Monday, February 27, 2006

Visit to Minkhayup

Mus and Agnes made an arrangement for a meeting at Minkhayup Human Rights Group. It was Ms. Ji-yeon Han who received us at their office. She was the only person who could communicate in English. Their office is run by a four-woman team.

On the low table where we sat down with her was a Korean-English dictionary.
We asked her several questions and found out the services and activities that they are doing. Basically their main focus is doing work with political prisoners which they call prisoner of conscience, most of them are political and labor leaders, student activists, etc.

They also conduct advocacy against the National Security Law. They have student volunteers who occasionally help them in their work. Among the significant tasks the organization is doing for prisoners is publication of newsletter/magazine for them. They also do letter writing for prisoners.

We were told that in 1985 there were at least more than 1,000 prisoners. Today there are only more than 70 who are accused of violating the National Security Law. For last year there were only 3 new prisoners accused of the same crime. Mostly labor and student leaders.

The organization continue to conduct rallies every Thursday to protest on different issues like eviction, human rights, women rights, national security law, etc. The rallies are held in different locations such as Parliament, Universities, Court of Justice etc. Mostly mothers of previous prisoners continue to join the rallies. Students also give their support during their mobilizations.

We took several pictures of the campaign that Minkhayup have done in the past that are shown in this blog entry.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

MATAHARIKUH KEKASIHKUH: Last Dinner Together in The End of 2005

MATAHARIKUH KEKASIHKUH: Last Dinner Together in The End of 2005

I blog this - a button found at Agnes's blog. So it was posted here. Enjoy reading her blog especially if you have facility in understanding Bahasa Indonesia.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

FAQ on the Gwangju International Internship Program on Human Rights 2006

1. What is the May 18 Memorial Foundation?

The May 18 Memorial Foundation was founded with the funds from Gwangju citizens, sympathetic overseas Koreans, and from individuals who sacrificed and got indemnification from the government. It was created on August 30, 1994 by people who believe it’s important to keep the ideas and memories of the 1980 May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising alive and remembered.

2. What is the Gwangju International Internship Program on Human Rights?

The International Internship Program on Human Rights is under the May 18 Memorial Foundation’s General Affairs Department International Solidarity program. The International Internship Program on Human Rights was created to contribute to the development of democracy and human rights throughout Asia. It is also an opportunity for interns to learn and experience the history and process of the development of human rights and democracy in South Korea. Specifically the purpose and aim of the program are the following: 1) To improve International Solidarity and 2) To promote Gwangju as Asia’s Hub for Human Rights Movement.

3. How will it be conducted?

The International Internship Programme will introduce the interns to Korean history in general and in particular to the movements and struggle for democracy, including the 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising. Both theoretical learning and practical experiences such as lectures, seminars, discussions, interviews and fieldtrips to the sites of democratization movements in Korea will be utilized.

4. What will be the tasks and assignments of the interns?

The interns will be assigned to the International Solidarity Program of the General Affairs Department of the Foundation. They are expected to work as regular staff attending to day-to-day office business. The interns will help implement preparatory work for different events; make presentations to schools when invited; and perform other tasks the Department will assign them to undertake. Each intern will be asked to select a research topic, conduct the relevant research, and deliver a presentation at the end of their internship program.

5. Who will be recruited for the International Internship Program?

Four interns, two males and females from all over the world will be recruited. They should be NGO workers or activists who have been working on the issues of human rights, democracy and peace in their own countries. They should able to work with others of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

6. What are the criteria of recruitment for the International Internship Program?

a. Applicant should not be more than 35 years of age.
b. Have more than 3 years experience of NGO work on the issues of human rights, democracy and peace.
c. Must be proficient in English and working knowledge of Korean is an advantage. Intern must be computer literate.
d. Willing to stay in Korea for at least 10 months (May 2006-February 2007).

