Petition Tag - korea

1. Seoul Declaration to Advance Gendered Research, Innovation and Socio-economic Development in the Asia Pacific

The historical inequalities between women and men in research participation and in science knowledge create barriers to achieving the full socio-economic benefits of science-led innovation. With women in a minority and science with more evidence for men than for women, outcomes and opportunities are biased to advantage the needs of men and overlook the needs of women.

But now, extensive evidence shows that gender bias in science knowledge making can negatively impact on the quality of scientific research for both women and men. Whilst we continue building systematic understanding of the underlying causes, we have enough solid knowledge to generate the benefits of gender sensitive and responsive research.

The scientists, gender scholars and policy makers attending the Gender Summit 6 - Asia Pacific 2015 (GS6 – AP) discussed the full complexity and diversity of gender issues in research and innovation in the region. These discussions identified numerous scientific and socio-economic benefits of adopting gendered approaches to research and innovation.

Science and policy leaders in Europe have already taken such actions as a strategy for the EU Horizon 2020 programme, as well as at national level.

We call on science and policy leaders in Asia Pacific to promote gender aware and sensitive research and innovation to improve the quality of science and enhance socio-economic development in the region.

2. Bring Big Bang to Puerto Rico

The Korean band Big Bang is releasing their new album this year, and with it they are making a tour.

In the current city list, they vare going to visit the the United States, but it's just the continental part of it. Here in Puerto Rico you have fans and, for some, it is difficult to travel to the continental United States in order to go to the concert.

Because of these reasons and the fact that we are devoted fans we want Big Bang to come here and give a concert.

3. Marry Baekyeol

Baekhyun and Chanyeol are just too cute together not to be a real couple.

How great will it be if they get married?

4. Omnipresent God in You to guide you to revere all Unconditionally

Bring World Peace Now.

The Omnipresent God in all people is guiding all people in any given moment as to how to revere what or whom is before you in the moment. By looking beyond the outer façade or packaging of the relative world you can start to realize God is everywhere. When you realize God is everywhere you start to love all unconditionally. The highest form of love is not attachment but reverence to the indwelling God.

When you can feel love/ reverence towards all unconditionally you develop an understanding heart. You understand why people attach to the relative world and see the relative world as their source. Seeing the relative as their source is creating a false god. There is only one Absolute Source… God attach to that Source and release the relative.

Attachment to the relative is the cause of ALL STRIFE IN THE WORLD TODAY! The land is not ours, the resources are not ours, people, family, children are not ours, indeed our lives are not ours. They are all God’s in our trust. We are not our culture a macro mask aka persona, we are not our religion mask/ persona, we are not our language. We are to honor all as a part of God first and foremost and put all else as secondary. No matter what our role in life we are to honor the Omnipresent God in all.

THIS IS A CALL FOR ALL PEOPLE AND NOW MORE THAN EVER, ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL TO NOT BE PRESSURED INTO DISHONORING GOD IN ALL. IF AN ORDER DOES NOT REVERE GOD IN ALL IT IS NOT OF GOD. FOLLOW YOUR INDWELLING CONSCIENCE. TAKE YOUR ORDERS FROM GOD NOT EXTERNALS.

IN THE BEGINNING AND TODAY WAS THE WORD (RESONANCE). IF IT DOESN'T RESONATE AS REVERENT DON’T DO IT. YOU CAN BRING PEACE TO THE WORLD BY SURRENDERING TO GOD IN FAITH, IN ALL FAITHS. WE CAN COEXIST.

Jan Eric Prieditis

5. EXO Fandom Name and Color

As fans of EXO, We feel that after over a year, we deserve to be given an official fandom name and color to identify with. Having a fandom name and color is important to many fandoms in Kpop, as it makes fans feel more bonded and unified to share a single identity.

Also, having an official fandom color will better encourage fan support for their idols. Such as, having a specific colored light stick to represent our fandom at concerts and such.

6. Animal Cruelty Must Stop Now!

We demand HARSHER PENALTIES for ANIMAL CRUELTY worldwide!

When we protect our animals, we then are also protecting our society against violence. People who have been known to hurt animals move on to hurt human beings. Widening our circle of compassion to include the animals is not just for sentimental reasons. It makes perfect sense. Animals are connected to people. What happens to them happens to us.

