National Human Rights Commission of Korea

National Human Rights Institution


Accreditation status: A

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (the “Commission”) was established in 2001 as a national advocacy institution for human rights protection. It is regulated by the National Human Rights Commission Act as amended in 2012. The Commission’s functions are:

  • Developing human rights policies through researches and issuing policy recommendations
  • Investigating discrimination and human rights violation cases and providing access to remedies
  • Promoting Human Rights education and raising public awareness
  • Promoting national implementation of international treaties
  • Coordinating with governments agencies, civil society organizations, UN human rights bodies and other national human rights institutions 

Who can access it? 

A complaint may be filed by a person aggrieved by human rights violations and unlawful discriminatory acts and by a third party on behalf of the affected person.

How does it work?

Complaints can be submitted:

  • through the online application clicking on online application under Complaints Guides 
  • by phone
  • By mail
  • Visiting the Commission’s office in person
  • By fax at 82-2-2125-9811-2
  • By e-mail

A complaint form is available and complaint forms in different languages can be downloaded clicking Multilingual Complaint Guide under the Complaints Guide. When filing a complaint by mail, fax and e-mail the complainant have to provide name and telephone number. 

The NHRC has complaint boxes installed in every correctional facility, if a detainee or inmate in a correctional facility wishes to file a complaint. Detainees may also request a visit from the NHRC to file a complaint.

After receipt of a complaint, the Commission’s investigators conduct investigation by:

  • Requesting that the complainant, victim, respondent, or other related person submit written statements. Those requested to submit a written statement should do so within fourteen days.
  • Requesting that the complainant, victim, respondent or other related person submit materials deemed pertinent to the investigation. Investigators may also request the relevant persons to present themselves, hear their opinions, or inquire into certain facts or information when necessary.
  • Investigators may conduct investigations or assessments on-site concerning the place, facility, materials, etc. in question. Investigators may seek expert opinions when necessary.

When it is evident that a complainant should file a complaint to another government agency according to the remedial procedures provided in other laws, the Commission may transfer the complaint to the government agency concerned.


The Commission may submit complaints to the Conciliation Committee and commence conciliation procedures upon request by the persons concerned or by suo-moto. When the agreement by person concerned is reached, the Conciliation Committee makes confirmation of it. If agreement fails, the Conciliation Committee may render a decision in lieu of conciliation for fair settlement of the case

Deliberation and Decision

The Commission (Plenary Committee, Standing Commissioners' Committee, and other subcommittees) shall deliberate on the findings of investigations into complaints and may make a recommendation, dismiss the complaint, reject the complaint without deliberation, recommend for settlement, transfer the complaint, or take other such action.


Within fourteen days after such decision, the Commission should forward to the complainant a written guide and written notice of case handling results.


Complaints guide on the website of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.  

National Human Rights Commission of Korea

National Human Rights Commission Act as amended in 2012

Last edited: 
July, 2015

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