7. What are the processes of application?

a. Announcement will be sent by January 2006 and deadline will be on 20 March 2006. The result will be released by April and the internship program will start on the month of May.
b. Applicants should submit a duly filled-out form via email to the May 18 Memorial Foundation.
c. The foundation’s screening committee will assess and evaluate all applicants. And the
y will decide those who will join the International Internship Program.
d) Application form can be downloaded in the English section of website.

8. Where will be the place or location of internship?

Interns will be based at the office of The May 18 Memorial Foundation located at Seo-gu, Sangmudong, Gwangju City, Republic of Korea.

9. What are the compensation and benefits given to interns?

The May 18 Memorial Foundation will provide an intern 600,000 won or approximately US$ 600 allowance per month. It will cover the costs of their economy class return air tickets. Two female and two male interns will separately share a single large room or flat equipped with a kitchen and shower or toilet facilities. The semi-furnished room will also have a telephone, cable TV and internet access. In addition, interns will be entitled to a health insurance and official paid vacations or holidays.

10. Whom to submit the application?

Duly filled out application form can be submitted by email to the contact below. Please contact us for otherinformation and details :

Mr. Chanho Kim
Director, International Solidarity Program
General Affairs Department
The May 18 Memorial Foundation
5.18 Memorial Culture Hall
Seo-Gu Sangmudong 1268
Gwangju 502-260
Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 62 456 0518
Fax. +82 62 456 0519
Mobile: +82 10 4642 6650

Pete E. Rahon
Co-coordinator for International Internship Program
(Philippines, CO Multiversity)
E: /
W: /

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The May 18 Memorial Foundation Revs up International Solidarity Program

Recognizing the magnitude of globalization and the overarching influence of information and communications technology, international solidarity gets highlighted as response to these global phenomena. International solidarity is one of the core tasks identified by The May 18 Memorial Foundation. It envisions an international solidarity with other countries and organizations based on common goals and mutual interests of promoting the spirit of May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising; advocating for human rights; and protecting the gains of peace and democracy.

The International Solidarity Program shall focus on partnership, participation, exchange and networking with civil society groups of Asia and the rest of the world. Particularly it will conduct: 1) regular exchange of experience and expertise with government, human rights institutions, democracy, peace and other civil society groups in Asia; 2) establish a proactive mechanism for collective action and coordination (education, campaign, and programs for social dialogues and action and address equity issues like gender equality and equal participation); 3) conduct activities and hosts forums that introduces international issues and participate in international conferences and gatherings abroad; 4) build bridges of communications among the civil society of Asia and the rest of the globe through the internet and publication of journals, newsletters, brochures and books both in Korean and English; and 5) facilitate the exchange of experiences and technology (expertise, know-how and human resources) that goes beyond simple financial support.

Since 2000, the foundation has been awarding the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, sending its volunteers abroad for internship, providing support for non-government organizations, conducting the Gwangju International Peace Camps, and introducing Korean Democracy especially to Korean youth born abroad.

In 2005, the foundation added new activities such as the International Internship Program on Human Rights, where human rights activist are invited to learn the history and experience of Korean democratization and help promote International Solidarity; Asian Partners Study Visit and Exchange, committee members and officers of the foundation visit and learn from its partner organizations; and the Gwangju Forum for Asian Human Rights, that endeavors to dialogue and forge solidarity between and among public officials of National Human Rights institutions, human rights activists of Non-government Organizations (NGOs), academe and other civil society groups.

For this year, these activities will be continued, according to General Affairs Director Chanho Kim. He believes that through The May 18 - International Solidarity Program the spirit of May 18 will be promoted and Gwangju's role and contribution to international peace, human rights and democracy will be highlighted. He invites individuals, journalists, civil society groups and organizations to join and support the foundation in commemorating and celebrating these programs and activities. Mr. Kim added that detailed information about these activities can be downloaded from the English section of their website at


Chanho, Kim
Director International Solidarity
General Affairs Department
Mobile: +82 10 4462 6650
The May 18 Memorial Foundation
5.18 Memorial Culture Hall
Seo-Gu Sangmudong 1268 Gwangju 502-260
Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 62 456 0518 Fax. +82 62 456 0519