Wednesday, August 03, 2011


The Government of South Korea has prosecuted over 500 public servants and teachers, members of the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) and the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU) for alleged violation of punitive laws which make it unlawful for public workers to either support or criticise political parties. Thousands more teachers and public servants are facing indictments and prosecution. The KGEU and the KTU are affiliated to the global union federations Public International and Education International respectively. These laws and the Korean Government's actions contravene the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international labour standards. This is a continuation of a long record of harassment and denial of basic trade union rights by the South Korean government against the KGEU and KTU. The South Korean Government must acknowledge that such actions do not comply with its obligations as a member of the International Labour Organisation, the OECD and the G20. The South Korean Government must amend its legislation to guarantee the civil and political rights of all public employees, including teachers, in conformity with international legislation and guarantee that all Korean public employees are allowed to exercise their workers' and union rights, as well as fundamental rights as citizens.

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