohibiting discrimination on any ground, including race, sexual orientation and gender identity. The legislation should impose appropriate penalties for direct and indirect discrimination committed by both public and private entities, and should provide for effective remedies.
Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
14. The Committee is concerned about:
(a) The widespread discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, including violence and hate speech;
(b) The punishment of consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men in the military, pursuant to article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act;
(c) The authorization of the use of the buildings of the National Assembly and of buildings of the National Human Rights Commission to host so-called “conversion therapies” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons;
(d) The lack of any mention of homosexuality or sexual minorities in the new sex education guidelines;
(e) The restrictive requirements for legal recognition of gender reassignment (arts. 2, 17 and 26).
15. The State party should clearly and officially state that it does not tolerate any form of social stigmatization of, or discrimination against, persons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, including the propagation of so-called “conversion therapies”, hate speech and violence. It should strengthen the legal framework to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals accordingly, repeal article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act, avoid the use of State-owned buildings by private organizations for so-called “conversion therapies”, develop sex education programmes that provide students with comprehensive, accurate and age-appropriate information regarding sexuality and diverse gender identities, and facilitate access to the legal recognition of gender reassignment. It should also develop and carry out public campaigns and provide training for public officials to promote awareness and respect for diversity in respect of sexual orientation and gender identity.
D. Dissemination of information relating to the Covenant
59. In accordance with rule 71, paragraph 5, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party should provide, within one year, relevant information on its implementation of the Committee’s recommendations made in paragraphs 15 (discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity), 45 (conscientious objection) and 53 (peaceful assembly) above.
Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CCPR-RofKorea-2015-eng