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2015 International Course on Human Rights and Asia banner
  • Application Deadline for participants with a scholarship: Friday, 3 October 2014, 18:00 (Seoul Time)
  • Application Deadline for self-funded participants: Friday, 24 October 2014, 18:00 (Seoul Time)
Course Overview Program
(Videos Added)
Application Requirements How to Apply
Accommodation Contact Us Lecturers Download Information

Course Overview

The course on “Human Rights and Asia” intends to allow participants to think about the universality of human rights in particular contexts of Asia and gain a deepened understanding about human rights issues in this region. This is a two-week intensive course taught by experts who have extensive experience of working in the fields of human rights. It offers both general sessions on the international human rights norms and human rights protection mechanisms, and thematic sessions on contemporary issues and case studies in Asia. “Human Rights and Asia 2015” provides a unique opportunity to discuss themes such as labour rights, peace and human rights, business and human rights, Confucianism and human rights, and societies in transitions in the context of Asia. Our course aims at fostering an interdisciplinary study of human rights in Asia.

Program (Videos added)

* Videos of most of the lectures are available online as indicated by the links below.
* For a complete list of videos, click here. (Some of them are accessible only on the SNU campus or may be unavailable.)

5 January
Registration and Welcome Tea
Self-Introduction of the Participants
Opening Remarks (Chinsung Chung)
Introduction to the Course (Joo-Young Lee)
6 January
Group Work: Addressing Human Rights Issues in Asia through International Human Rights Mechanisms
7 January
8 January
Labour Rights in Asia (Vitit Muntarbhorn)
9 January
Peace-building and Human Rights (Francis Daehoon Lee)
The Role of Civil Society in the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights
(Seonghoon Anselmo Lee)
10 January
Field Trip
12 January
13 January
Business and Human Rights (Debbie Stothard)
14 January
Tutorials (Joo-Young Lee)
15 January
16 January
Research/Activity Plan Presentation by the Participants
Sharing Views among the Participants
Closing Remarks and Awarding of Certificate (Chinsung Chung)
Farewell Reception

Application Requirements

The course is designed for postgraduate students, researchers, professors, activists, lawyers, and international and national civil servants from all countries of the world who demonstrate a high level of interest in human rights and Asia. The course is taught in English. It is, therefore, essential that all participants understand and speak English fluently. The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 40 and the final participants will be selected in a way to ensure the diversity within participants in terms of professional and academic background, region, and field of interests.

How to Apply

For Those Self-Funded

Deadline for Course Application: Friday, 24 October 2014, 18:00 (Seoul Time)

Those who wish to attend the course should complete the application form and send it with a CV and a scanned copy of the passport, via e-mail, to Dr. Joo-Young Lee and Ms. Yookyeong Im <> at the Seoul National University (SNU) Human Rights Center. One recommendation letter should be sent to us directly by a referee via e-mail. . The file name must be “applicant’s name.pdf” and so must title of the e-mail. The applicant should make sure that the recommendation letter also meets the deadline. After careful review of the applications, the SNU Human Rights Center will inform all applicants of the results. Please use the enclosed application form. 

The course fee which covers tuition, course materials, daily lunch, refreshments, welcome lunch, farewell reception and a field trip is 600 USD for international participants and 300,000 KRW for nationals. The course fee does NOT cover accommodation, breakfast, dinner and meals over the weekend. Once the selection process is finished, the Course Fee Payment Guidelines will be sent to the participants.

For Those Who Seek Financial Support

Deadline for Scholarship Application: Friday, 3 October 2014, 18:00 (Seoul Time)

A limited number of scholarships are available for participants with the financial difficulty to pay for the course. Please use the enclosed Scholarship Application Form and send it with the completed application form (please use the enclosed Course Application Form), a CV, and a scanned copy of the passport, via e-mail, to Dr. Joo-Young Lee and Ms. Yookyeong Im <> at the SNU Human Rights Center. One recommendation letter should be sent to us directly by a referee via e-mail. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that the recommendation letter arrives before the deadline. After careful review of the applications, the SNU Human Rights Center will inform all applicants of the results.


