Beautiful Lawyers Take E-2 Visa Issues to Court
As reported in the Korea Times today:
A group of human rights lawyers plan to file a petition with the Constitutional Court against what they call discriminatory visa rules that require foreign English teachers to take HIV and drug tests.
Chang Suh-yeon, an attorney with the Korean Public Interest Lawyers Group “Gong-Gam,” told The Korea Times Tuesday that her group will take the issue to the court this week or next.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what Gong-Gam actually is. Gong-Gam, known in English as the Korean Public Interest Lawyers group, is composed of seven lawyers who have been pioneering the field of public interest law in Korea since 2004, according to their website.
After receiving seed money from an anonymous donor in the amount of US$150,000, they began their drive toward “protecting the rights of minorities and the underprivileged and by addressing systemic discrimination in all sectors of society.”
Their funding comes from the Public Interest Lawyers’ Fund which was established by their organizational parent, the Beautiful Foundation charity (아름다은운재단), which is itself “pursuing a vision of a world filled with affluent beauty, where extremes of wealth and poverty are eliminated.”
The KPIL lawyers are taking up the issue of equal and fair treatment for English teachers before one of Korea’s two highest courts (the Supreme Court being the other one), and their argument appears to mirror the complaint submitted to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK).
In February 2009, the Association of Teachers of English in Korea, or ATEK, submitted a complaint that took issue with foreign teachers having to take mandatory HIV and drug tests.