7. Ban Incitement of Racism on MBC

MBC's The Shocking Reality About Relationships With Foreigners

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsNHYYrvMrk&feature=player_embedded

Just a few months after an apology to a racial parody, the above was broadcast by MBC Korea.

The distribution of racially motivated material is unacceptable and should be terminated immediately.

Thousands of comments have been posted on forums across the internet, expressing the displeasure of the documentary.

Why MBC? The documentary was filmed and produced by them. Without that, the production company could not have aired their racist remarks.

8. Support the Kim Family's Permanent Residency in Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has rejected the Kim family’s application for permanent residency, and stated that the family must leave Canada because Taehoon (the youngest son)'s autism represents a potential burden on social and health care. We believe this decision is groundless, since Taehoon’s condition does not require any medical care from the government.

If the family were sent back to South Korea, Taehoon may face intolerance and discrimination on account of his disability. He will have difficulty adjusting to the Korean society and school system, because he grew up in Canada since he was 3 years old. Prejudices against people with disabilities will likely mean greater limitations and fewer opportunities for Taehoon in South Korea.

The Kim family has been living in Hamilton, Canada, since 2003. Mr. Sungsoo Kim is an Database Administrator at Pattison Outdoors, Canada’s largest outdoor advertising company. Together with his wife, Sunmi Kim, he is an active member of his community, having been serving as a committee member, a youth leader, and a Sunday school principal at St. Peter Yu Roman Catholic Church in Hamilton.

Mr. and Mrs. Kim have a daughter named Bookyung (Lisa) - 3rd year nursing student at McMaster University, and a 15-year-old son named Taehoon who has been diagnosed with autism. He is currently attending Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School in Ancaster, and has made tremendous progress since coming to Canada, adjusting very well to his new home and enjoying his school life.

Hamilton Spectator: http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5453029-family-with-autistic-son-faces-possible-deportation-again/

Hamilton Spectator: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/687412--canada-doesn-t-want-this-autistic-boy

Canadian Korean Times: tba

9. Open Letter in support of Samsung workers and families

This letter is in support of the more than more than 140 electronics workers in Korea who have developed cancer and other serious occupational diseases (more than 1/3 of whom have already died).

We will be presenting it to the Korean Government in order to support the court decision which ruled in favor of compensation for Samsung workers (but the government has filed an appeal in support of Samsung).

This is an important precedent setting case and we need to demonstrate broad global support for this struggle.

10. Jack Johnson in Seoul, Korea

Jack Hody Johnson (born May 18, 1975) is an American folk rock singer-songwriter, surfer and musician known for his work in the soft rock and acoustic genres. In 2001, he achieved commercial success after the release of his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales.

He has since released four more albums, a number of EPs and surfing movies/soundtracks. He is also known for organizing an annual event, the Kōkua Festival. He currently has sold 15 million albums worldwide. His highest–selling album is Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George, with 4 million albums shipped worldwide, due to the success of the 2006 Curious George film.

Notable songs from Johnson's repertoire include "Upside Down"; "Flake"; "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing"; "If I Had Eyes"; "You and Your Heart" and the widely-popular fan favorite, "Better Together".

11. International Petition to support Samsung workers & families

Over the past two decades, Samsung has become one of the most dominant electronics companies in the world, and is now a global leader in semiconductors, flat panel displays, mobile phones, and television production.

Sadly, this rapid rise to global dominance has come with serious consequences for the workers who produce the products – recent reports indicate that about 100 workers – mostly young women - have been stricken with cancer – mostly blood cancers - and at least 30 of them have died – making this the one of the largest known electronics cancer clusters in the world. (See http://tinyurl.com/2bl5c8a for more information).

Samsung has denied all responsibility for these illnesses and the Korean government has declined to declare the cancers “work related” and refuses to disclose results of its investigation of Samsung. In response, a strong support movement led by the victims and their families has emerged in Korea and around the world and is seeking justice for those who have suffered from occupational illness.

We the undersigned express our support for the workers and their families and call on the Korean government and Samsung to commit to the following principles in addressing this situation:

12. Save The Moon Bears in Korea

Hi I'm Ruby,

I am 11 years old and I live in Australia.
I heard that in Korea people are hurting the Moon Bears. Tubes are put through their bodies and bile sucked out of the gall bladder, as if that wasn't bad enough they also rip out thier claws and pull out there teeth.

http://picasaweb.google.com.au/lh/photo/nEBiDh_npiunDDIULWkg4Q?feat=directlink

So please please stop hurting these poor innocent bears.