The SNU Student Dormitory (On-Campus) is available for the participants of the course. Rooms will be shared with one other participant. The total accommodation fee is $270.
Check-in: Saturday, 3 January 2015, 10.00-17.00
Check-out: Saturday, 17 January 2015, 10.00-17.00

Contact Us

For more information on the course and application procedure, please contact:

Dr. Joo-Young Lee, Course Director
Ms. Yookyeong Im, Course Coordinator
Human Rights Centre
Seoul National University
3rd Floor, Building 153, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
Tel: +82-2-880-2424

​Lecturers (in alphabetical order by surname)

Tae-Ung BAIK is an Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Professor Baik teaches international human rights law, international criminal law, and Korean law. After graduating from Seoul National University College of Law, he earned his Master’s (LL.M.) and Doctorate (JSD) degrees in International Human Rights Law from Notre Dame Law School in the U.S. He was admitted to the New York State Bar, and worked for Human Rights Watch in New York as a research intern and later as a research consultant, focusing on human rights issues in North and South Korea. He conducted research on human rights issues as a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School in 2002. He also served the South Korean Delegation to the 56th United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights as a legal advisor. Cambridge University Press published his book, Emerging Regional Human Rights Systems in Asia, in 2012.
Albert H Y CHEN is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong (LLB) and Harvard University (LLM). He began his academic career in 1984 as a Lecturer in Law at the University of Hong Kong. He served as Head of the Department of Law in 1993-96, and Dean of the Faculty of Law in 1996-2002. He is currently the Chan Professor in Constitutional Law. In addition to over 100 articles or chapters published in various English-language and Chinese-language journals and books, he has written several books, including: An Introduction to the Legal System of the People's Republic of China (LexisNexis, 4th ed. 2011), The World of Jurisprudence (China University of Political Science and Law Press, 2003), and Ideals of Rule of Law, Human Rights and Constitutional Democracy (Hong Kong Commercial Press, 2012). He is also the editor or co-editor of the following books: Human Rights in Asia (Routledge, 2006); Administrative Law and Governance in Asia (Routledge, 2009); Legal Reforms in China and Vietnam (Routledge, 2010); Public Law in East Asia (Ashgate, 2013); and Constitutionalism in Asia in the Early Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Hyo-Je CHO is a professor of sociology at SungKongHoe University, Seoul. He has written extensively on the subjects of human rights and civil society. Among his monographs and co-edited works are Contemporary South Korean Society (Routledge, 2013), In Search of Human Rights (Hanul, 2011), A Grammar of Human Rights (Humanitas, 2007), and Human Rights and Civic Activism in Korea (A-Media, 2005). He was closely involved with the establishment of the Human Rights Commission of Korea, served in the Policy Panel for the Ministry of Justice, and is currently member of the Human Rights Committee of Seoul Metropolitan City. He has held visiting fellowship and professorship in Harvard Law School, Free University Berlin and University of Costa Rica. He holds a BSc in politics and international relations from London University, a MSc in comparative social studies from Oxford University, and a PhD in social policy from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Daehoon Lee (Francis) is Research Professor in Peace Studies at SungKongHoe University in South Korea and Member of the United Nations Asia-Pacific Regional Advisory Group on Women, Peace and Security. Francis has been visiting professor for peace studies, at Ritsumeikan University, and International University of Japan. He was also the former Executive Director of ARENA (Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives), and a founding member and Executive Member of the Center for Peace and Disarmament and People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. He coordinated CENA (civil society education network in Asia), a collaborating network of universities committed for peace, human rights and democracy studies in Asia. As a trainer of education for international understanding in UNESCO-APCEIU (Asia-Pacific Center for Education on International Understanding), Francis has been actively involved in facilitating training workshops since 2006. In 2012, he joined Peace Education Project MOMO to provide for school teachers and peace activists in Korea peace education training that are based on new, learner-oriented pedagogical principles.

