||HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER ESTABLISHED in PNU's SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER ESTABLISHED in PNU's SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Efforts to officially establish a human rights center at PNU paid off in November with PNU's final approval of the center. Currently, the center is mostly 'virtual' - existing primarily in my gray neurons. But, it does have official structure, and the SSRI dean has promised me support.
I look to our students to help me build this. To my knowledge, there is no university-HRC outside of Seoul, and few there. Not only will this help you improve your society and enrich your life, but it will be a good 'NGO' experience and credential. Thus, the center's topics and mechanisms are a blank page for our students and other PNU students to write on.
Preliminarily, I have briefly set out the center's mission and plans:
"The Center will focus on human rights issues affecting East Asia, including regional, domestic, and university topics. Ideas for upcoming events include the current United Nations proceedings addressing human rights violations in North Korea, South Korea’s approach to Syrian refugees, the progress of LGBT rights in East Asia, the effect of South Korea’s criminal defamation law on free speech, and PNU’s accommodation of physically disabled students.
The center's activities initially will involve seminars and lectures integrating PNU faculty, students, community members, and outside experts. The center expects to include perspectives from the university’s diverse foreign student population. Some events will show documentaries, followed by audience discussions. Over time, the center plans to create a website, conduct research, and offer student volunteers an opportunity to gain experience relevant to careers in government and non-government organizations, law, and public service. The center hopes for joints projects with the university’s EU Center, new Dutch Center, and human rights groups.
The center will not advocate a particular viewpoint but will be an open, safe forum for discussing controversial topics, in the best tradition of democratic discourse."