Many human rights complaints were of sexual harassment

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Many human rights complaints were of sexual harassment

One out of 10 complaints to Korea's National Human Rights Commission are about sexual harassment, the rights watchdog said Sunday.
According to data compiled by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in recognition of International Women’s Day, which is March 8, the commission received 36,452 complaints from its establishment in 2001 through 2021. Of them, 3,492 complaints, or 9.6 percent, concerned sexual harassment.
In fact, sexual harassment complaints rose steadily from one case in 2002 to 107 in 2006, and hit a peak of 303 in 2019, before the pandemic.
They were the second largest category of complaints after complaints about discrimination against the disabled, which numbered 15,830 cases between 2001 and 2020. 
Under the National Human Rights Commission of Korea Act, sexual harassment is a sexually-suggestive comment or act by employers, employees or workers in abuse of their power or in connection with business affairs that causes a sense of sexual humiliation or disgust in a victim. It also includes any situation in which victim's career suffers due to refusal to respond to such sexually-suggestive language or other demands.
Of the 3,277 sexual harassment complaints filed from 2001 to 2020, a large proportion did not specify the gender of the victims. Of the complaints that did, most were women and 9.2 percent of the total had male victims.
People in their 20s made up the largest group among the victims with 550 cases, followed by people in their 30s (546), 40s (362), 50s (151), under 20 (54) and 60s or older (42). The balance didn't have ages mentioned.
Of the complaints filed, 1,218 occurred at small businesses, followed by 696 at corporations, 367 at educational institutions, 243 at non-profit corporations and organizations, 214 at public institutions, and 128 municipal corporations.
As for the relationship between the alleged harasser and the victim among 243 cases filed between 2001 and 2019, harassment between supervisors and direct subordinates accounted for the most cases, 69.1 percent. In the case of the harasser’s position in the workplace, 78.6 percent were leaders, high-ranking supervisors and middle managers, while 77 percent of the victims were regular employees.
"The core of sexual harassment is the power relationship,” the commission said. 

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