Have a heart.

Yours sincerely
Ruby Osborne (fighting for the freedom of Moon Bears)

13. Click and help us to stop torture of dogs by South Korea!

A heart wrenching video

Chinese furfarms

Laws are not strictly enforced in South Korea and some portions of South Korean population still consume dog meat. The primary dog breed raised for meat, the Nureongi (누렁이), or Hwangu (황구; 黃狗). In March 2009, an article in the Korea Times reported that some 9,000 tons are being served at about 6,500 establishments across the country annually.

14. Return KHSDC Back to What It Was

The Korean Intervarsity Debating Association has unilaterally changed the format for the Korea High School Debate Championship from World Schools to All-Asians and also changed the registration rules without further justification.

15. Comcast! We miss KBS World programs! Add MKtv!

As of November 1st, 2009 WMBC ended its broadcast of KBS World on digital channel 63.5. This service was free and only required a digital tuner connected to a television to be viewed within the metro NY/NJ area.

Two local cable companies-- Time Warner and Cablevision both offer a channel called MKtv which broadcasts many KBS World programs which are entertaining, educational, and family-friendly most of which offer english subtitles for non-Korean speakers.

A list of programs available on MK:
http://www.mediakoreatv.com/program/program_main.php?G_Language=Eng

The MK coverage area includes:
http://www.mediakoreatv.com/intro/mk_coverage_area.php?G_Language=Eng

Both of these providers are not offered in my town of residence. I am within the Comcast coverage area and I am sure that I am not the only one that want MKtv to be added to Comcast.

16. Save the Moon Bears

'Miracle', an escaped Asiatic bear is in danger of being returned to the brutal bile farm from which she came-for those who do not know what a bear bile farm is, it's a place where bears are slaughtered for their gallbladders and kept in tiny 'crush' cages, often milked of bile live and without pain killing medication.

Korea is one of 3 countries to allow this practice to continue. Show your support to ensure that Miracle is returned to the wild or a safe environment. Ultimately, we hope to end this barbaric and unregulated trade in Korea, fueled by ignorance.

Join us to show you care about animal welfare and help us send the message that animal cruelty is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

17. Give 8-year-old rape victim, Na-Young, the justice she deserves

One morning on her way to school, Na-Young was dragged to a public toilet by a 50 year old man. He was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, according to information from the police department. She was beaten and strangled, then violently raped and sexually tortured.

After that was done, in an attempt to destroy the evidence, he then inserted a pump (used for blocked toilets) into her anus in attempt to extract his semen which led to severe ruptures in her large intestines. Then, he tried to push the organs back inside her using the long stick of the pump. During this process, he completelydamaged her genital organs.

He then flushed her blood and other traces of her organs down the toilet, washed her and made her sit upright. After having another intercourse with her, he ran away leaving Na-Young to die.

This 57-year-old man was only sentenced to 12 years in jail.

With this online petition, we hope to get the Korean government to review this case and give a heavier sentence to the perpetrator.

If you feel outraged by this case, please sign this petition to help Na Young gets the justice she deserves.

Perhaps, with just this simple gesture, Na Young and her family might be able to lead their lives in a better way, knowing that there are people out there who care for them.

Links:

http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=314635&st=0&p=14642831&#entry14642831

http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=na+young&init=quick#/group.php?gid=141977509759

http://koreabeat.com/?p=10747

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2009/10/01/200910010061.asp

18. “채식의 날, 월요일” 제정을 위한 청원서 - Meat Free Monday in Korea

“채식의 날, 월요일” – 지구를 구하는 첫걸음

19. Unban Rockstar games in South Korea!

Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, two games which have been released in Europe, North America, and Japan. However, South Korea has banned the two games for "cruelty and violence".

"Cruelty and Violence"? Better yet in South Korea they eat dogs and cats. It's considered cruel in the US yet they eat dogs? Also, the games have NOTHING to do with North Korea. Unless there endorsed by Kim Jong II, then politically, there is no point in banning the games. And if South Korea is a democracy, then why are these games banned?

If you think playing Grand Theft Auto is cruel, then what about eating dogs and cats? Now thats 100x more cruel then playing GTA. If South Korea continues to keep the ban, then ban eating cats and dogs. And tell Rockstar not to sell GTA SA, GTA LCS, GTA VCS, and GTA IV (GTA games that are legally selled in the region) in South Korea. It's a disgrace to democracy.

