A South Korean club accused of denying foreigners entry has rejected the recommendation by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea that the club not discriminate against customers based on race, the human rights watchdog said Wednesday.
According to the NHRCK, a petition was filed by an Indian American in June last year after the person was refused entry into the club for being a foreigner. The petitioner’s Korean American friend was not denied entry.
The NHRCK concluded that the club had denied entry to the foreigner based on race and skin color and saw it as discrimination. In July, it recommended the club’s representatives correct the practice but the club did not accept the suggestion, citing “a number of incidents.”
The club said there had been incidents of clashes between foreigners and the club’s staff and customers at other tables due to “differences in drinking culture,” according to the NHRCK. It added it would train its crew to ensure that foreigners do not feel discriminated against if they are denied admission.
Owners of commercial facilities have the freedom to operate the way they want to maximize benefits, the watchdog said, but no group should be excluded from using certain places and services.
Currently, there are no laws to punish acts of racism. The only recourse is to file a complaint with the NHRCK. The agency opens an investigation upon receiving a complaint, and makes due recommendations, which are not legally binding.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org