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Hye-jin Kim


Ms. Hye-jin Kim is a human rights defender who has taken part in the Sewol ferry disaster protests. The Sewol ferry sunk on 16 April 2014, killing more than 300 people. Following the incident, victims' families, civil society organisations and human rights defenders called the government to establish an independent and transparent investigatory committee, to look into the lack of effectiveness of the rescue operation and the false reports regarding the incident. Since April 2015, South Korean authorities have detained seven human rights defenders - including Hye-jin Kim - for their participation in demonstrations related to the Sewol Ferry disaster.

South Korea has a generally vibrant and strong civil society, yet concerns persist about undue restrictions placed on the legitimate right to freely associate of certain groups of defenders, in particular those working for labour rights and for the rights of migrant workers.