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※ Application deadline: Friday, 25 October 2013, 18:00 (Seoul Time)

Overview Lecturers Programme
(Videos added)
Application Requirements  
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The course intends to allow participants to think about the universality of human rights in particular contexts of Asia and gain a comprehensive 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 mechanism, and thematic sessions on contemporary issues and case studies in Asia. This course aims at fostering an interdisciplinary study of human rights in Asia.

Lecturers (in alphabetical order by surname)

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 in Korea, served in the Policy Panel for the Ministry of Justice, and is currently a member of the Human Rights Committee of Seoul Metropolitan City. He was a Visiting Fellow in Harvard Law School and a Visiting Professor in Free University Berlin. He holds a BSc in politics and international relations from London University, an MSc in comparative social studies from Oxford University, and a PhD in social policy from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Chinsung CHUNG is a professor of sociology and Director of the Human Rights Centre at Seoul National University. She received her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include gender sociology, social history and human rights. She published books on social movements in Japan, Japanese military sexual slavery and human rights situation in Korea and Japan. She also published a number of papers at various prestigious academic journals including Human Rights Quarterly. She recently conducted national surveys on sexual trafficking and human rights consciousness. Currently, she is President of the Korean Sociological Association. She wrote several important reports at the United Nations as Member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and now of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

Virginia B. DANDAN was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the independent expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2011. She assumed her functions on 1 August 2011. She is an internationally recognized expert in economic, social and cultural rights. She served as the Chairperson of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for eight years from 1999 to 2007, having been a member of the Committee for twenty years (1990-2010). She was a faculty member at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts until 2009, and Dean from 2001 to 2006. She has extensive experience in human rights work on the ground, providing technical assistance on UN treaty body reporting, and training courses on economic, social and cultural rights, human rights in development, human rights education and training, the rights of indigenous peoples, cultural rights, gender issues, and sustainable development.

Dong-Choon KIM is a professor of sociology at SungKongHoe University, Seoul. He obtained his PhD from Seoul National University. He served the Korean government as a standing commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Republic of Korea (TRCK) from 2005 to 2009. As a commissioner, he has directed the investigation of the Korean War massacres for the first time as a governmental body after the incidents occurred. The research areas that he has focused on are historical sociology of Korean politics, working class formation and the Korean War. He has written several academic articles and books, in Korean, including Social Movement in 1960s of Korea (1991). A Study of Korea's Working Class (1995), Shadow of Modernity(2000), War and Society(2000), and Engine of America-Market and War(2004). Among them, War and Society (2000) was translated into Germany, Japanese, and English (English title: The Unending Korean War).

Joo-Young LEE is a research professor of the Human Rights Centre at the Seoul National University and coordinator of this winter course. She received her Ph.D in international human rights law at the University of Essex in the UK. 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, forthcoming), ‘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 in 2014. 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 currently 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 Commission 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.

Suzannah LINTON, a UK solicitor, is Chair of International Law at Bangor University Law School in the UK. She is also the founding Director of the Bangor Centre for International Law. Her recent publications include General Principles and Rules of International Criminal Procedure, co-edited with Göran Sluiter et al., ‘Rediscovering the War Crimes trials in Hong Kong, 1946-1948’ in the Melbourne Journal of International Law Vol. 13(2). Her new book on Hong Kong’s War Crimes Trials will be published by Oxford University Press in September 2013. She has worked at international courts and tribunals, and international organisations, for example at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia. She has particular interests in Asia, having for several years been engaged in East Timor, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Nepal. Professor Linton previously led the Human Rights programme at the University of Hong Kong.

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 Organisation). He has published widely on international law, human rights and humanitarian law.

Eunhong PARK is a Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Director of Resource Center for Asian NGO at SungKongHoe University. He is currently a consultant of the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) and of the Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS) on the human rights issues in Asian Countries including Burma and Thailand. He has also been a consultant of the May 18 Memorial Foundation. He was a visiting researcher at the Political Economy Centre of Chulalongkorn University and has taught at the Graduate School of International Studies of Seoul National University. His research interests are varied, with civil society and human rights being a consistent theme based on performing fieldworks mainly in Southeast Asian countries. Among his publications are State Violence and Human Rights in Asia (co-editing, 2011), States of Democracy (co-editing, 2008), East Asia and Korea (in Korean, 2008), Transformation of East Asia (in Korean, 2008), Democratization in East Asia and Redressing Past Injustices (in Korean, 2004).