Joo-Young LEE is Expert Advisor to the Human Rights Center at the Seoul National University and Director of SNU Human Rights and Asia Course. She received her Ph.D in international human rights law at the University of Essex in the UK. She is currently undertaking research into how to better integrate human rights into overseas development assistance and cooperation. Her publications include ‘Implementation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’, co-authored with P Hunt et al., in N Rodley et al. (eds.) Routledge Handbook of International Human Rights Law (2013), ‘The Human Rights Responsibilities of Pharmaceutical Companies in relation to Access to Medicines’, The Journal of Law, Medicines and Ethics Vol. 40(2) (2012): 220-233, co-authored with P Hunt. Her book on A Human Rights Framework for Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines will be published by Ashgate. The area of her interests includes international human rights law, human rights and development, economic, social and cultural rights, and business and human rights.
Seonghoon Anselmo LEE is Executive Director of the Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF) and Director of the Policy Center of the Korea NGO Council for Overseas Development Cooperation (KCOC). He is serving as a member of Human Rights Committee of Seoul Metropolitan City. He has been teaching about global governance, civil society, human rights and development at the Graduate School of NGOs Studies at Kyunghee University and others. Previously, he worked for the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) as Director General in charge of policy and education (2008.4-2010.3). He also served as Executive Director of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a Bangkok-based regional human rights NGO (2005-2008.4) after working in Geneva for 8 years (1997-2004) as Secretary General of International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA)-Pax Romana, global network of Catholic professionals and intellectuals committed to social justice and peace. 
Wan-Hea LEE is Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia. Ms. Wan-Hea Lee assumed her present function in Cambodia in June 2013. She has served in different capacities in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) since 1994. She has long served in the Human Rights Treaties Division at OHCHR Headquarters in Geneva, providing support to the human rights treaty monitoring bodies of experts in various capacities and most recently contributing to a far-ranging treaty body reform initiative. Elsewhere, she has served as Deputy Director of the Human Rights Section of the Integrated Office of the United Nations in Burundi (2008-2010), Acting Regional Representative of OHCHR in Asia-Pacific (2004-2005), and Human Rights Adviser in Mongolia (2002-2004). Before joining OHCHR, she served in UNESCO in Paris and the Korea-US Business Council in Seoul. Ms. Lee holds a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University (Washington, DC), where she was trained in development economics, and a Master of Arts in international economics from Yonsei University (Seoul). She has done coursework at the University of Geneva (Geneva, in public international law) and the University of Los Andes (Bogota, in Latin American political and economic history).
Vitit MUNTARBHORN is a Professor of Law at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford and the Free University of Brussels. He has helped the United Nations in a variety of capacities, including as UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). In 2011 he was Chairperson of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Ivory Coast.  In 2012 he was appointed as one of the Commissioners of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria. He also serves as a member of the Committee of Experts on Conventions and Recommendations (International Labour Organization). He has published widely on international law, human rights and humanitarian law.
Heisoo SHIN currently serves as a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Ms. Shin holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature, a M.A. in Sociology from Ewha Womans University, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. She has been a lifelong advocate of the women’s human rights movement and has substantially contributed to the struggle to end violence against women. She served as an expert on the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women from 2001-2008, and as a commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea from 2005-2008. She is currently the representative of the Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy (KOCUN), and the Movement against Sexual Exploitation (MASE). She is also an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.
Debbie STOHARD is the Coordinator of the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma) and Secretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). She has been an active promoter of human rights in Burma and the ASEAN region since 1987. During her 32-year career, she has worked as a journalist, community education consultant, governmental advisor and trainer in Malaysia, Australia and Thailand. In 1996, she founded the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma). These activities led her to engage with UN and related mechanisms in Geneva and New York, ASEAN as a body, and governments in Asia, the Pacific, North America and Europe. She specializes in advocacy in difficult situations. She helped conceive and implement the first public hearing on Corporate Social Responsibility in ASEAN countries in May 2011 in Jakarta. She initiated the first ongoing women-specific training program for Burma in 1997. More recently, she was a speaker at the opening session at the first UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in 2012 and a speaker at the closing plenary of the 2nd UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in 2013. Debbie Stothard was elected Secretary-General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in May 2013. FIDH is a 92-year human rights organization which has 178 national member organizations in more than 100 countries.




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