Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Republic of Korea
19. Slovenia noted the recommendation by the Human Rights Committee that the Republic of Korea recognize the right of conscientious objectors to be exempted from military services. The Committee found a violation of article 18, paragraph 1, of ICCPR in two individual communications. Slovenia recommended that the Republic of Korea follow up on the Committee’s recommendation to provide the authors of these communications with an effective remedy. It also recommended recognizing the right of conscientious objection by law, to decriminalize refusal of active military service and to remove any current prohibition from employment in government or public organizations. (...)
37. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland welcomed the stance of the President of the Republic of Korea on human rights in inter-Korean relations and urged the Republic of Korea to play a still stronger role in the international protection of human rights.(...) It also enquired about any possible steps taken to reform the National Security Act. It recommended that this Act be brought in line with international standards regarding clarity of criminal law, and that active steps be taken to introduce alternatives to military services for conscientious objectors. It asked whether the Government is considering reviewing its position with regard to its reservation to article 22 of ICCPR and recommended the withdrawal of this reservation within a specific time frame. (...)
59. The Republic of Korea announced a new programme to give conscientious objectors the opportunity to participate in alternative in civilian service, in September 2007. For the implementation of the new system, the Government has to revise the Military Service Act, and considers submitting a revised Act to the National Assembly this year.