Hae Bong SHIN is Professor of International Law in the Faculty of Law at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan. She is currently Secretary-General of the Japanese Association of International Human Rights Law. She received degrees from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva (DES, 1993) and the University of Tokyo (PhD, 1995). Her research interests are international and domestic implementation of human rights treaties and states parties’ positive obligations for the effective realization of human rights. She is the author of several Japanese books such as States Parties’ Obligations under Human Rights Conventions (1999), Contemporary Development of Human Rights Conventions (2009), and International Human Rights Law: Dynamism of International Standards and Coordination with Domestic Law (forthcoming). Her articles in English include “Racial Discrimination, Hate Speech and Hate Crimes in Japan: Some Outstanding Issues in Light of International Human Rights Law”, in M. Komori et al. (eds.), Contemporary Forms of Racial Discrimination: Reflections of Our Times (2013), "Chapter 14: Japan", in D. Shelton (ed.), International Law and Domestic Legal Systems: Incorporation, Transformation, and Persuasion (2011), and "Compensation for Victims of Wartime Atrocities: Recent Developments in Japan's Case Law", 3 Journal of International Criminal Justice (2005).

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 in 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.

Programme (Videos added)

* Videos of several 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.)

6 January Morning - Registration and Welcome Tea
- Self-Introduction of Participants
- Opening Remarks (Chinsung Chung)
- Introduction to the Course (Joo-Young Lee)
Afternoon - Understanding the International Human Rights Norms (Hae Bong Shin)
7 January Morning - UN Human Rights Protection Mechanisms (Chinsung Chung)
- Group Work: Addressing Human Rights Issues in Asia through International
Human Rights Mechanisms
Afternoon - Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration
(Joo-Young Lee)
8 January Morning - The ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism and the Prospect of the Development of
Human Rights Mechanisms in Asia
(Vitit Muntarbhorn)
Afternoon - ‘The Asian Values’ and Human Rights: The Perspectives of Civil Society in Asia
(Eun-Hong Park)
9 January Morning The Promotion of Human Rights and Authoritarian Regimes (Vitit Muntarbhorn)
Afternoon Cold War, Anti-Communism, and Human Rights in Asia (Hyo-Je Cho)
10 January Morning The Role of Civil Society in the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Asia
(Seonghoon Anselmo Lee)
Afternoon Democratisation, Transitional Justice and Human Rights: The Experience of South
Korea (Dong-Choon Kim)
11 January   Field Trip to DMZ
13 January Morning Transformations in Asia: Rule of Law and Human Rights (Suzannah Linton)
Afternoon Poverty and Human Rights in Asia (Virginia Dandan)
14 January Morning Dealing with the Past in Asia: Case Study of Cambodia (Suzannah Linton)
Afternoon Cultural Rights in Multi-cultural Society: the Asian Context (Virginia Dandan)
15 January Morning A Human Rights-Based Approach to Development and Asia (Joo-Young Lee)
Afternoon Tutorials
16 January Morning Gender and Human Rights in Asia (Heisoo Shin)
Afternoon Team Presentation and General Discussion: Human Rights Issues in Asia at the UN
Human Rights Mechanisms
17 January Morning Research Proposal Presentation by the Participants
Afternoon - Closing Remarks and Award of Certificate (Chinsung Chung)
Afternoon - Closing Party

Application Requirements

The course is designed primarily for postgraduate students, researchers, professors, practitioners, and international and national civil servants from all countries of the world who demonstrate a high level of interest in human rights and Asia. Undergraduate students (third year or higher) who have experience in studying or working in human rights may also apply for the course. 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.

How to Apply

Those who wish to attend the course should complete the application form and send it with a CV, one recommendation letter and a scanned copy of the passport, via e-mail, to Dr. Joo-Young Lee at the Human Rights Centre of Seoul National University. After careful review of the applications, the SNU Human Rights Centre will inform all applicants of the results.>

Application deadline: Friday, 25 October 2013, 18:00 (Seoul Time)


The SNU Student Dormitory (On-Campus) is available for the participants of the course. Rooms will be shared with one other student. The accommodation fee is $200.
- Check-in: 4-5 January 2014 10.00-17.00
- Check-out: 18 January 2014 10.00-17.00

Contact Us

Dr. Joo-Young Lee, Coordinator of the Course on Human Rights and Asia
Dae-Wook Kim, PhD Candidate in Sociology, Graduate Research Assistant
Human Rights Centre, Seoul National University
Building 153, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
Tel: +82-2-880-2424, E-mail:


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