SEOUL, Feb. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — It is an infringement of rights to equality to conduct a comprehensive assessment for the naturalization of foreigners only on Saturday, according to a human rights watchdog.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) recommended Monday that the 10 days on which the naturalization tests are held every year should be diversified.
The NHRC said that “the Justice Department treats a true believer who keeps Saturday as a Sabbath and any other religious or non-religious issues as the same subject with no difference.”
It then judged that the uniformly fixed naturalization test date, which is held 10 times a year, only on Saturday, to prevent a petitioner from taking the test constitutes a “discriminatory act of violation of equal rights” on the grounds of religion.
The incident began when a Korean-Chinese resident of South Korea, whose religion obligates the believer to keep Saturday as a Sabbath, filed a petition.
However, the ministry noted that by holding the naturalization test on a weekday, people’s livelihood might be compromised as they have to work.
It was their best judgement to choose one day from Saturday and Sunday, the weekend, to allow as many candidates as possible to attend.
The NHRC, however, countered that “if the test is conducted on Saturday to avoid disrupting the livelihood, the objective can be achieved even if the test is carried out on Sunday.”
“The extent of the damage is significant in that it will result in a loss of opportunities for naturalization as a Korean national to individuals who cannot take the naturalization test on Saturday due to religious beliefs,” the NHRC added.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)