South Korea: Seoul scraps human rights charter after anti-gay protests

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has scrapped plans to enact a human rights charter, after fierce protests from homophobic groups.

The city had been due to enact the charter next month, on December 10 – Human Rights Day.

However, it picked up flack from church groups and conservatives because it included the right “not to be discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity”.

After shambolic citizens’ meetings on the charter, in which rights groups and anti-gay protesters clashed, it has now been postponed indefinitely.

A statement from the Seoul Metropolitan Government today said: “The charter of human rights for Seoul citizens is supposed to be a pact created and enacted by the citizens themselves.

“Unfortunately, working on this charter has been creating more social conflicts. We would like to take more time to listen to a variety of opinions from our citizens on this matter.”

Jeon Hyo-gwan of the Seoul Innovation Bureau told Korea Joongang Daily: “We have demanded the committee determine all 50 clauses by consensus because clauses that were decided by a vote can evoke social conflicts.

“As we reject the committee’s decision, we won’t be able to announce the charter by World Human Rights Day on Dec 10 as we planned.”