SEOUL, President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday called for the state human rights watchdog to play a greater role in ensuring the rights of women and socially vulnerable people, his spokesman said.
Moon made the remark during a chat with new National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Choi Young-ae after her appointment ceremony at Cheong Wa Dae, presidential spokesman Ki Eui-kyeom said in a statement.
"When it comes to the issue of human rights, I hope the human rights commission will say whatever it needs to say even if it hurts the government," Moon was quoted as saying during the meeting.
"Compared with the past, the level of human rights in our society has improved a lot, but there are still shortfalls in terms of the human rights of women, socially weak people and minorities," he said. "I hope the human rights commission will play a greater role so that its existence will be felt in a bigger way."
Choi said in response that the commission's role is closely linked to the country's prestige and status, and that she will try to make sure that the country will be a human rights leader in the international community.
Choi was nominated in July, but her confirmation hearing was delayed due to a prolonged parliamentary deadlock. On Monday, the National Assembly's operating committee adopted a report on her confirmation, paving the way for her appointment.
Choi, a native of Busan, is considered to have long worked for minorities, including those exposed to sexual violence. She served as the head of the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center from 1991-2001.
Source: Yonhap News Agency