The Status of Human Rights Violations by the Police

Indicator Description

  • A. Definition

    The number of counseling cases and complaints of human rights violations by the police.

  • B. How to measure

    The number of counseling cases: The number of counseling cases requested through various methods, such as telephone calls, visits, and the Internet.

  • C. Features and Sources

    Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Frequency
    Right to Freedom Right to Physical and Moral Integrity Torture and Inhumane Treatment Objective/Result Human Rights Commission of Korea Human Rights Statistics 2012 1 year
  • D. Interpretation

    Article 5 of the Universal Declaration provides that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Also, the article 7 of the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights clarifies that ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’ Furthermore, the article 12 (2) of the Constitution of South Korea states that ‘No citizens shall be tortured’. The fact that the right to life and physical rights are being violated by the police, who are meant to protect the lives and property of the individual people while maintaining public well-being and order, is of vast importance. In Korea, for instance, since many people suffered from the abuse of power by law enforcement agencies during the country’s military dictatorship, violence by police is a big social issue. According to the human rights statistics of the NHRCK, human rights violation counseling by the police has recorded more than 2,000 cases each year since 2010, with the exception of 2011. However, this phenomenon should be interpreted as the duel result of the lack of awareness about the human rights of the police and the improvement of the citizens’ rights awareness rather than a simple increase in the number of human rights abuses. For the NHRCK, it is necessary to understand the truth and cooperate with investigations and related organizations.

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