'Journal of Human Rights Studies' is a human rights journal published by Korean Association of Human Rights Studies and Association of Human Rights Law, led by researchers in social science, lawyers and jurists, since 2018.
This article describes how the visual image of human rights wasformed and changed in Korea during the democratization movementfrom the 1960s to the mid-1980s. Human rights are generallyknown to develop from liberal rights to social rights. Has theimage of human rights been formed in Korea as well?Under the Park Jung-hee administration, the human rightssituation was very poor, and its visual representation was almostimpossible due to strict censorship, which made stagnateddevelopment of the visual culture dealing the human rights. Thepaintings on human rights in Korea started with a self-portrait ofLee Ung-no, who was imprisoned in 1968. Tomiyama Daeko alsodepicted a prisoner of conscience in the early 1970s. The image ofhuman rights changed dramatically in the psychic trauma of May18 uprising in 1980, which is confirmed in the “Free Gwangju” byTomiyama Daeko and “Daedongsesang (The Great East World)” byHong Seong-dam. The core theme of the penetrating both of themis communal solidarity. Lee Ung-no's “Gunsang” and “Unificationdance” are works that go beyond anger against state violence,expressing trust in the community and hope for a future history. After democratization, various human rights organizations havebeen established, adopting visual images that reveal their diverseidentities, and the continuation and disconnection of their meaningsis a subject to be addressed in future human rights research.
Keum-suku Gendry Kim, Grass(草), 2017, Bori, is a graphicnovel based on the true story of the victims of sexual slaveryforced by Imperial Japanese military before and during World WarII. It has the theme of human dignity and peace, which is acommon wish of the world. In the right-leaning Japanese society,the voices calling for compensation and restoration of honor forvictims of Japanese colonial rule and war is barely accepted by theruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which continuesto trivialize the facts of the war crime, and refuse to makeindividual compensation for the victims. In Japan, there are fewopportunities at school to learn about the issue of Imperial Japanesemilitary’s sexual slavery system and other incidents relating in thewar. This makes it difficult to realize that war is not a binaryconflict between victimization and victimhood, but rather a structuralproblem that the relation between victimization and victimhood iscomplicated. I worked on publishing Grass(草) in Japanese in orderto convey the issue of Imperial Japanese military’s sexual slaverysystem to young Japanese generation that is not interested inreading, and to foster a desire for peace. Through the messages for crowd funding and the voices of people at the Meeting withKeum-suku Gendry Kim, I could understand Japanese people’svarious views on Imperial Japanese colonial rule, war and peace, aswell as the problems of Japanese society.
Citizenship under the traditional nation-state was strongly tied tonationality, thus granting basic rights only to natives and limitingrights to foreigners. However, as we witness an increasing amountof migration and the enforcement of international human rightsregimes, an expansion of citizenship is required to guarantee rightsto those living away from their state of nationality. Such anexpansion of citizenship seeks to bestow human rights to foreignersregardless of their nationality.
This study takes particular interest in a specific type of humanrights- the right to access health care. We have analyzed the coursein which the Korean National Health Insurance has expanded itscoverage to foreigners, along with a special interest in the nature ofthe ‘citizenship’ these foreigners were given. As a result, it wasshown that the health insurance system continued to encompass awider set of foreigners to the point where in 2019, all legallyresiding foreigners were obliged to sign up to health care. Thisseems to make us think that notion of citizenship is being separated from nationality, thus allowing foreigners to claim rights equal tothe natives. However, a closer analysis suggests the opposite.
Foreigners were invited into the health care system due to practicalneeds of the nation-state such as demand for labor or a source ofrevenue for the insurance system.
Nonetheless, this study seeks to find potential of expanding thescope of citizenship particularly in the social insurance systemowing to its inherent characteristics. The recipient's own contributionvia the insurance premium and principles of social solidarity allowfor citizenship, at least in this particular field, to seek an expansionof citizenship to foreigners.