exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

UN committee urges S. Korea to ratify international agreement on adoption


UN committee urges S. Korea to ratify international agreement on adoption

   GENEVA, May 24 (Yonhap) -- A United Nations committee urged South Korea to ratify an international agreement on intercountry adoption, reports said.

   The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child met on Friday to consider the situation in South Korea with regard to the promotion and protection of children's rights under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

   The committee's 48th session started Monday in Geneva.

   The 18-member committee was formed in 1991 to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children.

   South Korea is one of the 193 countries that has ratified or acceded to the Convention and sends representatives to the committee to present periodic reports on national efforts to give effect to children's rights.

   Deputy Director General for Child and Youth Activities from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs Kim Doo-hyun was present at the Friday session.

   Rosa Maria Ortiz, one of the committee members, reportedly said that there is "a possibility of abuse" may have occurred in intercountry adoptions from South Korea.

   She urged the South Korean government to ratify the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption as soon as possible.

   The Hague Convention, a multilateral treaty, was approved by 66 nations in 1993 at the Hague. The convention covers intercountry adoptions among countries that become parties to it and describes internationally agreed-upon minimum norms and procedures. The goal of the convention is to prevent abuses and protect children, their birth parents and adoptive parents.

   The South Korean government has expressed reservations to Article 21 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that adoptions should be handled by a central independent authority, and should not be influenced extensively by individuals or private organizations.

   The Committee also pointed out that the South Korean adoption agencies do not keep sufficient documents on the adopted children, adding that the South Korean government still does not seem to be fully managing the adoption system, according to the reports.

   It also said proper regulations should be set up against illegal adoptions.


2008 May 24