Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the Republic of Korea

* Adopted by the Committee at its 115th session (19 October–6 November 2015)

C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations

Views under the Optional Protocol

6. The Committee remains concerned about the absence of a specific mechanism to implement the Committee’s Views under the Optional Protocol In particular, the Committee notes with concern that the State party has, except in one case, failed to implement the Committee’s Views, notably the numerous cases concerning conscientious objection (art. 2).

7. The State party should establish mechanisms and appropriate procedures to give full effect to the Committee’s Views so as to guarantee effective remedies in all cases of violations against the Covenant It should also fully implement the Views the Committee has issued so far.

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Conscientious Objection to military service

44. The Committee is concerned that in the absence of a civilian alternative to military service, conscientious objectors to military service continue to be subjected to criminal punishment. It also notes with concern that personal information of conscientious objectors may be disclosed online (art.18).

45. The State party should:

(a) Immediately release all conscientious objectors condemned to a prison sentence for exercising their right to be exempted from military service;

(b) Ensure that the criminal records of conscientious objectors are expunged, that they are provided with adequate compensation and that their information is not publicly disclosed; and

(c) Ensure the legal recognition of conscientious objection to military service, and provide conscientious objectors with the possibility to perform an alternative service of civilian nature.

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59. In accordance with rule 71, paragraph 5, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party should provide, within one year, relevant information on its implementation of the Committee’s recommendations made in paragraphs 15 (Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity), 45 (Conscientious objection) and 53 (Freedom of peaceful assembly),  above.