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Korean Elected to UN Human Rights Committee for First Time
1. Mr. Soh Changrok, Professor at Korea University Graduate School of International Studies, was elected to serve a four-year term on the United Nations Human Rights Committee from 2021 through 2024 at the election held at the UN headquarters, New York, on September 17, local time.
° The election was highly competitive, with 14 candidates running for 9 vacant seats. Professor Soh won with support of 117 out of the 173 States Parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
2. It marks the first time that a Korean has been elected to the Human Rights Committee, a main organization within the UN human rights mechanism, since the accession of the Republic of Korea to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1990.
° The Committee is a major human rights treaty body that monitors each country’s implementation of the rights stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including the right to life, the right to liberty, freedom of conscience and religion, the prohibition of torture and other inhuman treatment, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and association.
3. Professor Soh is a human rights expert who has served as President of Human Asia, a non-governmental organization (NGO) on human rights in Asia, member of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and head of the Advisory Committee’s working group. The election of Professor Soh is seen to reflect the international community’s recognition of his active efforts to promote and protect human rights across the world.
4. The ROK government actively supports Korean experts to build presence in international human rights mechanisms as part of its contribution to global efforts to protect and promote human rights. During Professor Soh’s service on the Human Rights Committee, the ROK is expected to contribute further to the global efforts to protect and promote human rights.