20. Bring more Korean bands to Europe

Over the years, there have been a large amount of bands that have originated from Korea. All being very popular outwith their own country. Sadly though, it has been impossible for a large sum of their fans, never being able to witness them in a live atmosphere, unless they travel around the world just to be a part of it.

This is unfair and there should be some form of way that fans from around the world, may also enjoy the experience of seeing some of their favourite bands.

This petition is to say that we believe bands should be given more of a right in order to travel to countries outwith which they originated from.

21. Bring Pops in Seoul to Dubai

Pops in Seoul is a Korean music program shown on arirang TV. A while a go they went to visit Nagaland and had performances and activities there.

So it would be nice if they came to Dubai during the summer and have a booth or stage in Modhesh Fun City.

P.S.: Modhesh Fun City is just a suggestion..it can be any other suitable place.

22. Please Stop Bear Bile Industry

Based on reports from the WSPAUSA, I can see that the industry of Bear Bile is one of the most cruel industries I have learned of. There must be some other medicines that can cure what is supposed to be curing right one. Please use your political power to save these beautiful animals.

Alvaro Cereceda

23. Support HS Crew

In the early dawn, on December 7th, 2007, a fully laden VLCC, the Hebei Spirit was anchored in a designated (by the local Korean VTS authorities), when a run-away (due to a broken tow wire) Samsung crane barge – being towed by a Marine Spread (MS) of 2 tugs and an anchor-handling tug - smashed into the tanker, breaching 2 full cargo tanks and spilling around 10,500 tonnes of crude oil. The weather at the time was bad, with 3-4metre high waves and winds around Beaufort scale 6-7.

After the crew worked nearly 48 hours non-stop to minimize the spill, the Master (Capt. Jasprit Chawla) and Chief Officer (Syam Chetan) were interrogated for up to 12 hours a day, into the night and ultimately the Korean Prosecutor brought criminal charges against them for basically, not getting out of the way due to lack of proper watch-keeping and not doing enough to minimize the oil spill itself. Omitted were the charges that the C/O was first to notify the coastal authorities that a MS may be in trouble and coming too close to them; not only were the coastal authorities unaware of this situation, but they were unable to contact the MS via the emergency Channel 16 or any other normal maritime communications, except after some 20 minutes through the mobile telephone of one of the tug crew members.

And a trial followed.

On June 23rd, a Korean court found both officers innocent of all charges brought against them – but still the Prosecutor’s Office refused to let the 2 Indian officers leave the country.

Instead, the Prosecutor’s Office and Samsung filed an appeal. The Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal then rushed to finish their investigation (similar in content and points raised, as the Appeal submissions by the Prosecutor’s Office and Samsung), submitted to the Appeals Court as “evidence”, based on hindsight and assumptions, omitting circumstances such as gale force winds (Beaufort scale 6-7) and 3-4 metre waves. (see www.justiceforhebeispirit.blogspot.com for videos and details)

On December 10th, the Korean Appeals Court reversed the earlier verdict of innocent and sentenced the Master to 18 months jail and the Chief Officer to 8 months jail, plus some fines. Both officers were immediately handcuffed in the court and led, directly from the court, to jail.

To add insult to injury, 2 of the crew of the MS who had previously been sentenced at the first trial, had their sentences reduced?

We believe this is utterly disgraceful and a blemish on Korea’s maritime authorities and their maritime legal system. With the Samsung providing a quarter of the country’s GDP, it seems that political expediency rather than actual facts was involved in the KMST’s efforts in producing an investigation very strongly self-serving to Samsung and Korea.

This is legally, morally and ethically wrong and we call upon the industry as a whole to make their voices heard and join this petition to free the innocent Indian Master and Chief Officer and return to their families and normal life.

24. End Re-makes of Asian Films

American directors and producers (specifically Roy Lee - the powerhouse of Asian remakes of the film industry) constantly remake Asian films; horrors, comedies, dramas, etc, purely because they have no creativity of their own and want to waste a colossal amount of money.

Their supposed ultimate goal is to share these unique films with the West; that they enjoy the culture exchange, but really they don't care and actually believe they can make the original movies better (but we all know the remakes are horribly worse). If they really wanted to share these movies, wouldn't they just subtitle them instead of writing an entirely new script?

This is a petition for people who want to see the end to the butchery and disappointing remakes of Asian films.

