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Coronavirus

South Korea Rights Body to Review Virus Testing Rules

SEOUL, South Korea — Following complaints about discrimination, South Korea’s National Human Rights Commission says it’s reviewing decisions by health officials to mandate coronavirus tests for all foreign workers in the capital of Seoul and a nearby province.

The commission’s chairperson, Choi Young-ae, said in a statement Friday it plans to issue “swift judgment” on whether the measures are discriminatory and infringing rights.

If the commission concludes the measures are discriminatory, it could recommend government officials to change related policies or laws. But its proposals are non-binding.

The testing campaigns came in response to outbreaks among low-skilled foreign workers employed at Gyeonggi factories, who often face hash working and living conditions.

Critics question why authorities are mandating broad tests based on nationality instead of specifically targeting people with vulnerable working conditions.

Lim Sun-young, an official from the commission, said more than 20 individuals, including foreigners, have submitted complaints to the commission over the tests.

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