International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Republic of Korea (CCPR 03-12-2015)

The Committee considered the fourth periodic report submitted by the Republic of Korea (CCPR/C/KOR/4) at its 3210th and 3211th meetings (see CCPR/C/SR.3210 and 3211), held on 22 and 23 October 2015. At its 3226th meeting, held on 3 November 2015, it adopted the following concluding observations.

Concluding observations

C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity

  1. 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).

  1. 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.
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