The remakes are not only a disappointment to movie critics and movie fans alike, but they also cause the fans of the originals to become less of fans because the atrocious remakes leave a bad taste in the mouth, so to speak.

25. Free North Korea

Since the end of the World War II the Korean Peninsula has been divided into the South and the North.

North Korea has been isolated for decades from the rest of the world because of the choices of the country's leaders to impose the communist law and to establish an ideology of self-reliance, mainly as a result of their leader's mistrustment to the Soviet Union after the disaster of the Korean war.

The country has failed to adapt itself to the global economic and ideological changes, due to the fear of the North Korean governmental elite of ending up similarly to the communist dictator regimes in eastern europe in 1990. Due to this fact, the North Korean regime has used every means to strengthen its control on its people and to keep them away from any influence from the outside world. This is necessary for them and they try to achieve this at any costs.

People have no individual freedom: it is overwhelmingly clear that the government of North Korea controls virtually all activities within the nation. Citizens are not allowed to freely speak their minds and the government detains those who criticize the regime.

The only radio, television, and news organizations that are deemed legal are those operated by the government. The media universally praise the administration of Kim Jong-Il, who remains the unelected leader of the country. A number of human rights organizations and governments have condemned North Korea's human rights record, including Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Criticism of the government and its leaders is strictly curtailed and making such statements can be cause for arrest and consignment to one of North Korea's "re-education" camps. The government distributes all radio and television sets; citizens are forbidden to alter them to make it possible to receive broadcasts from other nations, and doing so carries draconian penalties.In addition, the media is said to make false claims, and the use of the United States as a scapegoat is common. All media is strictly controlled by the government.

The national media dedicates a large portion of its resources toward political propaganda and promoting the personality cult of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.For instance, the North Korean media claims that the United States started the Korean War, which Soviet archives show to have started with a premeditated invasion from the north.

In its 2006 country report on North Korea, Freedom House stated that, "North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship and one of the most restrictive countries in the world. Every aspect of social, political, and economic life is tightly controlled by the state. The regime denies North Koreans all basic rights, subjects tens of thousands of political prisoners to brutal conditions, and maintains a largely isolationist foreign policy."

North Korea's government is said to routinely detain, torture and imprison thousands of individuals who are either dissidents or alleged saboteurs. The administration of Kim Jong-il maintains that it does not do any of these things. Many refugees have come forward and recounted stories which describe conditions within the country. The government is accused of employing political prison camps, believed to hold as many as 200,000 inmates, including children whose only crime is having "class enemies" for relatives. There have been widespread reports from North Korean refugees of abortion, infanticide, and famine in these prison camps. Extreme physical abuse is common (beatings often result in death).

Famine struck North Korea in the mid-1990s, set off by unprecedented floods and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

As late as 2000, there were frequent reports from certain sources (such as the UN) of famine in all parts of North Korea except Pyongyang. North Korean citizens ran increasingly desperate risks to escape from the country, mainly into China.North Korea has not yet resumed its food self-sufficiency and relies on external food aid from China, Japan, South Korea and the United States. n the spring of 2005, the World Food Program reported that famine conditions were in imminent danger of returning to North Korea.

Usually citizens cannot freely travel around the country or go abroad. Only the political élite may own vehicles and the government limits access to fuel and other forms of transportation. (Satellite photos of North Korea show an almost complete lack of vehicles on the roads.) Forced resettlement of citizens and families, especially as punishment for political reasons, is said to be routine.Only the most politically reliable and healthiest citizens are allowed to live in Pyongyang. Those who are suspected of sedition, or have family members suspected of it, are removed from the city; similar conditions affect those who are physically or mentally disabled in some way. This can be a significant method of coercion as food and housing are said to be much better in the capital city.

North Korea's society is highly stratified by class, according to a citizen's family and political background.Refugees International, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Amnesty International have all accused North Korea of discriminating against those in "hostile" classes in the distribution of basic necessities, including food. In some "closed" areas that contained a higher concentration of "hostile" class members, the government appears to have prevented the delivery of significant amounts of food aid.

On March 22, 2006, the Associated Press reported from South Korea that a North Korean doctor who defected, Ri Kwang-chol, has claimed that babies born with physical defects are rapidly put to death and buried.A United Nations report also mentions how disabled people are allegedly "rounded up" and sent to "special camps."

