Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Guarantee Democracy and Human Rights at all Moments [kctupower]

Protesting the Denial of border entry of the KCTU Delegation to the G8 Summit by the Japanese government.

Statement from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions G8 Delegation

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) with a membership of 800,000 is a major confederation of South Korean trade unions actively fighting to advance democracy, human rights, and a democratic trade union movement. At this very moment, we are conducting a General Strike against the importation of U.S. beef; privatization of public services, and the failure of the current Lee Myung Bak government to address the genuine concerns raised by South Korean citizens about food safety. The negotiations around the importation of U.S. beef within the context of the unequal KORUS FTA has denigrated South Koreans the right to food safety and privatization will force the working poor to undergo more social sacrifices.

The G8 Summit is a gathering of representatives of corporations and governments that support their interests to further the advance an agenda of neoliberalism, privatization, and free trade. The neoliberal economic agenda has not only failed to resolve urgent issues that affect workers in general, but have triggered a global emergency on financial markets, food supply, and the environment. This is a moment when we truly need to seek another path, another direction, and another praxis.

Therefore, the KCTU delegation consisting of 9 representatives of various KCTU affiliates traveled to Japan to participate in the G8 Summit on July 4 to ensure that workers’ voices and interests were addressed. It was the goal of the KCTU delegation to join other civil society groups and popular movement to oppose the neoliberal agenda. We believe this is a fundamental human right and responsibility we carry in these momentous and challenging times.

Four members of the delegation arrived in Haneda Airport, where they were forced to undergo a lengthy individual examination without any proper explanation. The other members of the delegation that included KCTU Vice President Huh Young Goo were denied entry to Japan by the Japanese Immigration Department without any explanation. Their passports were confiscated and during the process Vice-President of the Korean Health and Medical Workers Union, Lee Keun Sun was detained when he protested the actions of the Japanese Immigration officials.

Prior to entry, the KCTU had notified the Japanese Immigration Department the purpose for their visit and the details of the activities during the G8 Summit. The KCTU had been invited by the Japan-based G8 Action Network to participate in their planned events. Despite having followed all proper standard protocol and procedures, the Japanese government unfairly denied the entry of the KCTU delegation
to the G8 Summit.

The KCTU believes that the irrational denial of entry by the Japanese government is politically motivated and an attempt by the government to pre-emptively block any dissenting voice during the G8 Summit. This is clearly a repression of people’s right to freedom of expression, right to dissent, and against human rights as guaranteed by all international conventions. The KCTU challenges the undemocratic actions of the Japanese government.

The KCTU determines that the denial of entry of the KCTU G8 Summit Delegation is an overprotective measure to ensure “peaceful” proceedings of the G8 Summit without any disruption or dissent. This is of course a repression of democracy and human rights. The KCTU will continue to organize for the right for workers to express their voices and raise concerns as a fundamental human right in solidarity with other trade unions and civil society groups in Japan as well as the social movement at the international level. At the same time, the KCTU will focus on revealing the corporate greed of the G8 Summit and to show that there are people’s alternatives to neoliberalization through dialogue and solidarity.

Finally, the KCTU wishes to convey its sincere thanks to Japanese and international trade unions and civil society groups for the support in this difficult time. In solidarity, we will stop the neoliberal agenda and achieve true democracy and human rights.

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
July 7, 2008

1 comment:

sam59527 said...