SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — The state human rights watchdog said Tuesday that it will launch a full-dress probe into human rights conditions in sports circles, which are under harsh criticism in the wake of sexual assault allegations raised by athletes earlier this month.
“The National Human Rights Commission will create a special investigation team to look into misdeeds in overall sports circles,” the commission’s Chairperson Choi Young-ae said during a news conference.
The step came after four female skaters, including Olympic short track speed skating champion Shim Suk-hee, and former female high school judoka Shin Yu-yong, disclosed that they had been sexually abused by their coaches for years.
“The probe will be conducted nationwide in all sports and all ages,” Choi said.
In particular, all athletes in skating and judo, in which the sexual assaults took place, will go through the probe, she said.
“The scale of the investigation team and the time to kick off the probe will soon be decided in consultation with related ministries, including the Ministry of Interior and Safety,” she said.
The period of the probe, however, will be a minimum one year, she added.
The team will have eight tasks ranging from receiving reports on sexual violence to confirming them, working out a human rights education system and supporting the healing of victims.
Apart from the probe, a forum of 10 to 20 civic experts will be created to work out comprehensive measures to improve human rights in sports.
“The purpose of our probe lies in finding out the actual circumstances in the first place, and its final goal will be to map out measures to improve human rights conditions in the sports sector,” Choi said.