North Korea claims to possess nuclear weapons, and the CIA asserts that it has a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons. North Korea was a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but withdrew in 2003, citing the failure of the United States to fulfill its end of the Agreed Framework, a 1994 agreement between the states to limit North Korea's nuclear ambitions, begin normalization of relations, and help North Korea supply some energy needs through nuclear reactors.

On October 9, 2006, the North Korean government issued an announcement that it had successfully conducted a nuclear test for the first time.

The country is believed to possess a substantial arsenal of chemical weapons. It reportedly acquired the technology necessary to produce tabun and mustard gas as early as the 1950s,[17] and now possesses a full arsenal of nerve agents and other advanced varieties, with the means to launch them in artillery shells.[citation needed] North Korea has expended considerable resources on equipping its army with chemical-protection equipment.[citation needed] South Korea, however, has not felt the need to take such measures.

North Korea's ability to deliver weapons of mass destruction to a hypothetical target is somewhat limited by its missile technology. As of 2005, North Korea's total range with its No Dong missiles is only 1,300 km, enough to reach South Korea, Japan, and parts of Russia, and China, but not the mainland United States or Europe--although they could potentially reach US islands in the Pacific Ocean such as the Northern Mariana Islands and possibly even the state of Hawaii.

26. Help Korea to become ONE/hana/ichi/une

For 60 years Korea has been separated on the 38 parallel. But in spirit the Korean family is not separated!

Korea is a country that has many problems: by the japanese, by the chinese, etc.... but the Korean people are strong, intelligent, and very good people!

If you sign please also do something extra for Korea like:

- buy Koran goods;
- visit Korea;
- learn about Koran culture.

Please help the Korean people for peace in the world!

27. Stop NY Fed Transfer of North Korean $25 Million

The Six-Party denuclearization talks with North Korea halted earlier this year, because the US froze $25 million of accounts in Banco Delta Asia in Macau. The funds were frozen by the US Treasury Department because the funds in the accounts were believed to be obtained by counterfeiting US currency and other illicit activities.

So far, the Bank of China and Wachovia Bank have declined requests from the US State Department to transfer these funds back to North Korea.

State's newest request is for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to transfer the funds back to North Korea. Lee Bollinger is a Class C director on the board of directors.

Apart from aiding a regime that is one of the world's most egregious human rights violators, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York transfer would also be in violation of: Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, and Sections 1956-1957 of US Criminal Code, Title 18.

28. APPEAL TO MEMBERS OF THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENT TO SUPPORT MOTION 291

For over 60 years, the young women who were forced into sexual slavery lived with the shame attached to the ordeal.

This caused many to conceal their past and only recently a few of them have come forward and speak out against the atrocities they experienced.

For too long, this dark spot of history has been largely glossed over or ignored by Japan.

29. Declaration and Pledge to Oppose the Kor-US FTA

Join Korean Americans Against War and Neoliberalism(KAWAN)* and the Korean Alliance Against the Korus FTA (KoA) In Waging a Global Hunger Strike Against the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KorUS FTA) and the Bush Free Trade Agenda

The United States and South Korean governments are frantically working around the clock to sign the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KorUS FTA) by April 2, when it must be submitted to Congress for a vote by July 1. If signed, the KorUS FTA will be the second largest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In South Korea, tens of thousands of farmers, workers, and students are organizing for a massive demonstration on March 25, 2007. Since Monday,
March 19, over 100 people have been waging a hunger strike in Seoul and other cities across the country. On Monday March 26th, the number of hunger strikers will grow to 1000.

We ask for your solidarity in stopping the KorUS FTA and all Bush FTAs.

The March 25 massive demonstration is organized by the Korean Alliance against Korea-US FTA (KoA), a coalition of over 300 organizations representing millions of trade unionists, peasants, students, environmental and public health advocates. March 25 is the day of international action to stop the KorUS FTA, all Bush FTAs, and the spread of corporate-led globalization. The U.S. is now negotiating free trade deals with several countries, including Peru, Colombia, Panama, South Korea, and Malaysia.

In solidarity allies in the United States and around the world will wage a 36 hour global hunger strike to oppose the KorUS FTA and the free trade regime that is destroying our livelihoods, our communities, our human rights and our environment. The hunger strike will be timed with South Korea’s 3 pm, March 25 (the start of the mass mobilization) through 3 am, March 27 (just after the end of first day of the 1000 person hunger strike.) For the reference of those in the U.S., this is 2 am, March 25 through 2 pm March 26 Eastern Standard Time and 11 pm, March 24 through 11 am March 26 Pacific Daylight Time.

