Archive for the ‘Event Review’ Category

Review by Tom Rainey-Smith (the opinions expressed herein reflect those of the author only).

A small group of Amnesty G48 members were fortunate enough to attend this very educational and important event held on Monday, June 28. It marked the first time that there has been such a conference in South Korea focused specifically on trafficking and was hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK). All the more important given the current climate in Korea in which many civil society organizations including the Commission are functioning under the constraints of reduced government funding and a worsening climate for human rights and basic freedoms, and especially in light of the issue of Filipino women being trafficked into Korea on E6 “entertainment” visas and forced into sexual servitude. Read Amnesty International’s report here.

Of the many speakers presenting, which included government officials, national assembly representatives, public interest lawyers, women’s human rights scholars and activists, international human rights commissioners, and others, perhaps the most important speaker was Ms. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Trafficking in Persons. There were also representatives of the Korean Women’s Association United and My Sister’s Place, two organizations that have done much in the fight against trafficking in Korea. A noticeable absence was the Dashi Hamkke Center, the organization set up by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2003 specifically to work on the issue of sex trafficking in Korea.

(more…)

Reviewed by Amnesty G48 member Claire O’Connell

Don’t Kill in Our Names – murder victims’ families speak out against the death penalty

Monday, 21 June 2010, Performance Hall of History and Culture Center of Korean Buddhism, Jogye Temple
Event co-hosted by Amnesty International Korea

Arguments in support of the death penalty frequently hold that the family of the victim will experience a sense of closure and justice if the perpetrator of the crime is put to death themselves. But what if these same families do not agree that personal peace cannot be obtained through yet another murder?

Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights (MVFHR) is an international, non-governmental organization of family members of murder victims and family members of the executed, all of whom oppose the death penalty.

They are currently on a tour of Taiwan, Korea and Japan and on Monday 21st June, a packed audience at the Performance Hall of Jogye Temple, Seoul heard the heartbreaking personal stories of two American fathers and a Korean mother who have all lost children. There was also a musical performance by Soon-kwan Hong and a presentation of photos taken on death row in the US and Taiwan by Toshi Kazama.

(more…)