Over 240 students from 12 colleges in Busan, including Pusan National University, Busan Kyungsang College, and Dongju College, professors, human rights experts, and local newspapers participated.

On December 29, 2021, the ASEZ Chapter in Busan held an online seminar for the Human Rights Day.

December 10, 2021 marks the 73rd anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the world’s first promise for the rights of all people in the global village, and has great significance in economy, society, and culture.

ASEZ Chapter in Busan held the “Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday” campaign in celebration of the Human Rights Day for about a month in December. The campaign consisted of three parts: pre-networking, Human Rights Day seminar, and policy proposals.

From November 29 to December 28, the members conducted a preliminary survey for college presidents, professors, human rights experts, and local government officials, including college students, to see the human rights issues related to college students from various angles and for better understanding on human rights. Based on the results of the survey, an online seminar was held on December 29 to provide education on human rights.

About 240 college students, human rights experts, local newspapers, and university professors attended the seminar. The seminar began with the congratulatory message of Chairman Jo Byeong-gil. He clarified the meaning of the Human Rights Day and said, “I look forward to the activities of the college students who are the protagonists of the future.” The seminar was conducted under the theme: “The Role of College Students for the Protection of Human Rights on Campus.” It consisted of introduction to ASEZ, introduction to Human Rights Day, expert lectures, and survey results, agenda proposals, and performances.

ASEZ member Kim Seung-hyeok (Dongju College) said, “People speak different languages with different cultures and identities in different places. However, human rights are a universal right that belongs to all people because we are humans.” He also reminded us of the importance of one person’s role for respecting human rights, saying, “Just as discrimination, hate, and inequality begin with one person’s thoughts, small words, and actions, protecting everyone’s human rights begins with one person’s thoughts and words.”

Afterwards, Counselor at the Human Rights Center of Pusan National University Lim Ae-jeong gave a lecture explaining various systems and programs for raising awareness of human rights on campus, and she also emphasized the necessity of vigilant thoughts and actions that college students should have in order to protect human rights.

Lastly, the members presented the human rights issues occurring on campus and the solutions, which were drawn through the survey.

As a result of the survey conducted at 12 colleges, “discrimination against students with disabilities,” “gender discriminations,” and “discriminations against international students” were raised as the major human rights issues. In addition, there was an infringement of the right to education due to the pandemic. The infringements were as follows: “reusing of lectures”, “substituting classes for assignments,” and “insecure right to education of the disabled and of the vulnerable because of their poor access to media content due to the ‘digital gap.’”

Using video lectures infringed students’ right to question, and prevented them from communicating with professors. The provision of teaching materials for the students with disabilities was inconsistent and insufficient due to the lack of detailed guidelines and the lack of staff at the support center for the disabled on campus.

The agenda proposals of college students were made based on the survey and experts’ advice. Among the various agendas proposed, the main agenda was “holding educational programs for the raising awareness.”
In particular, President of Korea Maritime & Ocean University said, “We need a sense of ownership of our school. ASEZ’s human rights campaigns and activities are good for this. I think it would be great to make an educational program and curriculum to raise awareness on human rights, too. In addition, students added that in order to raise awareness of human rights on campus, there should be a new program that we can have not only with students but also with professors and faculty members.”

College students who attended the seminar agreed that it was a meaningful time for them to think deeply about human rights that seemed vague. ASEZ member Kim Gyu-ri (Pusan National University), said, “Even though human rights were violated, we did not respond properly because we were unaware of it. Through this seminar, we learned how important it is to know about human rights. I want to let people know that this issue is not just for one or two people, but for everyone.”

Lim Ae-jeong, the Counselor at the Human Rights Center of Pusan National University, who delivered the lecture, highly praised ASEZ, saying, “The content of the seminar and discussion are so high-quality that it is hard to believe that they are prepared by college students. Their materials were better than those made by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.”

An ASEZ official said that ASEZ would take the lead in guaranteeing human rights by collecting the results of the campaigns around the world; proposing agendas for protecting human rights to the local community, the country, and the international community, and carrying out human rights activities, starting from the campus. Attention is paid to the activities of college students for ensuring human rights.