March is the critical month in the fight to stop all pending U.S. FTAs from conclusion. Unfettered free trade has been directly responsible for the massive loss of jobs and erosion of hard-won benefits and rights for workers, farmers, and laws protecting our public health and environment. Wholly undemocratic, the only voices heard behind closed negotiation doors are that of corporate interests.

Join us for this 36-hour global hunger strike! We will send Korea the solidarity list by Saturday, March 24 for KoA to read at the March 25 mass demonstration.

For more information, call: 718.335.0419 or email: yul-san@nodutdol.org.

*Founded in April 2006, KAWAN is a national coalition of progressive U.S.-based Korean organizations endorsed by hundreds of immigrant, people of color, LGBT, farmers’, workers’, women’s, national liberation, anti-war and anti-globalization groups. For each of the eight rounds of negotiations between the U.S. and Korea, we have waged protests and resistance with our Korean allies. We have held forums, held direct action and civil disobedience and engaged in lobbying and advocacy efforts.

30. Justice for Yeosu Detention Center Fire Victims and All Migrant Workers

NOTE to INTERNATIONAL LABOR, MIGRANT and HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS

Greetings from the Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants Trade Union!
We are a union formed by and for migrant workers in South Korea. Our
members come from many countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, the
Philippines, the U.S., Indonesia and Sri Lanka. We are contacting you to ask for
your solidarity in our struggle to improve the situation of migrant workers in
Korea.

In the interest of building the global struggles for workers and migrants rights
we would also like to learn about similar organizations and unions around the
world. We believe this is the first step to establishing solidarity between us.
Please take a moment to send us information about your work.

In solidarity,
Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants Trade Union

Summary of the Incident
At 4:00 am on February 11 a fire swept through the locked cells of the
detention center at the Yeosu Immigration Controls Office, killing 9 detainees
and wounding 18 others. Neither the alarm system nor the sprinklers operated
when the fire broke out. The detention center staff tried but failed to put out
the flames using portable fire extinguishers. Even so, they did not unlock cells
to free the detainees. The detainees were forced to breathe in toxic fumes
emitted from burning mattresses. These fumes were the cause of most of the
deaths and injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The South Korean government
says it suspects arson by one detainee, but has not produced any evidence.
Despite this alibi it is not hard to see that the real roots of the tragedy lie
elsewhere- in the government’s inhumane policy towards migrant workers.

Background on Migrant Workers in Korea
There are currently roughly 400 thousand migrant workers in South Korea, of
whom about 189,000 are undocumented. Migrants in Korea have come under
either the “Industrial Trainee System” or the “Employment Permit System,”
which place them at specific factories and prohibit them from freely moving to
other jobs. Most migrant workers experience inhumane treatment, unsafe
working environments and low and unpaid wages. Therefore, many must leave
their assigned jobs in search of better conditions, thus becoming
undocumented.

The government has responded to this situation with a brutal crackdown.
Migrant workers are frequently injured and killed in surprise immigration raids.
What is more, they face inhumane conditions and human rights abuses in
detention centers like the one in Yeosu, which are worse than prisons. Migrants’
organizations and their supporters believe that the only true way to solve the
issue is to stop the crackdown, improve the migrant workers system and
legalize all undocumented migrants.


Human Rights Abuses in the Aftermath of the Fire
Injured migrants have been forced to receive treatment while handcuffed to
their hospital beds. 28 migrants who were deemed to need no treatment were
transferred to Cheong-ju Detention Center. Of these, 17 were forcibly deported
without begin given any compensation. The government is also refusing to
reveal information about the case to bereaved families and civil society
organizations.

Response
In response, MTU has come together with migrant and civil society
organizations to form the ‘Joint Committee for Counter Measures to the Tragic
Fire at Yeosu Foreigners Detention Center.’ We are working to raise awareness
about the incident and its roots and investigating the actual conditions in
detention centers around the country. We held a memorial service and mass
rally on February 25, which was met by police violence.

Now more than ever, our struggle needs international support. The situation of
migrant workers in South Korea must be familiar to all those who come from
and/or work in immigrant working-class communities in throughout the world.
Please show your solidarity by signing this petition to the South Korean
government!